These days, mobile apps are ubiquitous in every industry: Transportation (rideshare apps), Retail (e-commerce apps), Food and Beverage (loyalty program apps), Communication (social media apps), Entertainment, Residential Real Estate (home-finder apps), etc. So many industries have adopted mobile apps and mobile technology solutions, and have seen the benefits of adopting such a digital strategy.

Today we’d like to show you how businesses specifically in the multi-family property industry can benefit from mobile technology solutions and a digital strategy that’s sure to boost your NOI.

First, what problems are there for us to identify and respond to? Mobile technology in the multi-family space should successfully address the following three areas in order to directly improve NOI:

  • Attract new, high-quality residents better
  • Retain existing residents and invite positive feedback
  • Optimize how you manage your property

Attracting New Residents

According to NMHC’s Facts on Resident Demographics, over 50% of the resident population in apartments is under 30 years old. It is a well-known fact that people under 30 are both tech-savvy and major users of smartphones and mobile apps. An apartment community that doesn’t have a property management mobile app will struggle to attract and retain the attention of residents in this age group. You can successfully attract the right residents in this age group by incorporating a few of these strategies:

Pre-Qualify New Applicants

Chatbots that can integrate with your website are a great way to quickly answer a few questions for your prospective residents before they make a trip to the apartment to view your model unit. They will also save time for your leasing staff by accurately answering questions that are frequently asked by prospects.

(Stay tuned to our blog, because we’ll be talking more about the many benefits of Chatbots in just two weeks!)

Mobilize Current Residents for Referrals

Current residents can conveniently send referrals with a link to download your app. This is an easy way to grow your community without a lot of spend on your marketing dollars.

Convert and Onboard Quicker

Mobile apps can integrate with property management software like Yardi, and help convert your prospects to residents and onboard them faster.

Retain and Impress Existing Residents

Each vacant unit could cost an owner anywhere from $1,500 to over $5,000 per month when you factor in make-ready costs, advertising, and incentives to get the unit leased,” says John Rials (managing director of real estate for Charleston, S.C.–based Greystar). “We feel strongly that the process can be improved.” We couldn’t agree more.

One way to solve this is simply to retain your existing residents. Let’s discuss a few mobile app strategies that can help with resident retention.

Communicate Effectively

Mobile apps enable targeted communication, even down to a specific resident in a unit.

  • Keep your residents happy and in-the-know with the right messages.
  • Successfully notify residents of emergencies, projects in the building, community communication, social events, etc.
  • Invite them to opt-in or opt-out for such communications.
  • Enable two-way communication (with relevant documentation) when necessary.

Make Things Easy

  • Mobile apps are a great way for residents to not only submit maintenance requests, but also provide adequate documentation and photos to swiftly resolve the issue.
  • Mobile apps can also make rental payments a breeze. You can even have your residents schedule rent payments on due dates.

Gain Better Feedback

With a mobile app, you can provide residents a seamless opportunity to provide feedback within an automated process. This increases the likelihood of hearing your residents’ positive feedback (negative commenters don’t wait to be asked) and addresses two things:

  1. You further ensure that your residents are always heard.
  2. It gives you the insight and opportunity to improve on your overall operations.

Additional benefits include:

  • Performance: Get resident feedback on individual, completed work orders and maintenance requests.
  • Promotion: Integrate your 5-star feedback with social media and Google reviews.
  • Connection: Know and engage with your residents better.

Optimize How You Manage Your Property

One of the key factors that negatively affects your NOI is operating expenses. Innovations in mobile technology can help you gain key insights that will help you optimize inefficient operations and directly influence your operating expenses.

Be Efficient and Get Better at Productivity

A mobile app that manages maintenance work orders can help with the following:

  • Better documentation: Pictures can be submitted with work orders.
  • Respond quicker, with an improved workflow: Automatically assign work orders to the right technicians, notify them on updates.
  • Better prepare your maintenance staff: Technicians can take the right tools for the job, ensure they have access to the unit, know if your residents have pets, etc.
  • Automate insightful reports on maintenance request response times and service times.

Reduce Your Make-Ready Turnover Time

Mobile apps can enable communication between different contractors and property management groups that work together to get units made ready.


Mobile apps can integrate with asset management software (like Yardi, SwiftPage, etc.) and help with reporting on expense categories.

Automate Communication and Notifications

With a property management mobile app you can:

  • Automatically deliver overdue rent notifications to the right residents.  
  • Know with confidence what messages have been viewed and read.


While a mobile app can achieve profound improvements in many areas, we’re not going to pretend that every problem can be solved with one. Here we’ll identify a few (conquerable) challenges that mobile technology continues to face in the multi-family space.

Network Coverage and Offline Access

There can be dead zones within your apartment community, be it wrap-around or open. Mobile apps need to ensure that when either the resident or the property staff do a certain action with the mobile app, such actions are indeed recorded – even within a dead zone – and sync up when coverage becomes available.

Low Industry Adoption

Even though many other industries (such as automotive and manufacturing) have started to adopt and see the benefits of the latest in mobile technology, the multi-family real estate industry is still slow to adopt, mainly due to a resistance to change.

Big Brother is Watching

Staff in the multi-family industry have stymied mobile technology adoption because of the fear and insecurity of being watched. Such fears are unfounded. In the long run, mobile technology will actually help them better prepare for their daily operational work and address residents issues and concerns to much greater satisfaction.

Boost Your NOI with MOBILE-DI

Overall we see that the multi-family real estate space can hugely benefit by adopting mobile technology as we’ve discussed here. Currently, there isn’t a single mobile app leader that has implemented all of these solutions. Mobile apps in this space are all about providing users a highly-customized experience. Schedule a time with the team at MOBILE-DI to find out how you can benefit from your community-branded and customized mobile app.