Multifamily Housing Display Boards: Best Practices for Engaging Content

In multifamily housing communities nationwide, property owners are using the latest advances in proptech to install digital display boards to their list of amenities. These investments are well-known for modernizing building aesthetics, reducing the amount of time management teams devote to resident communication, and boosting tenant satisfaction scores.

But before community managers jump into this area of prop-tech without carefully weighing their options—the experience of this proptech can be intimidating, time-consuming, and even disappointing. They must first have the right tools for the job and understand the basics of screen creation, content management, and how to keep residents engaged with their displays. Best practices for managing residential display boards are easy to master, provided you have the right tools and the right partner.

Whether you’re struggling with screen management or trying to avoid common frustrations before setting up your displays, there are several best practices you’ll want to explore, tips that could help you keep your content engaging, streamline your workflow, and optimize the value of your residential screens.

How to Create Displays Residents in Multifamily Housing Enjoy Watching

Property owners may spend a considerable amount of time exploring the general advantages of digital display boards before installing them in their lobbies, elevator banks, and other high-traffic common areas. But they’re not typically the people using them. That task is most often assigned to their property managers and team members. Often, these end users are expected to figure out how to make the best use of the technology on their own. That can be problematic.

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Most companies making the prop-tech needed to install digital display boards or convert HDMI-capable displays don’t effectively customize the software their subscribers need to create property messaging screens or provide the type of programming that ensures tenant engagement. Some don’t even try. They leave those software and service decisions to end-users. So, let’s start there. The following essentials ensure you’ll have everything you need to create eye-catching screens in minutes and keep your residents watching.

User-Friendly Screen Creation Software

When screen creation takes up too much time, managers tend to put off updating their display boards. As the task moves further down their list of priorities, residents stop watching because they see the same rotation of screens multiple times each day for weeks at a time. But don’t give up just yet. It’s relatively easy to reestablish your management/tenant connection by replacing your software.

As you’re evaluating your options, consider the level of training provided and scope of themes in a provider’s template libraries. Having a varied selection of professionally designed, easily customizable screens at your disposal will streamline your processes. You’ll know you’ve found the right software when you have an easy-to-use interface, ample templates, and the inspiration you need to create, upload, and publish your content from a single, user-friendly interface.  

The Ability to Choose How and When Your Screens Are Displayed

Most property managers like to display important messages full screen. But that shouldn’t be the only option. Instead, look for software that makes it easy to diversify how your messages can be displayed. The best providers offer full-screen messages in rotation and options for persistent display of your most important messages. Instead of your residents having to wait for message screens to scroll through an entire rotation to find the information they need, you can reserve a portion of your digital display board for static windows.

Static windows have multiple use cases including resident directories, emergency alerts, and personalized messages from your staff or options to choose data feeds such as weather, stock market and more. The best screen display software not only lets you choose where and when your messages are displayed, but it also allows you the ability to designate duration and placement in your rotation. In addition, you should be able to schedule publication dates in advance.

Turnkey Content Programming that Adds Value to Your Display Boards

Property messages alongside generic feeds and static, irrelevant or uninteresting information will never get the long-term attention that makes your prop-tech an amenity. Some digital display companies entirely underestimate the value of engaging tenants with the right programming. When that happens, you may have to attempt to come up with content sources of your own.

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That’s something you don’t want to leave to chance or invest all your time in. The best way to ensure your tenants pay attention to your digital display board is to find a partner that offers a turnkey programming mix curated by a team of editors that tenants will appreciate and enjoy watching. As you’re comparing content providers, look for companies offering a bite-sized mix of expertly curated content or a choice of selecting your own programming from their carefully crafted editorial calendar and sourced from leading, world-class providers.

Exploring Best Practices for Streamlining Your Processes and Optimizing Engagement

Once you have the right mix of programming, customizable templates, and flexible publishing tools, everything else will fall into place. You’ll have everything you need to automate multiple resource-intensive tasks, meaning more time for planning and promoting resident engagement opportunities, developing referral programs, and building a sense of community. Tenants who feel part of an active, vibrant residential community are more likely to renew their leases than those who do not.

