Modern Message Gamifying Apartment Living With App

Residents can use the Community Rewards app to pay rent, file a maintenance request, take a survey, send out alerts, and find event information.

modern message

Dallas startup Modern Message wants to gamify apartment living with its new updated Community Rewards app.

Residents can use the app to pay rent, file a maintenance request, take a survey, send out alerts, and find event information. Other companies are developing similar apps, but Modern Message gamified it by allowing residents to earn reward points that can be redeemed for gift cards

Residents can be rewarded for paying rent early, renewing their lease, or taking a survey, for example. Positive social media posts about their apartment can also earn them rewards. And more features are coming out next year.

The Community Rewards app is already in 1,500 apartment complexes throughout North America and CEO John Hinckley said he wants to expand to Europe soon. 

“It’s an opportunity for us to really be a critical part of daily resident life and provide a service that makes our client’s lives much easier.” 

John Hinckley

“It’s an opportunity for us to really be a critical part of daily resident life and provide a service that makes our client’s lives much easier,” Hinckley said.

The team of 18 employees is already working with Greystar, Lincoln Property Company, Gables, and other big property management companies. Most of the clients are Class A and B properties and student housing.

The company, located on the 12th floor of St. Paul Place in downtown Dallas, received $500,000 from angel investors and is currently in the process of doing a Series A funding round. Hinckley, a Dallas native, declined to name the dollar amount but said he would release it at a later date.

Modern Message launched the Community Rewards app in 2013 after working on it for two years. Its revenue has grown by triple digits annually since its launch, according to Hinckley.

Initially, it was a marketing tool to give residents a forum to post positive messages about their apartment complex.

“Most people only talk about their apartments when they’re really upset about something,” Hinckley said. “People who are having a good experience are not really talking because that’s their expectations.”

The updated app launched Dec. 8 with new user experiences, levels, and badges that residents can put toward gift cards to stores and Amazon. The new features have been in the works since March.

In 2017, it will launch a new community tab and an event tab. There will be a digital feed where residents can ask questions about the complex. Modern Message is also thinking up new ways for residents to level up and receive bonus points.

Hinckley’s goal is to make Community Rewards the dominant app for apartments around the world, much like Nextdoor has become for neighborhoods.

“It’s our objective to make Community Rewards a global brand that everyone recognizes as we look to expand beyond North America,” Hinckley said.


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