App Tips from Property Manager, Betsey Jenswold


WILMINGTON, NC – June 8, 2018 – Last month, Communiqué team sponsored the annual Preiss Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA. During the conference trade show, we took the time to recognize the property managers of four Preiss Company communities with the highest rate of Preiss App downloads.


Click here to read more about The Preiss Leadership Conference.


Among them was Betsy Jenswold, property manager of Collegiate Commons, a student housing community in Greensboro, NC. Currently, 63% of Collegiate Commons residents are actively using the Preiss Mobile App to communicate with staff, check out packages, submit work orders, and more! We asked Betsy to share with us some secrets of her success, and here’s what we learned:


63% is impressive, especially for a site that has been using the Preiss App by Communiqué for less than a year. How did you do it?

On move-in day for student residents, we have a check-in spot where they’ll go to get everything they need – information, keys, etc. Before we give them any of that, we have them download the app right there in front of us.


Have you had any residents who have refused?

Nope. They all seem eager to download the app. And then you know, they’ll have their parents with them. Once parents hear us say it’s the primary way we’ll be communicating with their kid, they’ll make sure he or she downloads it. Sometimes they’ll go ahead and download it themselves!


What is something unique your staff does to encourage app downloads?

We’re just constantly reminding them. For example, I’ll ask a tenant if he heard about a function or event coming up and when they respond “no”, I tell them if they had the app they would’ve known about it. Then I’ll ask them to download it and login right then and there.


What sort of functions or events tend to draw a crowd?

We do something called Free Franks Friday. It’s by far our most popular event. We’ll send a message out through the app saying the hotdogs are ready and residents just come flooding in.



What app feature do you and your staff use the most?

I’ll use my phone to send messages. I’ll be at home getting in bed for the night and I’ll remember something I needed to tell residents about, like if there’s scheduled maintenance, and I’m able to send a message to them right then when I remember. Or, another example, about a month and a half ago a tornado hit three blocks away from the property. Fortunately, it didn’t hit us, but the power was out. Some of the staff, myself included, weren’t at the property at the time so we were able to send a message while we sat in traffic letting them know we were on the way. We told them what was going on, and how they can contact Duke Energy to find out more about when their power would be back.


What do you love most about having the app?

It’s just the best way to communicate. We don’t have to go around knocking or putting up flyers on residents’ doors anymore. It’s a greener way of doing things and a less time-consuming way of doing things.


If you had to give a single piece of advice to other property managers, what would you tell them?

Just make sure residents know about the app. Find out which feature appeals to them the most and use that to promote. On our app, we have all of our courtesy contact information easily accessible. Residents love that feature because it’s so easy for them to just email us through the app. We also included the number for Augie escort, a service that will come escort students home if ever they feel unsafe walking back at night. Both residents and parents really like that. I actually hear it from parents all the time how much they love having the app. They like to see what’s going on. Another thing that’s worked well for us is hosting events and offering incentives, like “first 20 people to download the app can get this gift card.”