Elevated Living Blog

A Property Manager's Guide to Multifamily Portals vs. Platforms

Smart luxury brands know that multifamily residents interact through multiple devices and channels–before, during, and after leasing. That's where an engagement platform comes in, allowing property teams to manage their residents’ experiences. If your property management team is unsure about what's best for business or building` needs, read on to find out more about each option's strengths and weaknesses.

The Basic Portal Solution



A resident portal is a tool that allows you to manage community options through one central hub. With "technology only" features that give residents easy access to rent payment and maintenance requests, resident portals are limited. A portal is a basic solution that offers residents and management some of the core functionality of an engagement platform. 
Benefits include ease of use for residents and property teams to coordinate maintenance requests, as well as access to resident rental history, preferences, and payment schedule. A key advantage of using a portal is its low cost.

While portals provide many benefits, they do not provide the level of functionality needed by today's luxury multifamily communities. Services like house cleaning, dog walkers, or personal trainers are not included in a basic portal. It also doesn't have the ability to communicate with guests or manage guest requests like concierge assistance. A basic resident portal can't provide any perks programs either, which means no gift cards or gifting capabilities.
The portal is the most basic solution for managing your community. It's a place where residents can go to access information about the property and make payments, but it doesn't have all of the bells and whistles that an engagement platform offers. Engagement platforms are all-inclusive, meaning they include all of the features of a portal and also provide lifestyle services to residents.

Engagement Platforms That Delight



Both portals and engagement platforms are designed to help property teams communicate with residents or guests, but that’s where the similarities end. Portals help manage resident information, but not necessarily engage them, whereas engagement platforms are where you can find resident-facing app features. An engagement platform provides additional functionality beyond simple communication that makes it easier for staff to manage operations and more efficient on-site operations. Luxury platforms even include options like amenity reservations, third party service providers, and complete flexibility for future-proof changes.

If the portal is a base model Yugo, the platform is a souped-up Ferrari. 


An engagement platform is designed to improve community engagement and encourage resident participation in activities. Luxury platforms include all of the features of a portal, plus the ability to engage residents with a full suite of lifestyle services. A platform is more than just a portal, it's also a way to communicate with guests. This means you can create automated communication campaigns that send out messages on your white label app based on certain criteria or set up interactive surveys and polls to learn more about what residents like or dislike.


Lifestyle services not traditionally associated with property management can make a huge difference in the experience for residents and guests. Concierge services like car detailing, tv mounting, massage, and much more can be added to your white label platform. For example, properties in an area where it's common for people to travel by boat or private helicopter such as South Florida, might offer yacht cleaning services or helipad scheduling.
In the end, it comes down to deciding what your goals are and then finding the best tool for the job. If you want to keep costs down, a portal may be better suited for your property’s budget. If your property team is looking for something more flexible that can grow with business, an engagement platform is the better choice.