Will Tenants Use Occupant Experience Apps? Sure, If That App Is Also Their Keycard

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Tech-forward buildings have been working to engage tenants on a new frontier: their smartphones. Owners and property management companies are now providing occupant experience platforms — apps where tenants can pay rent, track package deliveries, reserve spaces and access various building amenities.

Though these platforms serve many useful functions, buildings often struggle to get tenants to download the app, and struggle even more to get them to use it every day.

To bring in users — and keep them coming back each day — experience platforms for commercial and multifamily properties are partnering with security providers to let tenants and residents use their phones to gain access to buildings and their amenities. By transitioning away from metal keys and keycards toward a mobile access system, building owners can not only make properties safer and smarter, but also engage tenants with a full range of occupant services.

“Building owners may offer a full-service occupant experience platform, but failed to make it ‘sticky,’ that is, to get tenants to keep using it,” Kastle Systems CEO Haniel Lynn said. “Integrating security and access into these platforms streamlines tenants' entry into the spaces they want to use, and helps buildings engage their occupants across multiple channels.”

Security solutions providers are leading the way in these integrations. Kastle Systems has launched a new Software Development Kit that allows property management solutions to plug a Kastle Access Control solution into their platform, adding one more benefit to the occupant experience menu for tenants and residents. Kastle recently announced its first large-scale partnership, with Rise Buildings, a property management and experience platform.

In addition to being able to pay rent, make service requests and even order taxis with Rise’s app, occupants with the Kastle integration will now be able to simply walk into their building — sensors will let them use their phone’s Bluetooth signal to open doors to their offices and building amenities.

With the added convenience of building access, Rise knows that a wider audience of tenants and residents will engage with their platform and the other services that each building offers.  “As the first partner in Kastle’s Mobile SDK program, Rise Buildings can continue to focus on the advancement of our property experience platform while leveraging Kastle’s pioneering leadership in access control implementation and monitoring,” Rise Buildings CEO Prasan Kale said.

Connecting building access to mobile devices can give owners a better sense of where and when occupants are entering and leaving their buildings. While many tenants may not carry a keycard with them everywhere, Lynn said, most occupants have their phones on them. Owners can also track which of their building amenities are being used and at what times, allowing them to better allocate resources and space for offices, gyms and amenity space as needed.

A mobile access system can also alleviate some of the burden on a building’s staff. With no keycards to issue, track and replace, property managers can have staff focus on work that adds more value.

End users most directly benefit from a mobile access system: for an office building, the employees, and for a multifamily property, the residents.

“If an employee or resident has our KastlePresence platform or KastleResident for multifamily, they can have convenient mobile access to the whole building, all using their phones, which they already carry with them constantly,” Lynn said. “There’s no need to fumble for keys or cards or remember codes for any doors.”

Office tenants and multifamily residents could have a whole suite of services at their fingertips through an occupant experience platform, but simply might not know about or use the app. Bringing new users onto the app by integrating security could help buildings engage with their occupants, improving their occupants' satisfaction and lengthening their leases.

“Rise Buildings has led the way in developing innovative occupant experience technology that meets the demands of ever-higher occupant expectations,” Lynn said. “The integration with Rise Buildings exemplifies the seamless availability of mobile credentials as part of a single, sophisticated mobile tenant experience, and is very much aligned with and ahead of market trends.”

This feature was produced by BisnowBranded Content in collaboration with Kastle Systems. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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