Proptech to the rescue as resi tenants’ demands are evolving

Tenants increasingly want added value and a sense of community from the property they rent and technology can provide these through tenants’ experience apps, delegates heard at Real Asset Media’s and Chainels’ The Future of Tenant Experience briefing, which took place online yesterday.

Sander Verseput.

“Tenant experience apps have made the community concept more tangible,” said Sander Verseput, co-founder and COO/CFO, Chainels. “According to our survey, 67% of people think it’s important to have a sense of community in their building.”

Verseput unveiled the results of a survey Chainels had run on 1,750 tenants in the Netherlands, UK and France. Only 9% of respondents indicated that “community doesn’t bring any value to them”.

Landlords can use the app to their advantage to improve the well-being and quality of life of their tenants, which will make them more likely to renew their lease.

This has led to properties no longer being seen as assets, but rather “as products that are designed specifically for a demographic or area of the city,” said Jack Renteria, living concepts director, ALFA Development.

Renteria also noticed that there is “a demand for more than just the apartment, but also the hard product, like space for co-working, lounges, amenity spaces, alongside the soft product, like sense of security and sense of community.”

Jack Renteria.

ALFA Developments created residential properties in Denmark specifically for young professionals, designed to help them make friends, build a community and feel less lonely.

A tenant experience app is an efficient way to do that and “technology is going to be a market standard and something customers will expect,” said Esteve Almirall, global managing director, Node.

According to Almirall it’s a win-win situation: apps will “reduce the number of people that property management companies need in order to operate buildings, and on the customer side, it is going to enhance the experience.”

Tenant experience apps do have a tangible effect on tenants, for example with events. Almirall revealed that “tenants that had attended four or more events were 30% more likely to renew their lease.”

Tenant-led events are far more popular though and 60% of those that Chainels surveyed thought that it is residents who are the most responsible for creating a sense of community in their residential building.

Instead, the landlord’s main responsibilities are in making sure that tenants make use of the app and in maintaining good responsiveness and reactiveness, also through the app.

Esteve Almirall.

In terms of the first responsibility, it is “all about getting people on board at day zero” said Almirall, emphasising the importance of getting tenants on the app as soon as possible.

The most sought-after trait in a landlord is “good communication and responsiveness”, with “prompt response to maintenance issues” a close second, revealed Chainels’ survey.

For Almirall, the main benefit of the app is “really streamlining the communication” between tenants and landlords, therefore helping landlords to be as communicative as possible, while also helping the residents build a sense of community.