If we could give one single piece of advice to EVERY multifamily company looking to develop their own custom-branded mobile app, it would be this:
FUTUREPROOF YOUR APP!
What does that even mean?
Futureproofing: it’s nothing more than making sure that your app is updated and compatible for years to come.
Failure to do so will cost you more money and time. Worst case scenario? Your residents and staff stop using your mobile app and it sits there in the app store.
Multifamily companies should take proactive steps to ensure that regular updates and maintenance is part of their ongoing mobile app management process.
That’s why we’ve sat down and listed 5 tips to ensure your mobile app is future proofed.
1. Pick The Right Platform
This is tip #1 because every other tip stems from this one…
Research the company you decide to work with to ensure that their mobile platform is the right solution for you. We’ll cover this in a later blog post but in summary, the platform you choose to develop your app on needs to be scalable, adaptable, and affordable. If the platform you choose fits the above, then following each of the tips below will be easier…
2. Test Your App
Testing is one of the most time intensive and expensive steps of the app development process. It is also one of the most critical steps of the process because it ensures members enjoy their app experience. Some tests are automated, while others require people to manually use the app in different ways to identify issues. There are potentially hundreds of OS and device configurations that you must test for, and every feature must be tested for each configuration. For a robust property app with dozens of features, this could amount to thousands of tests per app release!
3. Update Your App Regularly
Since the mobile landscape is constantly changing, your app must reflect these changes. When Google or Apple releases a new mobile operating system (OS), you need a dedicated team to test and update your codebase and user interface to account for the new device screen size. Failure to proactively update your app will have negative implications.
4. New Features
You’ve developed your app and your residents love it. You’ve picked the features that attract prospective residents, retains residents, and optimizes how your property is managed.
A year from now, however, you’ve realized that residents aren’t using certain features and there are certain ones you’ve yet to implement. This is why we recommend working with an app company that has a mobile platform as opposed to paying a company to develop an app for you…and then leave you on your way.
Your mobile app should be fully customizable. Furthermore, if you have different properties in your portfolio, it’s highly likely you’ll want to develop an app for each individual property.
Technology is being developed at a record pace. As new technologies become available, your residents will demand that your mobile app is still compatible. This could mean connecting to home automation technology or a new food delivery service. There is some really cool mobile technology offering stand-alone apps in the multifamily market that you can integrate into your existing custom branded mobile app. Your app needs to have built in compatibility or integration on the backend, or again you’ll be spending even more money down the line.