A resident or tenant portal has become a necessary part of any residential rental property manager’s toolkit. You can ensure prompt payment of invoices, avoid misunderstandings with meter readings and generate new revenue with extra services.
Still, an analysis of what tenants and managers genuinely need is a good idea before implementing a software solution. Here is a five-step plan on how to quickly but exhaustively analyse what you need in one 90-minute brainstorming session with your team:
Combine these five steps with a modern rental property software solution like Bidrento, and you can rest assured your tenant portal will wow all stakeholders. So get your team together, book a demo of Bidrento and let’s go!
Before setting up a tenant portal, start with building a tenant persona. After all, your tenants define what you require from a tenant portal and that should affect which one you choose to implement.
A tenant persona is no different nor more difficult to compile than an ordinary user persona:
“User personas are archetypical users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users. Usually, a persona is presented in a one or two-page document (like the one you can see in the example below). Such 1–2-page descriptions include behaviour patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and background information, as well as the environment in which a persona operates.”Adobe USER RESEARCH
This step matters, as not all tenants are the same. If you offer multi-family rentals for the middle-class, you will end up serving people with different needs, attitudes and goals in life than if you cater to high-income individuals. And that will reflect in the type of tenant portal setup that is most appropriate for your portfolio or a segment of your portfolio.
A tenant persona should chart:
You can use online tools like Xtensio to build a tenant persona in minutes from prior knowledge or do a couple of interviews with your tenants and then a 30-minute internal brainstorming session to end up with a much better understanding of what your tenants want and need.
When writing your tenant persona, you already have described the properties you have broadly. But now is the time to get into the details. Not all luxury studios are alike. Not all student housing providers are the same.
The goal here is to understand, compared to other similar rental properties, how yours differ? Write down a two-paragraph description of what makes your properties unique. Describe attributes such as:
While you can take the thorough approach and follow the Harvard guide to Unique Value Proposition or stick to a few sentences, the key is to capture your uniqueness. Remember to stay focused on what makes you different from the rest of the pack. Usually, the shorter, the better, so try to stick to your brainstorming session within 15-25 minutes.
How to Apply With Bidrento: Profiling your properties alongside your tenant persona gives you a core list of features you need to have as a basis for your tenant portal. Combining the two builds a solid foundation for selecting services and integrations you want to offer in your portal, ensuring monetary success.
In this step, you begin to translate all your homework into revenue. You have built a detailed understanding of your tenants and your properties. Your tenant portal is where you connect the two: tenants and properties. And what better way to make the connection than with services.
Offering extra services suitable for your locations and the people you serve redefines your tenant portal. Ultimately, the tenant portal becomes an avenue for building new sources of revenue, not just a place to raise maintenance requests or check for meter readings.
Usually, the ability to offer an extra car parking spot is a sure-fire winner. However, not always, for some student housing providers, safe bike parking can be more desirable. What about ultrafast WiFi or additional cleaning services? A thorough understanding of the preceding steps will help you make the correct choices.
For some properties, it is wise to take a step beyond simply offering a few open parking spots or faster Wifi. For those, you can consider providing your tenants with a modern premium experience with intelligent technology solutions like opening doors right from the tenant app.
While innovative solutions mainly do not directly contribute to revenue, they can give you more advanced pricing power and make a big difference in tenant experience, which directly affects renewals. It is crucial to focus on just a few that you have a high degree of confidence in that will be used rather than offering a myriad of different innovations.
Here’s a list of just five ideas that may be right for you:
How to Apply With Bidrento: We have successfully integrated a whole host of different smart devices with our tenant portal. As long as your preference has a well-documented API – there’s a good chance we can make it accessible for your tenants as well.
A critical element of any tenant portal is ensuring your team gets what they need from it. A tenant may enjoy using a well-designed app, but if the right people, from accountants to service providers, do not get the information when they need it, you have a big problem.
Thus, it pays to ensure that the tenant portal solution you are going with is capable of a back-office as it looks suitable for the tenant. Secure, real-time access to tenants’ inputs and feedback is vital.
How to Apply With Bidrento: From the first time your landlord logs in to Bidrento, they get complete access to every important signal your tenant sends via their tenant portal or app. Not only that, the system can automate routine replies to typical tenant queries, reducing the workload of your landlords substantially. The system also offers accountants and service providers the information they need to get their jobs done.