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20 in ’20: Zego Mobile Doorman’s top 20 apartment community apps in 2020

Twenty property teams create the best apartment community apps for their residents during one of the toughest years in property management.

2020 may have been a tumultuous year for the property management industry, but it wasn’t all bad. Communities found ways to interact with their residents digitally in order to stay connected and boost morale. And one of the tools at the forefront of virtual connectivity is a custom mobile app. Last year, resident apps transitioned from a luxury to a lifeline.

We were curious as to which of our Zego Mobile Doorman customers were best leveraging their app to keep their communities connected. So we gathered the data, looking not only at the amount of resident downloads, but also the amount of resident interactions through the app. With this data we compiled a list of our Top 20 most digitally engaged communities in 2020.

Garner some valuable tips from our top clients on app customization and resident engagement. Learn how real property teams increased operational efficiency with features like maintenance requests and package management, and used their creativity to keep communities connected throughout one of the most challenging years in our history. Hats off to you, Top 20!

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Highlights from the top 20 apartment community apps

K2 Apartments (Lincoln Property Company)

Category: Large, 350+ units

user stats k2 apartmentsK2 Apartments blew us away with their dedication to creating one of the best community apps in the game. Their updated Content Tiles feature eye-catching images to inform residents about upcoming promotions and community events. And functionally, the app helped the site team keep up with rapidly changing property operations. “2020 forced us to change how we operated our everyday business operations at K2. And thankfully our Zego Mobile Doorman software was able to meet the needs of an ever-changing landscape. At a time when our residents needed us more than ever, and we found ourselves going remote for the first time—Zego Mobile Doorman helped us all stay connected,” said Candace Johnson, Property Manager at K2.

Communicationapartment community apps gym reservations

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders did not hinder K2 Apartments’ ability to communicate with their residents. “From providing timely resident updates through the messaging feature, to being able to add reservation-based slots for our amenity spaces (complete with alerts, capacity limits and RSVP’s) along with maintenance request communication for COVID-19 questions, we were able to stay organized and remain in complete communication with our residents,” explained Candace.

Getting residents on-board

With an impressive 76% of residents actively using the app, we were curious as to how K2 was marketing it to their community. “We added instructions on how to download the Zego Mobile Doorman app to our welcome letter emails for all new prospects and reminded our valued renewed residents that [the] app is the best way to stay connected and updated on all of our amenity policies and resident events,” said Candance. And K2 knows how to throw a community event. The pandemic did not stop them from consistently hosting fun and oftentimes completely free virtual resident events.

Besides resident events, K2 was able to use their app to keep residents up-to-date with the ever-changing policies and regulations throughout the year due to the pandemic. “We also were able to upload pictures of our amenity spaces rules and policies as the city of Chicago switched reopening phases to keep our residents up to date on requirements for usage in real time.”

K2’s community app Bulletin Board

Another way K2 has creatively leveraged their app to boost community engagement is through the Bulletin Board feature. “Our residents post items to sell, trade, and giveaway almost daily via this feature. Residents have been able to meet and set up seamless, contactless purchases from one another throughout this entire lockdown,” explained Candace. By providing a multitude of ways to connect virtually, K2 was able to up-level their resident experience. Which is an impressive feat during such a tumultuous year.

Moment (Golub/GID/Windsor)

Category: Large, 350+ units

Moment community app user statsMoment, a beautiful community in Chicago, IL, has been with Mobile Doorman since 2018. This team has gone above and beyond to create an exemplary experience for their residents from beginning to end. “It gave us the ability to stay in communication with our residents through the whole pandemic when a lot of residents were sheltering in place… Zego Mobile Doorman really gave us that ability for our residents to use it on their phone or desktop. And it’s just very convenient for them to use to communicate with us,” said Moment Leasing Agent, Brandon Sternig.

apartment community apps meal serviceMoment’s Bulletin Board

The Bulletin Board feature of their app has extremely high utilization due to deals and discounts from local providers that Moment sets up for their residents. Residents also use it to buy and sell items as they’re moving in and out of the property. “I really like the Bulletin Board, it’s really nice for our residents to communicate in that way…  it’s really important to us to help support those local businesses as well,” explained Brandon. But promotions and yard sales aren’t all they use the Bulletin Board feature for. “From the operations side of things, my team and I actually like that you can have the ‘permission to enter’ on there… I really like, too, that the app makes it able for us to connect online payments through the app.”

