Luxury Rentals Use Apps to Pique Interest

The typical app allows the resident, with an easy swipe and tap, to complete tasks like paying the rent, booking fitness classes, arranging dry cleaning, reserving common areas for parties, receiving package notifications or telling the resident manager that you need your stove fixed. The Rose app offers discounts for neighborhood businesses looking to promote themselves.

“Some of it is as basic as: ‘How do I reserve things? I want to have friends over for a barbecue on Saturday night. How do I know I can reserve the barbecue?’” said J. Brian Peters, Rose’s chief operating officer.

At 555 10th Avenue, a new Hudson Yards development, a residential app is a “very important aspect” of the building, said Laura Kirschbaum, the vice president for development at Extell.

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The app for 7 West 21st Street includes pet services.

“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of engagement,” Ms. Kirschbaum said. Ninety-three percent of residents pay their rent through the app, for example, she said, adding, “We’re doing everything through apps.”

Residential apps are flourishing as the luxury market, particularly in Manhattan, cools off. With prices plateauing and demand slackening, developers and building managers are turning to new toys to lure prospective tenants.

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At 7 West 21st Street, an 18-story Flatiron rental building, there are many aspects of modern luxury living, including party rooms to reserve and a fitness center.

Suddenly, steep prices need to justify themselves, and a rooftop garden is not enough.

“This notion of buildings developing apps to communicate with their tenants and make it more convenient is a great example of how buildings and developers are thinking creatively about alternative concessions and incentives,” said Lauren Riefflin, a senior manager for marketing and communications at…

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