In Blog Articles, Residential Real Estate

Like most companies today, luxury real estate portfolio management companies are striving to increase the satisfaction of their ‘customers’—the owners and renters of luxury units in large developments. At the same time, they are tasked with improving the bottom line through increased efficiencies and revenues.

To tackle these challenges, developers and management companies are turning to mobile technology to get a single point of integration for all business processes and service offerings for their residents.

For example, a property management company’s mobile app and Web portal can be integrated with the systems of an onsite, third-party valet company or restaurant. This integration enables residents to use the property management company’s custom branded app to arrange for valet service or make a dinner reservation at the onsite restaurant.

These types of integrations are available today. Crescent Heights, a leading luxury developer and management company turned to Simplikate, (recently acquired by Phunware) a provider of custom turnkey mobile app solutions, to develop a mobile app for use by residents of its properties.

The Crescent Heights mobile app enhances the experience for residents of Crescent Heights’ NEMA high-rise apartment building in San Francisco in at least 8 compelling ways. Using the app, NEMA residents can:


  1. Book property amenities, such as personal trainers and massage therapists.
  2. View a calendar of events at the property, such as yoga classes.
  3. View and track package deliveries.
  4. Browse and obtain discounts from nearby restaurants, retailers, spa services, and house cleaning services.
  5. Easily interact with management, concierge and valet services.
  6. Pay their rent.
  7. Arrange for visitors.
  8. Request work orders and repairs.

Crescent Heights’ mobile app enhances the value for its residents while also helping to more efficiently manage the property. This played a major role in NEMA’s recent 2014 IBcon award for “Most Intelligent Building – Multi-Family.”

In the past, developing an ongoing, meaningful connection to residents wasn’t practical using mobile technology. Custom app development was often prohibitively expensive at $350,000 and up. The complexities of maintaining custom mobile apps were another deal killer. Building apps that work well on all Android flavors as well as iOS can be challenging enough on its own, particularly for companies with limited IT resources.

Today, however, luxury real estate portfolio management companies can build a custom mobile app for multiple platforms for under $200,000 using a cloud-based mobile and multiscreen-as-a-service platform. Such platforms give portfolio management companies great flexibility in managing, analyzing, and optimizing the resident experience.

The benefits to property management companies can be significant. Offering a mobile app can make older properties feel ‘hip’ and ‘new’ again, attracting residents who might have ignored the property otherwise. An app gives a luxury building or real estate development a competitive edge, differentiating it from its many competitors. It can help keep residents happy, which can translate into a lower turnover rate and more positive word-of-mouth.

Ultimately, owners and residents are growing to expect more from large luxury properties—and a branded mobile app is an affordable, effective way to deliver on those expectations.

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