Excitement about their apartment community app

The team at Moment came up with some creative ways to get new residents engaged with their thriving community app. “We had banners that were put in our lobby, and those were very effective because they did have the QR code. That was very convenient for them to get the app right away, and was very interactive.” The leasing team also does a great job promoting the app whenever possible. “We would talk the app up and talk about how exciting it is. And we actually think that helped us close some of our deals here in the building… talking about the app and the convenience of it. And then of course giving them more further instruction when they move in.” Brandon explains that the leasing agents’ sincere excitement about the app would cause prospective residents to get excited about it as well.

Connections made through the app

Brandon saw plenty of creative ways residents were using the app to connect with each other throughout 2020. “Some of [our residents] would actually promote some of their own little personal businesses and services for other residents. It was great because it actually established a sense of community within the building.” Brandon saw small businesses such as a hairdresser, a handyman, a moving company, dog walkers, and even people who offered to water their neighbor’s plants. “We saw that all make a presence on Zego Mobile Doorman. So it’s kind of heartwarming for us to see that. And just have that sense of community, which is really important to us at Moment.”

On an even more personal level, Brandon explains, “we had two residents who were able to connect… I think they actually used Zego Mobile Doorman to reach out. And they connected with that other person kind of looking to make friends.”

Brandon is very satisfied with how their engaging, user-friendly app helped created community connections throughout the pandemic. “I really like that it’s very interactive and just very simple. The interface is easy to work with so that makes both our staff here at Moment and our residents very happy.”

House39 (Rose Associates)

Category: Large, 350+ units

Hoise39 community app user stats

RoseLife apartment community appThe team at House39, located in New York, NY, has created an engaging app that their staff and residents love to use on a daily basis. Especially in 2020, having one of the top apartment community apps has become an integral part of their success. “Zego Mobile Doorman has made it convenient for our residents to communicate with the site staff and management team while creating a seamless experience between resident and property team members,” commented Erik Rodriguez, Community Manager at House39.

Erik and his team at House39 have integrated downloading the app as part of the move-in experience. “We use Zego Mobile Doorman as an inclusive platform in delivering a great resident experience by having them sign up when they move in.”

Apartment community app functionality

After residents have moved in, their familiarity with the app along with it’s user-friendly interface keep residents engaged throughout the length of their lease. “Residents use the app to communicate with one another, the staff and even use it to sell personal belongings and share new ideas on bettering the resident experience at the property.”

Erik admits that his favorite feature of the app is the ability for residents to easily reserve amenities. “I personally like that residents can make reservations on Zego Mobile Doorman to use some of our amenity spaces such as the party room, or lounge area. This is a very organized tool as it helps our site staff prepare the spaces during the check-in and out process.”

Park Chelsea (William C. Smith)

Category: Large, 350+ units

Park Chelsea community app user statsPark Chelsea is one of three properties in Washington, D.C. that make up The Collective, a thriving apartment community with a beautifully customized Zego Mobile Doorman app for each building. The team has customized every square inch to make it one of the best apartment community apps. Which their residents love using to reserve amenities, sign up for events, and message neighbors through their popular Bulletin Board feature.

Ashley Weatherly, Events Manager at The Collective, explains how their philosophy is all about finding innovative ways to go above and beyond for their residents. “The whole concept of The Collective was born out of the fact that we wanted to offer market-leading amenities. Not just in D.C., but honestly everywhere in the United States.”

Amenities galore!

Park Chelsea and the other two properties that make up The Collective have all your standard amenities. Plus they have highly specialized spaces such as an Olympic-sized lap pool, demonstration kitchen, golf simulator, full-sized basketball court, rooftop pools overlooking the Capitol, and spin room with 17 Peloton bicycles. But fixed amenities aren’t all. They host a number of unique and engaging events for their residents on a regular basis. And COVID hasn’t slowed them down. They’ve even hired guest lecturers to host intellectual events. “Even in this COVID world, we’re offering everything virtually. We’ve had everything from pottery painting to quilling and bourbon tasting, cheese tasting, different beer tasting, it’s endless!”

So how does their community app tie in? “I think everyone’s used to having an app or a website to kind of facilitate their lives. And with all these amenities and all of these events and fitness classes we put on, it’s important for us to be able to communicate that,” said Ashley. “Our calendars are typically very full between the fitness classes and the activities that we host virtually and otherwise. And the functionality of adding things to your calendar as a resident in the app is very helpful to them”

Reservations through the appapartment community apps resident services

Aside from events, with so many awesome amenities at their residents’ fingertips. Park Chelsea found the reservation feature of the app invaluable, especially during COVID. “With all these amenities with COVID – our lap pool for example – it’s super popular. But we can’t necessarily have the same five people in there the way we might have in the past. We have to make sure there are dedicated times for people who are using it. And so reservation systems and reservation reminders which Zego Mobile Doorman offers, those became very important.”

