HqO Product Series: How Software Makes Tenant Engagement A Daily Habit

Black iPhone 11 being held with a body of water and a city skyline behind it. HqO's tenant experience app looks to drive user engagement through similar mobile devices in the pockets of tenants worldwide.
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Editor’s Note: This is the first blog in a series that dives deep on product strategy and our commitment to deliver world-class user experience within our tenant experience app. Tenant engagement is critical for landlords and property managers. At HqO, it’s our goal to empower them with software that helps them increase tenant retention, create a leasing differentiator, access data intelligence that drives asset strategy, and elevate their asset and portfolio branding. Here’s an inside look at how we do it.

Tenant Experience Apps Are Driven by Tenant Engagement

If a tenant experience app (TeX) has no active users, is it still a tenant experience app? The answer is likely no. “If you build it they will come,” could not be further from the truth when it comes to software. “If you build it, they won’t know” or “if you build it they might check it out once and then forget about it among their 182 other apps” feels more accurate.

On average, over 70% of users stop using a mobile app within three days of install. The most successful apps — the ones you may have on your coveted front-page real estate — likely have one thing in common: you use them almost every day.

That’s why one way to look TeX apps is as tenant engagement apps. It’s that engagement that leads to the valuable experiences the HqO app, and by extension the landlords we work with, deliver.

So, therein lies our challenge: how do we create a mobile product people use every day? This was one of the first questions we asked ourselves as we set out to build the HqO platform.

We knew that we couldn’t simply provide a laundry list of features and hope people used them. Rather, we needed to make sure that we did whatever we could to make the app part of a daily routine. It had to become habitual.

Habits Drive Behaviors … and Tenant Engagement Apps

About 50% of our daily behavior is habit driven. Considering how much of our daily life is influenced by unconscious thought, it is no surprise that companies seek to tap into this psychology in order to influence our daily patterns. In his bestselling book, Hooked, Author Nir Eyal lays out a playbook for creating habit-forming products. In the simplest terms, creating habits boils down to a four-step process: triggers, actions, rewards, and investments.

A trigger is a cue that drives a user toward an action. An action is anything a user does as a result of a trigger to get them to the “reward” in a product. The reward generates a sense of validation or happiness for the user. Finally, the investment is the small bit of work that ensures the user comes back to the app again. The four-step cycle is key to driving habit-forming behavior.

Here’s how it looks in practice: A tenant receives a push notification (trigger) notifying them that chair massages will be available one day next week. Excited about the prospect of a chair massage, the user opens the app and books the chair massage (action). The user receives a confirmation for their massage (reward) as well as a request that the user sign up for reminders whenever chair massages come on site. The user opts-in to receiving more notifications about upcoming services (the investment). Now, the user will receive more notifications about similar services moving forward, thus increasing the likelihood that they continue to engage with the product.

Voilà: by focusing on each step of the cycle, we’ve set up a “hook” that drives habit-forming behavior.

How to Discover Behavior in Your Tenant Engagement App

Creating a strong “hook” relies on understanding the internal triggers that drive user behavior. It also relies on creating a product experience that makes it as easy as possible for the user to take the action that results in a reward. So, how do we make sure that we’re on the right track? Today’s best software applications follow a simple but powerful framework for product development.

  • Listen
  • Improve
  • Iterate

Listen to Feedback

… and seek it out! You need to know what your users do and don’t like and want, what does and doesn’t work, what they’d like to see, how a feature could be improved, etc. By understanding what users really want, and analyzing how effectively the product gives it to them, we have the opportunity to take those learnings and invest in rapid, meaningful improvements.

Integrate Changes and Improve Tenant Experience

It’s really this simple. Are you able to give tenants and users what they want? Do it. And don’t be afraid to cut bait with things that aren’t working. What’s the point in having feedback and behavioral data if you’re not going to use it?

Continually Release New Iterations

Are we ever really “done?” The short answer is no. There’s always something that can be improved, added, removed, sped up, debugged, and so on, so continue the process. Don’t be afraid to push out a minimally viable product (MVP) because you’re not sure what the user wants. The best way to figure that out is by getting feedback and data from … yup, the users themselves!

Learn, iterate, improve, measure, repeat. We release updates to our product constantly. We learn from users, implement changes based on feedback and data, and measure success. This rapid process keeps us in line with users and ensures we’re constantly improving the experience to drive engagement.

Give the People What They Want!

At the end of the day, we’re here to make sure you have the most successful product possible. By connecting tenants to assets and other people around them, you’ll improve their experiences, drive engagement, and make them habitual users of their TeX apps.

For more information on how HqO’s tenant experience app can drive engagement and the benefits that come with it, schedule a demo today!

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