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Check out our new mobile site!

Posted on Friday, May 23rd, 2014

ActiveBuilding Community Portals have a new look on your mobile device! As always we like to keep things fresh and introduce new looks when we have the chance. This time we have changed the mobile site a bit to fit handheld devices and pull ourselves to the forefront of mobile design. The login screen still looks pretty familiar —

new movile

 

But the Community Activity Stream is really where this new look shines. In the picture you can get a feel for where things are in the new design and how ActiveBuilding is now bringing your Community Portal to your fingertips.

 

mobile photo 3

 

As you can see, all different types of posts will show up and be easily identified as event, update, or other.

If you click on the bullhorn the Community Announcements populate to make sure your residents are seeing all the most up to date information about your Community.

moblie photo 2

 

Check our our mobile redesign on any of your mobile devices and let us know what you think! As we move forward from here there will be more capabilities added to the mobile platform to ensure that you and your residents are always able to stay connected.

ActiveDesk 4.0 for iOS now available

Posted on Friday, May 16th, 2014

The new version of our iOS app, ActiveDesk 4.0, is now live on the App Store! The major enhancement is the new “Guests” module where users can create and manage all guest authorizations for the community. Resident catch you in the hall asking permission for a guest in their unit?  No problem! You can add them right from the ActiveDesk app, use your device camera to take a picture of guest and authorize it with a touchscreen signature.  That guest is now instantly tracked from ActiveDesk and ActiveBuilding.

Update your ActiveDesk app to version 4.0 if you haven’t already to start managing community guests on the go. More helpful features will be coming soon to make your property management experience better.

To our ActiveBuilding resident users, we have heard your feedback. This month we have also started working on the ActiveBuilding iOS app for both residents and staff. Version 1.0 is targeted for July and will include the Community Activity Stream, rent payments, maintenance requests, and more. We are very excited to be offering this to residents and look forward to building on the ActiveBuilding app alongside ActiveDesk in the coming months!

New to the Building? ActiveBuilding can help

Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2014

Did you just move in to an amazing apartment building in town?  Did the property manger ask you to sign up for ActiveBuilding, and you were like “What is ActiveBuilding?  What is it going to do for me?” What ActiveBuilding can do for a new resident like yourself is help you connect with the rest of the apartment community.  There are plenty of helpful features that are designed to help you make the most of your new building, and it is easy and straightforward to use for residents.

You can use the Community Activity feed to find out what’s going on in your area, check out that couch that the unit down the hall is selling that would be perfect for your new living room, or send messages to other residents who are also big hockey fans like you to meet up for the next game.  This will look very familiar to folks who are used to “liking” posts and is an easy way to get involved with the people in your building.

Residents can fill out information about themselves in their ActiveBuilding profile, and meet other residents in the building that have similar interests.  You can use the community event calendar to see what activities are going on, or schedule your own.  It’s never been more convenient to get that board game night going.

Shop online a bunch?  ActiveBuilding helps you keep track of your purchases by providing a simple and safe way for your property managers to handle and account for packages.  See when the management staff receives packages, and sign for it with your finger on a touchscreen when you go to pick it up.  This information is all archived and stored in case you need to look it up later and beats using a paper slip.

ActiveBuilding also lets you pay your rent online, hurray!  No more writing checks and dropping them off or mailing them in.  Your payment history is stored for later reference safely and securely.  You can also file maintenance requests for building staff to get something fixed, reserve communal amenities like rooms and lounges, and much more. It’s simple to get started with ActiveBuilding and is definitely worth signing up for!

A new look for your Community Portal!

Posted on Thursday, February 6th, 2014

ActiveBuilding is starting the new year with a new look. The login page has been revamped with a fresh new design. We simplified and streamlined the log-in page to enhance the user experience. In addition, the new design is more “responsive”, which means the screen will adjust to fit any screen size, including tablets, PCs and smart  phones. This means your community portal will be more user –friendly and look fabulous on any device.

Check out the new look here:

 new log in

As you can see, important links are at the bottom. You can change which links appear on the login page by going to My Community/Links/clicking the little yellow pencil associated with the link you want to change/check the box “Display link publicly on login page”

Not only did we make the site more responsive, but we also added a new Facebook login option that will allow users to login to the community portal with their Facebook username and password.

Please note that this feature will only work if the email address you use for Facebook and ActiveBuilding are the same.

We encourage everyone to check out the new login page and of course let us know what you think! (HINT: Click refresh a couple times until the background image changes.)

If you have any questions or comments about the new login page or the Facebook log-in please contact your Customer Success Manager or support@activebuilding.com to let us know!

