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Buying the Wrong Tenant Experience App Will Cost You; Avoid the Pain By Asking These 3 Questions

Posted By Kevin McCarthy | Nov 14, 2019 7:00 AM
Buying the Wrong Tenant Experience App Will Cost You; Avoid the Pain By Asking These 3 Questions

Comparing one tenant experience app to another can be a daunting task. The industry is relatively new, so there isn’t an abundance of third-party reviews on providers.

Some providers promise the world and deliver only a small piece of it, so determining what is real and what isn’t can be murky. Finally, tenant experience applications have high visibility with your customers, so picking the wrong application could have embarrassing outcomes.

So how does one pick the best tenant experience application? Ask these three questions to whittle down your options.

Question #1: How Do You Version Your Software?

This sounds like a super technical question, but the answer will expose information about how frequently providers are making updates and adjustments to their applications. Providers who release new versions of their application three or four times a year are probably under-resourced to ship digital products effectively. A good answer to this question would be: “we use semantic versioning, with minor or patch releases on a bi-weekly basis”

Why this question really matters for top landlords:

Release cadence is something I think about often at HqO. We want to ship as many features as possible as quickly as possible, but the iOS app store’s review process on every release is an unknown variable that gates our process, so sometimes it makes sense to release new app versions weekly, others it makes sense to do daily. I keep an eye on our competitors to see their cadences. I notice sometimes that competitors have large, unpredictable gaps of time between app releases, which, to me, indicates a lack of sophistication in their release processes.

An example of the Instagram Mobile App's version history shows that top companies maintain regular release schedules—ensuring users always have a stable app with the latest features.

An example of the Instagram Mobile App’s version history shows that top consumer apps maintain regular release schedules—ensuring users always have a stable app with the latest features.

Question #2: What Is Your Process for Implementing a New Integration?

First, it’s always helpful to get a provider to define the term ‘integration.’ We noticed that there was a lot of confusion on the term, so we created this two-pager to help.

Good tenant experience applications should have a cross-functional approach to executing new integrations, comprising of partnership, technical, product, and marketing activities. 

Any integration, no matter how large or how small, is surely going to have many stakeholders across several organizations. There are a lot of moving pieces when executing integrations, and good tenant experience companies will have a process to manage and organize these pieces.

Additionally, you want your tenant experience application to be provider-agnostic. For example, if your current Visitor Management solution is CompanyX, but you want to switch to CompanyY, your tenant experience provider shouldn’t be the bottle-neck. At HqO, we are building a platform to give commercial real estate companies flexibility in choosing the tech providers they want and need.

Why this question really matters for top landlords:

Integrating with mobile access providers is no small undertaking. We’ve built-out processes and procedures to integrate with providers so that the deliverable is at the highest quality and in the hands of users as quickly as possible.

Question #3: What Compliance Certifications Do You Have?

Tenant experience applications can collect a large amount of personal identifiable information from your customers. And in the current security climate we are in, tenant experience applications can be sources of exposure to your organization.

Ask providers what their information management security system looks like and whether they are SOC 2 certified—meaning an independent auditor has seen and verified all controls and processes. 

Why this question really matters for top landlords:

It all boils down to peace of mind and selecting a partner that will create a competitive advantage for your business without exposing your organization to undue risk. PropTech holds the promise of making people healthier and happier by improving their experiences with the built environment. Luckily, commercial real estate firms do not have to sacrifice on security to get there.

For more information on choosing the right tenant experience provider download our free eBook on navigating the tenant experience — including info on everything from selecting the right partner, implementing a strategy, and crafting a process to deliver an amazing occupant experience.