After streamlining your processes with the best combination of software and programming for your residential community, you’ll feel a lot more confident in your ability to utilize your display to the mutual benefit of your management team and tenants. 

The following six tips for streamlining your processes and ensuring optimal engagement might seem complicated at first glance, but it won’t take long before they become routine.

Tip #1: Update Your Displays Frequently to Keep Your Content Fresh

Efficient, effective resident communication is vital in multifamily housing. You’ll know you’re working with the right content management system when you can create and publish eye-catching screens in minutes. This capability will keep your content fresh, which means your residents will keep watching for updates. 

With the right mix of creative templates, content suggestions and user-friendly software, frequent updates are simple—you can quickly and efficiently inform your community of property upgrades, maintenance issues, upcoming events, and more. Efficient communication builds trust.

Tip #2: Layer In Reminders that Support Your Property Goals

Every property manager has short-term and long-term goals. When those goals involve your tenants, your message board could be one of the most impactful tools in your digital toolbox. Message boards are the ideal location for reminding your residents of policy changes, encouraging property app downloads, alerting them of maintenance updates and promoting new initiatives. You can also use the proptech to layer in notifications that keep residents and their visitors informed of upcoming vacancies or promote amenities that drive incremental revenue.

Tip #3: Prep and Personalize Seasonal Messages in Advance

Customizable templates make personalizing seasonal messages nearly effortless. When you have the ability to plan your screen deployment schedule in advance using the templates included with your screen creation software, it’s easy to stay ahead of the holiday rush. These types of messages while simple to produce and schedule can have a big impact on creating goodwill in your community and help keep the content on screen fresh. 

Tip #4: Create and Schedule Important Community Announcements

When your screen creation and management software is accessible from nearly any internet-capable device, you can create and schedule planned announcements from anywhere in advance. Take community improvement projects, for example. 

Once you’ve gotten approval or are informed of upcoming plans, you can create announcement screens and alerts for any changes that could impact your community while the work is in progress, including any temporary closures, to avoid last-minute scrambling. 

This strategy has multiple benefits. On one side residents always want to be informed and feel “in the know.” Additionally, notices in advance of work avoid the inevitable inquiries asking about projects or disruptions which eases the burden of fielding those requests on the management team. And finally, announcing and positioning maintenance as “upgrades” allows your team to promote your ongoing commitment to property improvements.

Tip #5: Intentionally Incorporate Your Screens into Your Resident Engagement Strategy

Using message boards to invite residents to community-building activities can encourage an impressive turnout. As you’re customizing the invitations and reminders you’ll need in the weeks and months ahead of each activity, consider embedding QR codes into your messaging. Not only will you know that every resident is aware of an event, but making it easy for residents to RSVP directly from their smartphones can make your building feel more modern and streamline your event planning processes.

Tip #6: Use a Turnkey Partner that Provides Screen Creation and Publishing Assistance as Needed  

Digital signage software providers that prioritize customer support and provide exceptional service should never be more than an email or phone call away. If you have any problems creating or scheduling your tenant messaging screens, you should be able to count on your provider for prompt assistance. 

This includes everything from help setting up your screens to navigating technical challenges. As you’re comparing software features and functions, remember to consider consumer satisfaction scores—often a good indicator of customer support.  

Optimize Tenant Engagement with Residential Digital Display Boards   

In multifamily housing nationwide, property owners and management teams can transform HDMI-capable screens into display boards that help automate tenant messaging, streamline workflows, and give residents even more reasons to love where they live. To learn more about the advantages of transforming your screens with one of the fastest-growing sectors of property management technology available, visit Captivate.

Multifamily housing owners partnering with Captivate have the option of investing in a fully managed network with full-service hardware installation or connecting a Captivate | Go plug-and-play device to their existing screens. Captivate’s user-friendly, intuitive ScreenCenter™ content management software (CMS) makes it easy to create professional-looking screens in minutes. In addition, your invitations, reminders, and alerts are published alongside engaging content from well-known sources that your residential communities value. When you’re ready to get started, submit a contact form.

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