If you’re an early adopter, changes in technology can keep you very busy. But just because something is newer doesn’t always make it better. When it comes to investing in and adopting new technology for your properties, it’s important to determine whether the proposed technology influences or improves a number of key factors. Here are some of the questions to consider when assessing new aspects of your online presence:
- Is it user-centered? This is a crucial litmus test for every apartment technology you consider adopting. If it interferes with the simplicity and usability of the user’s experience, then it holds real potential to damage or stunt online growth and penetration.
- How does it affect conversion? Every now and then something comes along that is so cool it makes our inner-nerd giddy. But, regardless of the “wow” factor, we need to be constantly mindful of the ultimate goal: turning prospective residents into actual residents. That means analyzing how every new technology will help you realize small conversions (clicking on a call-to-action) and large ones (visiting your community or reserving a unit) more efficiently. If it isn’t effective (no matter how cool) it probably isn’t worth your time.
- How does it affect speed and reliability? Consumer expectations drive new technologies at breakneck speed. Users don’t tolerate websites or online processes that are too slow or buggy… they simply move on. So, if the technology in question is faster and more reliable then that’s a substantial benefit to consider.
- Is it device-agnostic? We live in a world where new devices are released continuously. Whether it’s smartphones or tablets or those tablet-laptop hybrids that are popping up, people are using new devices every day. Regardless of the user’s device or browser, your technology should provide a great experience that’s simple and easy to use.
- Does it connect to the user on an emotional level? At the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, technology is simply a channel through which actual people interact with each other. So at its core, your company’s online presence should facilitate real connections users by creating true engagement opportunities. Delight your users. Leave a long-lasting impression.
- Does it use understood patterns and conventions? Regardless of the speed of technology, people have come to understand specific design patterns and conventions that should be respected. So really, there should be a balance between complying with convention and striving to innovate in ways that are helpful to the user. Any proposed technology should drive toward that goal.
Technology decisions should be made strategically and with great care so that, at the end of the day, everything you do either explicitly or implicitly improves efficiency, usability, and purpose. I’d like to hear from you, too – What’s one of the questions you ask when considering new technologies?