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August 2, 2019
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Tiffany Houkom

Steps to Simplify Architectural Change Requests for Seniors

Last month we shared advice on how property management companies can help seniors with remodeling projects. With the high rate of scammers targeting the elderly, it’s a good idea to do what you can to help your residents avoid getting taken advantage of.

87% of seniors desire to stay in their current homes rather than moving into a retirement community, nursing home, or assisted living facility. If you have a large senior population in your community, there’s a good chance they’re planning to stay. But aging in place safely requires making certain enhancements to a home. That’s why it’s important that you make the process of submitting Architectural Change Requests easy for seniors. Here are some tips.

1). Understand that seniors are using technology

The belief that seniors aren’t adapting to new technology is false. Seniors are not only using technology but embracing it at a rapid rate. More than half of Americans 65 and older have broadband internet in their home, 67% use the internet, and 42% have smartphones. This group feels that technology is having a positive impact on their lives, and 75% report going online every day.

2). Find an intuitive solution

There are several community management providers that digitize the process of submitting, approving, and tracking ACRs. Find a solution that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate throughout. When demoing providers, make note of:

  • How many clicks or taps does it take to complete tasks?
  • Are bigger features, like ACRs, easy to find, complete, and submit?
  • Are the buttons and text throughout the platform easy to read?

Demoing providers ahead of time and asking the right questions will help ensure you find a solution that’s the right fit for the needs of your business, as well as your residential population.

3). Offer training sessions

While seniors are adopting new technology, they’re not afraid to admit when they need help learning how to use it. MarketWatch found that the vast majority of seniors reported the statement, “when I get a new electronic device, I usually need someone else to set it up or show me how to use it” describes them very well.

With that being said, seniors will be much more likely to adopt and use the technology you purchase if you take the time to teach them how to use it. Offer short training sessions on how to use the community management software and focus each session on a specific topic or feature. Keeping sessions short and sweet will ensure residents walk away feeling empowered rather than overwhelmed.

4). Make sure your team is using the software

If you want residents to submit ACRs and work orders, as well as reserve amenities using your software rather than picking up the phone, you need to make sure your team is quick to respond and properly trained. If your team is used to picking up phone calls, they might not think to continuously check the platform for new requests. If these requests go ignored, it’ll teach residents that the only way to get something done is by making a phone call, thus making the software useless.

Searching for a new community management software? Download our helpful checklist to guide your research.

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