Writer: Xu Yu
China has seen a rapid development of mobile Internet, e-commerce, and mobile payment in the last 5 years. But in the area of community life, there is still quite a big gap between the services offered by property management companies and the increasing demands of residents for a better life.
Except in some upscale communities, most property management services in China are quite poor. Management fee payment and facility maintenance should be easy for both owners and property management companies alike.
Traditional property management is a labor-intensive industry, and the labor costs have been on the rise for the last 10 years.
Due to various reasons, the price of management fees has remained almost unchanged for years, while housing prices, the cost of living, and labor costs have skyrocketed. For the property management industry, all this means ever dwindling margins, leading to lower wages, employees shortages and the generation of a vicious cycle within the industry.
Silin Community (四邻社区) has breathed new life into property management industry through information technologies by improving the efficiency of workers and reducing costs. For example, by improving the work efficiency of their employees, property management companies can complete the same volume of tasks with just 80% of the original number of staff.
Silin Community combined the mobile Internet, Internet of Things, and cloud computing to create a clever app for property owners and property management staff.
Residents can request repair services, provide suggestions and feedback, receive property management notices, and view the paid and unpaid bills (such as utilities and management fee) on the app’s residents interface.
On the property management interface, it shows completed and pending service orders and the names, phone numbers, and addresses of reporting residents.
- A resident reports an issue and optionally provides more details by taking photos of the objects to be repaired and uploading the images.
- The service order of the resident is automatically transferred to the community dispatch center, where the order is forwarded to available service
- A service personnel accepts the job and takes photos of the house number and site upon arrival to prove his/her presence at the owner’s house. The finished result, fees, and materials used are submitted once the work is done.
- The user pays with WeChat, Alipay, or cash, and signs and reviews the service on the property management app (Silin Assistant).
- Senior residents who are not familiar with app use or WeChat official accounts can still call the service.
In general, owners can report issues, raise queries, make complaints, pay bills, and make other requests 24/7 via phone call, WeChat official account, mobile app, or website. Residents can also check the progress of service personnel in real time via a mobile terminal.
The service helps save commuting time for service personnel and makes it easier for managers to assign jobs in the backend. It can also record the work status of property management employees to prevent slacking and provide reference data for the employee evaluation.
The property management can also easily view the fulfillment rate of weekly and monthly service order and the user satisfaction in the backend.
Silin Community also introduces the concept of sharing economy. Enterprises can participate in the platform as third-party providers after submitting relevant information and being approved by the system. Then the third-party providers can make profits from the tasks assigned to them by the platform, and the property management service can also increase its owner satisfaction through the expansion of its services.
In the future, Silin Community will expand the types of service providers into the platform, such as educational, medical, and financial service providers. For example, they can cooperate with banks to promote their financial products among community residents and make profits from rebates.
Silin Community also sells SaaS through property management companies. According to the founder, the price is not high (equal to the labor costs of 1 to 2 property management personnel) because at this stage they are aiming to win the trust of property management companies.
Currently, the project has served over 100 communities with over 10,000 resident users. Wu Gang, the founder of Silin Community, has over 15 years of experience in the development, operations, and management of third-party payment and household finance systems.