Next level calendar invitations

One way that Park Chelsea really takes advantage of the unique features of their app is through the HTML calendar invite functionality. “We can now make our descriptions for events or reservations HTML. So we can highlight things, make things bold, underline things, link to things. And all of these extra communication methods are really important, especially during COVID. When you kind of have to caveat – we’re having a fitness class outside, but you have to remember – make sure to wear your mask, keep social distancing. And so it’s very important to be able to have even basic text editing properties.”

It may seem simple, but the ability to link out to a waiver or highlight a safety precaution within the text helps set expectations and improve the resident experience. “It’s helpful to the resident because they can feel safe that we’re really on top of things and we’re not limited by the app.”

Agora (William C. Smith)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

Agora community app user statsAgora is the second property on our list from The Collective in Washington, D.C. Just like Park Chelsea above, Agora is a thriving apartment community with their own custom Zego Mobile Doorman app. Events Manager Ashley Weatherly continues to share how she and the staff at Agora use their app to coordinate life at the property. “It’s not just the events and the reservations of the amenities that drive residents to the app. Having the updates for when the packages are available, being able to sign for the packages without touching something communal, having the package tracking is very great. And I know that the second people get the notification they run downstairs.”

With Agora having one of the top apartment community apps, we weren’t shocked to see their high level of utilization. But nevertheless, we asked Ashley which tactics her team employs to get residents to download the app. “We do, outside of Zego Mobile Doorman, send out a newsletter, which drives traffic to the app… before they move in, they’re actually given access to the app,” she explains. “We will send an email letting them know to download the app, and letting them know what they can use it for. And tons of residents (before they move in), are signing up for our golf simulator orientation. People are already signing up for our events. They start to ask questions through the app and that onboarding process is super important.”

Once residents are moved-in, they find the app especially useful when submitting a work order. “All of our maintenance requests pretty much go through the app… It’s such an automated process, and it’s so wonderful that people don’t have to resort to writing something down.”

How front desk staff use the app

But their app isn’t just set-up for an enjoyable resident experience, the site staff love it too. “Having the front desk have their own account to manage is awesome. They use it for registering packages, reservation check-ins, shift notes – like that the mailman came, the dog walker in #506 came… It’s an effective tool for them to communicate with each other, and for us to see what’s happening with them.”

Ashley says the app is used for so many different aspects of managing Agora, that she and her colleagues tend to have at least one of the app’s tabs open at all times. ”It’s definitely time-saving especially when you’re sending out a message… and it is nice to have one platform for everything.”

VIA123 Apartments (Rhapsody Living)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

VIA123 apartment community apps user statsVIA123 Apartments in North York, Ontario saw incredible app engagement in 2020. “It’s made an impact by giving us a sense of community, bringing us all together, being able to communicate without being one-on-one necessarily,” says VIA123 Property Manager, Shayna Hails. “By just communicating through the app you can do everything you can imagine… and just quick little replies, little chats we can have with the tenants keeps us in touch with them, and they like that.”

How VIA123 encourages community app downloads

“We have some flyers we put in the elevators to remind residents to sign up for Zego Mobile Doorman. If we see them in the office we also remind them – ‘oh, make sure you’re on the app.’ So that they can put in their work requests or even just send us a message,” Shayna explains. “That’s how we process our work requests, so we need them to be on there… it’s super easy and they can get all of our updates on there.” Shayna and her team work hard to keep their residents informed about what’s going on in the community. “We give out a monthly newsletter so they can stay in touch with us that way, see what’s happening and all the events we’re doing… we send out emails to remind them as well.”

VIA123’s Bulletin Board

Like many of the other best apartment community apps on this list, VIA123’s Bulletin Board is one of their app’s most used features. “Residents like to use the Bulletin Board to post things on there. Even if they’re maybe selling something or giving something away for free. Our best way we use it is our events. All the events we have for our residents, we post on there,” Shayna explains. They also use it to host fun raffles for their residents. “If I’m having a draw for the tenants or something like that, it’s all on there… so that’s a creative way we use it.” The VIA123 team is diligent when it comes to updating their app with the latest community info using the editable media tiles. “We can get creative that way and the pictures are nice and bright and it looks good and everyone loves it.”

Staying festive during the holidayscommunity faqs

The 2020 holiday season was understandably not the most spirited season of all time. But the team at VIA123 managed to get creative with their community events and used their app to make the holidays special for their residents. “During the holidays, we used Zego Mobile Doorman to distribute invitations to participate in the holiday draws that we were doing,” said Shayna. She even pulled together special events for younger residents. “I did coloring contests for them through [the app]… that’s how we try and get them involved, and to participate in our activities.” Shayna says that the events she planned and executed through the app helped residents feel festive even during an unusual holiday season.