Love your Customers

Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Today, through the Twitterverse, I came across a Tweet that I can’t get off my mind:

“‘The best customer is the one you already have.’ WHO WOULDA THUNK IT? @SatisfactsJen whomped us upside the head with $ & common sense #RWUC” – Tweeted by @TamelaCoval

Now, if you don’t Tweet, most of that probably went over your head with all the @’s and #’s.  But no matter what your Social Media expertise is, I think we can all understand the first part: The best customer is the one you already have.

No matter what industry you’re in this quote rings true.  And for those of us in the multifamily industry, where “retention” is the buzzword of the millennium, this quote should be tattooed to the inside of our eyeballs.

Ok, maybe that is a little extreme, but too often we’re focused on obtaining new clients or residents, and we forget about the awesome people using our products or living in our buildings.  So how do we avoid this treacherous mistake?

  1. Let each customer know they are valuable.  I’m currently staying in my apartment on a “month-to-month” basis as I evaluate my options, considering the cost of rent increases versus the non-monetary cost of moving.  When I turned in this month’s rent check, my landlord mentioned that she hoped I would be staying, “but has no problem filling these apartments year round.”  Her compliment quickly went sour in my mind, and I walked away feeling like I was just another tenant and keeping me would help her avoid the extra cost of resident turnover.  If you do have a quality resident/customer whose business you don’t want to lose, make sure they understand that – in your eyes – they are more than just dollar signs.

 

  1. Be proactive and develop retention tools before you see a customer is on their way out the door.  How much time do you spend being reactive every day?  Whether you’re a vendor or part of a property’s onsite team, we all spend at least 50% of our time reacting to customer service issues.  Troubleshooting a technology issue for a client, appeasing a frustrated resident, trying to convince a client or resident not to leave.  By the end of the day we barely have enough energy to make sure our other customers are happy.  It’s important to set goals – weekly, quarterly, yearly – surrounding proactive retention, from hosting resident events to providing benefits for your customers through social media.

 

  1. Integrate your customer service and sales teams.  Especially in smaller companies / properties, there is already quite a bit of overlap amongst customer service agents and sales / leasing agents.  However, no matter the size, there need to be processes in place to ensure that once a sale is made, the customer service team keeps those customers for your business.  Your sales team can charm the pants off of potential customers, but if your level of service can’t keep customers, eventually your leads are going to hear about it – especially since these days opinions and experiences get posted on the internet for the world to see.

How do you remind yourself (or your employees) on a daily basis that the best customer is the one you already have?

Community Portal; Making Customer Service Easier

Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012

The New Customer Service: Social Media in the Multifamily Industry

I can’t imagine that anyone in the multifamily apartment industry would disagree that customer service affects the bottom line.  Unfortunately, circumstances that arise might cause us to forget our manners or avoid dealing with various issues.  However, in this age of technology and social media, expectations have greatly changed in regards to how and how quickly you must provide customer service.

It’s a lot harder to avoid customer service issues when they are presented face-to-face or over the phone.  It’s also a lot harder (for some) to be rude face-to-face or over the phone than it is when you’re sitting behind a computer screen.  So how do you continue to respond quickly and maintain a positive attitude?  Here are some tips for customer service over email, social media, and property community portals.

  • Email: If you pick up the phone when a resident calls, you have only so many polite options to end the call.  However, if a new email arrives in your inbox, it’s pretty easy to just glance at it or mark it as read and decide you’ll deal with it later.  But guess what?  That’s just as rude as hanging up on someone in the middle of a phone call.  Trust me, I’m the first to admit that when I’ve got a million things to do, it’s not easy to answer every email right when they come in.  The problem is that a number of them end up falling through the cracks and don’t get answered, leaving you with frustrated residents.  Make sure to set up your own system for responding to emails so this doesn’t happen.

 

  • Social Media: Now that more and more properties and management companies are creating accounts Social Media has taken on a new role in Property Management.  Plus, these issues can pop up in other forms such as FourSquare and ApartmentRatings.com.  When you choose not to answer an email, probably only you and the sender will know.  But when it’s on one of these social media outlets, anyone – including potential residents – can see what your residents are saying.  And potential residents can see what YOU are (or aren’t) saying.  But don’t just respond because it looks good, do it because you actually care about your residents.  Remember, first impressions are great, but eventually people realize if your customer service efforts are just for looks.

 

  • Community Portal: It’s rare to come across a property that doesn’t have a resident portal for rent payment and maintenance requests.  But what about a true community portal that incorporates social aspects to foster community and retain residents in your apartment building?  These types of tools are invaluable, but you can’t always control what your residents say, and there may be a complaint or two.  First: be glad these complaints are staying within the virtual walls of your own community instead of being posted for the world to see.  Second: don’t delete it!  Take this opportunity to acknowledge the complaint for other residents to see, and then determine if a solution can also be posted publicly or if you should handle the matter privately.