The doorman has just gone mobile.
The Franklin Johnston Group is making apartment living easier with a smartphone app called Mobile Doorman.
“By keeping in line with the latest advancements in technology, our apartment communities stand out against competitors and appeal to millennials who make up the majority of the current rental market,” Christopher Beckwith, vice president of marketing at Franklin Johnston, said in a news release. “One of the four key factors of our company’s new slogan, ‘Be the Solution,’ is customer service.”
Beckwith said the partnership with Mobile Doorman makes communication between customers and apartment management more efficient.
The app, available for residents at both the App Store and Google Play, was developed to further engage community residents and enhance their living experience. Mobile Doorman co-founder Graham Gilbert said they specifically cater the apps to an apartment community’s needs.
Bob Matteson, a former multifamily broker and early employee of Groupon, was living in San Francisco in 2011 in a new luxury property when the idea came to him.
“He was in the epicenter of the technology world and yet he was still getting sticky notes on his mailbox whenever a new package arrived,” Gilbert said. “He realized that while he had all these cool apps on his phone to manage every aspect of his life, he had nothing for the place where he spent the greatest share of his time – his apartment. So, he did some testing on and off for the next couple of years and in 2013 he launched the company.”
Mobile Doorman is based in Chicago and works with properties in 17 states, representing about 23,000 units.
“Usage varies by property, but we have properties where more than 70 percent of residents use the app on a regular basis to the point where the bulletin board (one of the features) has effectively become an internal Facebook for the property. It’s pretty cool,” Gilbert said.
Local Franklin Johnston properties using the app include: Greenwich Village Apartments and Southern Pine Apartments in Virginia Beach; Springhouse Apartment Homes in Newport News; and Preston Trails East & West in Portsmouth and Chesapeake.
Greenwich Village has received positive feedback about the app, according to its community manager, Mia Hurley.
“It allows our residents to conveniently place and follow-up on work orders and also pay their rent through the app ensuring that it always arrives on time,” Hurley said. “It has caught the attention of many new applicants when mentioned during our scheduled tours and they love the idea.”
Residents of the community, which has 224 units, received an electronic flyer when the app became available last December. While Hurley can’t pinpoint the number of residents using it, she said has gotten positive feedback from those who do.
“The most usage we get out of it is people putting in maintenance requests,” she said.
The app can also be used for messaging, maintenance requests, surveys, community bulletins, package arrival, check-ins and delivery, reservations and resident perks/preferred access.
“Residents can manage all their property-related tasks and communications in one convenient place on their phones,” Gilbert said. “You have Uber for transit, and Grubhub for dining, but what do you have for your apartment? Our aim is to fill that need.”
Courtesy of Inside Business, April 17 2017