Flipping through app thumbnails to stay up-to-date

When we asked Shayna what her favorite feature of the app is, she gasped and responded, “just one?” But she was able to narrow it down. “My favorite I guess would be when you go on the app and you can flip through our newsletter, and our different facts on the site, and our events. It’s all on there. And they can flip through the clip art and pick what they want to read about,” she explains. “I think that’s one of my favorite things about the app is how we have those thumbnails. And we can flip through them and just update… the amenities and the rules and what you can do.”

Paceline Apartments (Edison47)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

Paceline apartment community app user statsPaceline Apartments, located in Shoreline, WA, uses one of the top apartment community apps in the industry to go the extra mile by providing residents with detailed descriptions of local services, building policies and best practices. “When the pandemic hit in 2020, and we were dealing with office closures and a change in how we do business, we heavily relied on Zego Mobile Doorman to communicate those changes to our residents in real time,” said Senior Property Manager, Angela Bare. “It has really become our number one most used tool to communicate with our residents. It’s real time, and it goes directly to their phone.”

apartment community apps thermostat programmingGetting residents on-board

Angela and the community at Paceline rely so heavily on the app that they personally reach out to new residents with instructions on downloading the app. “We use it as part of our move-in process. We have a full sit-down with them when they move in and go over all of the applications, all of the tiles, usability, setting up notifications so that way our residents can always feel engaged. And like they know what’s going on in the community.”

It’s such a terrific idea, we asked Angela to break it down step-by-step. “We do send out a welcome letter with the app details. Where to go to download, and so on. Day of move-in, we do have a concierge team that goes through the app processes with them to make sure that every resident has a full understanding of how the app works.”

Keeping residents engaged

Paceline Apartments loves to get creative with resident events whether physical or virtual. “We have had engaging events that we’ve hosted through the app such as our scavenger hunts that we do throughout our community. For Halloween, we do ‘Where’s Webster,’ and that’s where we hide a big spider throughout the community. And we send out clues and things like that through the app. So it encourages app usage, and it encourages residents to have their notifications turned on. Because we’re not just sending out notices… we’re actually sending out fun stuff where you can win prizes.”

“And then in December, we also do, if you’ve ever heard of Elf on the Shelf, we have an Elf called Pace which we will hide throughout the community… And we’ve also done Bingo through the app.” It’s important to Angela and her team that the app be a fun tool for residents to interact with rather than purely administrative. “We don’t just use it for… a new policy or a new process. We actually make it fun and engaging as well. And we also add it into our social media strategy.”

Angela is proud of Paceline’s app, and rightfully so. “We highly advertise this app. We are the only property in our area that has its own individual app… It’s part of our community, it is in my opinion one of the biggest infrastructures we use,” she admits. “Everything ties into our app – wifi passwords, information on amenity spaces, reservations for amenity spaces. Especially now in pandemic times, you can’t just openly go use a space. So the reservations have been heavily used.”

Streamlined communication through the app

The team at Paceline quickly learned it was much more efficient to receive resident communications as a team rather than one-on-one. “We encourage our residents to communicate through the app at all times. Because you’re getting in contact with six of us versus one person that you might be calling.”

“Residents have been utilizing the Bulletin Board quite a bit too and we do heavily encourage that… we do have a lot of people who like to offload things when they move in and don’t have enough space. So we encourage use of the Bulletin Board for selling and gifting items,” Angela explains. “We are actually in the process of implementing our community pantry which we currently have in our lobby. We’ll be moving that to the Bulletin Board. So that way it encourages more resident engagement and gets them to know their neighbors more.”

Using their community app to support  local businesses

Even with one of the best apartment community apps, there is still one feature the team at Paceline is working to grow. “We’re trying to utilize the Marketplace more. So we’re actually getting in contact with local businesses. Because as you know, they have struggled. They’ve been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic due to closures… So we reached out to several local businesses to get exclusive deals for our community.”

We hope their Marketplace feature continues to flourish. But their number one feature? Angela confidently declares – is the messaging feature. “It’s literally like you’re text messaging your management company. You’re text messaging your residents. I think it’s our most heavily utilized tool within Zego Mobile Doorman… it’s open on all of our computer screens 24/7,” she says. “We probably check Mobile Doorman more than we check our actual email.” In fact, over 90% of their resident communication is through the app rather than a phone call or an email. “It’s real time engagement with your residents and your residents have real time engagement with you.”

