In multifamily communities nationwide, property owners and their management teams are making the best use of the latest prop-tech to streamline their processes and modernize their buildings. If you’ve spent any amount of time browsing vacancy notifications to keep tabs on the competition, you’ve likely noticed more than a few list display screens as an amenity.
After seeing their (or similar) technology in action, you’ve probably also noticed that property-managed screens in some locations look as if they’ve been created by a graphic design team. Others, well, they’re a bit “rustic.” The person creating the unpolished screens probably didn’t have access to the best digital signage software.
Your experience illustrates an important point. Whether you’re planning to install new equipment or leaning towards using a simple plug-and-play device to connect your existing HDMI-capable screens to a fully managed network, the software included with your service matters.
Let’s take a look at the features needed to ensure you have the ability to create, upload, and publish eye-catching, professional-looking screens in minutes. When you know what to look for, the rest is easy.
Why Property Managers Need to Choose the Best Digital Signage Software for Screen Creation
For residents living in multifamily properties, modern digital signage is a valued source of information and entertainment, a perk they appreciate and enjoy watching. For building owners, the same displays are part of a cost-effective tenant communication solution.
Property managers with comprehensive software supporting their investment use it to automate resource-intensive tasks, keep residents informed of the latest developments, leverage it as part of their safety & security protocols, drive incremental revenue, and impress visitors.
But as you’ve discovered, many companies providing the technology needed to upload custom property notices to the screens installed in residential lobbies, elevators, and other high-traffic common areas put little (if any) effort into creating compatible, user-friendly screen-creation software. When navigating screen creation takes too much time to master or is generic and forgettable, updates move further down the to-do list, tenant communication stalls, and residents stop paying attention.
Achieving Your Communication Goals: Features to Look for When Comparing Software Options
An impressive list of modern amenities will certainly attract new tenants. But it’s the quality of the overall residential experience that determines if they have enough incentive to stay. Do the amenities feel modern and technology-forward, or are they dated, drawing attention to an aging building?
At the same time, when property managers don’t have the time or resources needed to build positive tenant relationships or take steps to ensure their residents feel valued and informed, hastily worded email notifications and subsequent reminders can come across as cold, impersonal, unnecessarily harsh and let’s be honest – annoying. The resulting miscommunication, misunderstandings, and strained relationships can be costly.
Keeping your residents informed and engaged in a modern, creative way can go a long way toward ensuring tenant satisfaction and maximum occupancy. When your tenant messaging screens are created with software that optimizes your digital signage for viewer engagement and enjoyment, everyone wins.
To take full advantage of the many benefits of using digital signage in your residential community, evaluate the software included with your service based on the following seven criteria.
#1: Screen Creation Tools & Customizable Templates
Ideally, you’ll want all the features that enhance your communication screens accessible from a single interface. Your tools should be intuitive and easy to manage. For most property managers, solutions that provide professionally designed, customizable templates are the best option because it takes less time to work with a pre-built screen than to start from square one.
Before subscribing to a network, browse their template library. If the images are categorized, take note of the various themes. There should be enough variety to ensure you can cover as many topics and occasions as possible without having to overhaul the original designs, templates to cover resident events, announcements of new amenities, maintenance alerts, and more.
#2: Custom Content Window Creation
Custom content windows provide multiple ways to meet your property’s communication needs. They reserve a portion of your screen for broadcasting content that remains on display as your full-sized user-generated messages cycle through their rotation. It’s a feature you can use for automated data feeds, to display custom property directories, to broadcast alerts and reminders, or to provide space for your staff to upload personalized messages. The best digital signage software allows you to control the programming feed and rotation frequency of your window.
#3: Remote Screen Management
When the unexpected happens, you’ll want to notify your residents as quickly as possible. Most appreciate knowing their property managers and maintenance teams are aware of unfortunate disruptions and are taking steps to resolve the matter quickly. When screen creation software is cloud-based and accessible from any PC, tablet, or smartphone, your entire residential community can be notified of maintenance issues at any time, even after hours.
With remote screen management capabilities, you can also help keep your tenants safe by using your digital signage software to alert residents to weather advisories, hazardous road conditions, or potential security threats as they happen, whether you’re managing one screen or a network spanning multiple locations. Transparency builds trust.
#4: Integration with Engaging Day-to-Day Content
Multiple companies offer the technology needed to upload property management messages to digital signage. But many service providers format their screens to work like an electronic billboard, meaning their software scrolls through the same content with little to no variation. Others simultaneously stream generic, dull RSS feeds.
Again, tenants who expect to see the same uninspired screens every day eventually stop paying attention. When that happens, residential messaging screens are less effective and can lose much of their value as an amenity.
Ideally, your digital signage software should come from a network provider who will merge your custom property message screens seamlessly with current, actively curated programming that continually engages your residents over the course of each day. This includes a bite-sized mix of news, health and lifestyle information, weather reports, real-time transit updates, and more—provided by reputable, recognizable sources.
#5: Interactive Elements
As you’re comparing software features, you’ll also want to consider any interactive elements included in the program, such as QR codes. Adding a QR code to your customized template is a quick, technology-driven element that your residents can easily scan with the camera installed on their smartphones.
It’s technology you can use for things like RSVPs to hosted events, encouraging participation in resident satisfaction surveys, notifying residents of upcoming policy changes, and providing more in-depth answers to frequently asked questions.
Residents value the convenience, and community managers appreciate the way the automation reduces the amount of time needed to respond to queries, track notification acknowledgments, and compile survey data.
#6: A Safe Digital Environment
Although your tenants enjoy having programming on the digital signage in your common areas, broadcasting anything on a residential screen that could be considered inflammatory, factually questionable, or inappropriate for a family-oriented viewing environment can leave a sour impression on residents.
As you’re comparing network providers and their digital signage software, take a few minutes to confirm you’ll be working with a company that prioritizes a safe content experience. Reputable media networks rely on expert content curation to ensure an engaging yet controversy-free viewing experience.
#7: Subscriber Service & Support
Digital signage software providers that prioritize their subscribers are never more than a phone call or email away. With the right support staff in your corner, you’ll have an experienced team you can count on for assistance with everything from the installation of your plug-and-play device to full training of software to any challenges that may arise during the life of your service.
You should also consider the company’s consumer satisfaction scores before finalizing your decision. Companies with impressive CSAT scores aren’t shy about revealing where they stand.
Modernize Your Building with Only the Best Digital Signage Software for Tenant Communication
In multifamily properties nationwide, property owners and administrators are investing in the latest proptech to streamline communication and give their tenants even more reasons to love where they live. In communities with digital screens installed in their elevators, lobbies, and common areas, having the best digital signage software is a business essential.
With the right software, you can create eye-catching, professional-looking screens with streamlined efficiency by either creating your message or selecting from expertly designed prebuilt templates. The final step should include simply uploading your screen to a message library, with options like choosing your display frequency, and then immediately publishing your content. That should be all there is to it.
Captivate screens are capturing the attention of residents in multifamily buildings and student housing facilities from coast to coast. Our technology eliminates the need to invest in a lot of expensive hardware. All you need to get started is an HDMI-compatible screen and our simple Captivate | Go plug-and-play device. With our ScreenCenter™ content management system, you don’t need graphic design experience to create professional-looking, eye-catching messages.
And once you’ve published your message, it’s displayed full screen alongside our expertly curated programming mix—the type of content residential communities value and look forward to engaging with. According to our most recent tenant survey, an impressive 92% of residents find Captivate-powered screens informative, and 83% would be disappointed if the service was no longer available. To raise your digital signage to modern amenity status and streamline your communication, submit a contact form and let’s get started.
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