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The Home Screen is the Next Frontier in Real Estate

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

To see true benefit from a property technology app, it better live on residents' home screen.

On the home screen of my phone, and on the first page of all my neatly organized iPhone folders, I have:

  • Livly

  • Four banking apps

  • Six food delivery apps

  • Eight smart home apps

  • Nine productivity apps

  • Two news apps

  • Three music streaming apps

  • Six video streaming apps

  • Two ride share apps

  • Six air travel apps

  • One parking app

  • Seven social media apps

  • Two shopping apps

  • One weather app

  • Apple Photos

  • Apple Wallet

  • iTunes Store

  • Apple App Store

  • Apple Podcasts

On the second screen of my phone, I have:

  • Apps I don’t use

How does my home screen relate to Property Technology? Property Owners and Managers are introducing more and more technology to their residents. They are looking to mobile applications to improve their tenants’ experiences. The goal of this technology is to drive prospects to choose buildings and encourage them to renew. After all, any old application for apartment life is great, right?

Not quite.

The key to choosing technology that creates a better experience for residents is identifying true home screen solutions. When an app lands on the coveted home screen, it has value. When it is relegated to the back pages, it has less value. After all, a digital amenity only drives renewals if residents use it.

How does an app make it to the home screen?

Regular utility: I can find Google Maps and Lyft on my phone with my eyes closed. I use these apps almost every day. If — in some apocalyptic situation — one of these services disappeared, I would be, quite literally, lost. Examples of regular utility in multi-family technology include seamless mobile keys, package management, and building notifications. For a home screen app, these functions need to perform as well as my other go-to applications.

Thoughtful design: I don’t use Chase or Ally every day, but when I do need to need to dive into online banking, these solutions offer tremendous utility. They are so nicely designed that I often revert to my mobile app instead of my large computer monitor to accomplish the same task. In the world of mobile apps, great design is everything: it is essential that property technology also maintains the modern elements of today’s best performing technology. This way, when residents submit maintenance tickets, they have modern, convenient experiences.

I’m a pretty representative sample of the millennial consumer technology mindset: I won’t use an app just because it provides a digital version of something I do manually. I will, however, use an app if it provides a more convenient experience for something I do manually. And that app will remain on my home screen if I use it frequently and I’m happy with the experience. For me to see true benefit from a property technology app, it better live on my home screen.


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