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Honorable mentions for top apartment community apps

apartment community apps benefits for residents

The Selby (Tricon Residential)

Category: Large, 350+ units

The Selby community app stats

 

 

 

The Selby (Toronto, Ontario) has an app so engaging that 99% of units have at least one active resident. That is crazy impressive engagement! The team here relies heavily on the app for community messaging, Bulletin Board posts, and exclusive deals via Marketplace.

 

Eastown (Western National)

Category: Large, 350+ units

Eastown community app stats

The bright yellow colors used in Eastown Apartments (Los Angeles, CA)’s app are as eye-catching as their beautiful property. Easton is one of two Top 20 properties from Western National. The community relies on one of the best apartment community apps for safe and convenient amenity reservations.

 

apartment community apps amenity reservationsThe Bartlett (JBG Companies)

Category: Large, 350+ units

The Bartlett community app stats

The Bartlett (Bethesda, MD) uses their Zego Mobile Doorman app to its fullest capability! From Marketplace deals and amenity reservations to informative Content Tiles and maintenance request management, if we got it – The Bartlett is offering it to residents.

 

JeffJack Apartments (Lincoln Property Company)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

JeffJack apartments community app stats

It’s safe to say the team at JeffJack Apartments (Chicago, IL) are experts at resident communication. They use their app to promote events, provide important community updates and share exclusive deals through Marketplace.

 

Chroma (Korman Group)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

Chroma community app stats

Chroma (St. Louis, Missouri) pairs one of the top apartment community apps with plenty of gorgeous amenities. Residents can stay up to date on health guidelines, policies, reserve spaces and access a great selection of Marketplace Deals.

 

Optima Signature (Lincoln Property Company)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

Optima signature community app stats

Who doesn’t love resident perks? Optima Signature (Chicago, IL) has created one of our most extensive Marketplaces, promoting deals for  everything from local rock climbing gyms, delicious restaurant deals to car detailing. No wonder it made the list of best apartment community apps!

 

220 Twentieth Street (JBG Companies)

Category: Medium, 200-349 units

220 twentieth community app

The lucky residents at 220 Twentieth Street (Arlington, VA) enjoy one of the best apartment community apps with a beautifully curated Marketplace full of exclusive local and national deals. The staff has also created engaging Content Tiles highlighting community events. One of their events was a virtual yoga classes using our Virtual Online Events feature!

 

Bellecour Way (Western National)

Category: Small, 0-199 units

Bellecour way community app stats

Bellecour Way Apartment Homes (Lake Forest, California) used one of the top apartment community apps to offer residents a convenient and safe way of reserving amenity spaces during the COVID-19 Pandemic this year.  As we all know, this process is new to us all. So hats off to their staff for navigating it so well.

 

Gibson (Tablerock Residential)

Category: Small, 0-199 units

The Gibson community app stats

Gibson Apartments (Boise, Idaho) made the list of our top apartment community apps because of their high resident engagement. App users at this community averaged 1,340 interactions with their Zego Mobile Doorman app in the  last year. That is the highest number of interactions on our list, congratulations Gibson!

 

apartment community apps social media contestBristol Court (Quadreal)

Category: Small, 0-199 units

Bristol court community app stats

The residents at Bristol Court (Mississauga, Ontario) are entertained with fun activities like Holiday Selfie Contests, Halloween Coloring Contents and Gift Card Giveaways. The property staff does an amazing job of using their Zego Mobile Doorman app to keep residents up to date on all the fun.

 

apartment community apps home screenFifteen15 (Quadreal)

Category: Small, 0-199 units

Fifteen15 community app stats

Fifteen15 (Calgary, Alberta) does a fantastic job of using their Zego Mobile Doorman app to engage their community. Their Bulletin Board is very popular among residents –  full of posts sharing well wishes, offering goods/services. and selling items.

 

District North (Cornerstone Residential)

Category: Small, 0-199 units

District north community app stats

The sleek color scheme of District North Apartments’ (Salt Lake City, Utah) Zego Mobile Doorman app makes for a great introduction to their community for new residents. In addition to the pleasing aesthetics, they property staff rely on their app for messaging, reservations and package management.

 

apartment community apps party room reservationsThe Barclay (The Barclay Condominium Association)

Category: Small, 0-199 units

The Barclay community app stats

Last but certainly not least, The Barclay (Atlanta, GA) finishes up our list of the best apartment community app honorable mentions. This gorgeous high rise has created one of the top apartment community apps for amenity reservations, visitor notifications, and keeping their residents up to speed with frequently updated Content Tiles.

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