Steyn City is tapping into the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution while keeping its promise to create a lifestyle like no other by releasing an app that surpasses any other on the market.
More than a communication tool for residents, the Steyn City app has a plethora of options and deep functionality for homeowners, Steyn City staff and even guests, combining the features of some of the most popular ride-hailing, fitness, delivery, and community based apps in one central place.
“We were approached by Steyn City to develop an app that is focused on creating optimal convenience for residents, while building on the feeling of community that is so much a part of what makes Steyn City highly sought after,” says Jacques van Niekerk of Open Vantage, developers of the app.
Says Tammy Menton, Group Head: Marketing and Events at Steyn City and the brainchild and driving force behind the concept, “Steyn City is often referred to as the leader in property development in South Africa. As developers, our aim is to set the benchmark in large-scale mixed-use property development in South Africa, and this has required a unique approach to the manner in which our development has unfolded. Because of the massive upfront investment in Steyn City, we have gained notable attention and are now considered, unequivocally, THE residential address to watch. This way of thinking would need to apply in all spheres of the experience, at all possible touch points, from the first contact with Steyn City to the potential investor who wishes to make their greatest investment in our parkland residence.”
With this in mind, Menton continues, it was vital that the app offers functionality unseen anywhere else – which it does. “Obviously, a number of gated communities have implemented apps that allow them to maintain contact with homeowners and enable residents to generate access codes for the estate, but the Steyn City app is the first to offer functionality at this level,” Van Niekerk confirms.
That’s important, because it feeds into Steyn City’s promise to give residents more time. “Research tells us that South Africans spend eight hours a day on their phones, mostly using social media. Although one of our aims is to create a lifestyle rooted in connectedness, which necessarily means less screen time, we’re also realistic about whether or not that’s possible. Our app offers a real solution because although it taps into the digital nature of modern life, its features free up time so that there are more hours to spend doing what you love, with the people you love,” Menton comments.
Van Niekerk reports that the app’s existing functionality focuses on making it easier for residents to navigate the lifestyle resort. With this in mind, the first phase of the app includes onboarding of existing and future residents, managing household accounts and billings, and viewing and managing properties. Importantly, users can invite others to join their profile, so that their children, tenants, domestic workers and contractors may also be able to take part in the management of the property.
The app further features a content management and marketing element, where residents can advertise items and admin can post news. While this is standard for other industry apps, Steyn City’s offering is different because it enables users to make reservations at any of the service providers and vendors active at the lifestyle resort, from XIX restaurant at the Clubhouse, to the Nicklaus-design championship golf course.
A maintenance and fault logging function is also available, providing instant feedback to residents. “The convenience is significant,” Menton comments. “You simply open the app, identify and log the fault, and the head of the department responsible for that part of the lifestyle resort will receive instant notification. The app will notify the resident as soon as the issue is resolved.”
Given Steyn City’s accent on connecting people, Menton is particularly excited about the ‘clubs and societies’ feature, which – similar to a Facebook group – connects residents with common interests. For example, mountain biking enthusiasts living on the lifestyle resort can organise to meet, chat about upcoming events, post pictures and personal best times on the platform.
Speaking of events…for both residents and non-residents, the app will replace ticketing platforms by making it possible to book and pay for tickets for events taking place at the lifestyle resort, even allowing them to invite guests and taking care of security aspects such as providing an access code. “This is definitely something to look forward to, because Steyn City hosts so many wonderful events, like Africa’s first ‘Polo in the Park’,” Menton comments.
Other key features include a ‘Lost and Found’ section, which allows residents to tag all their possessions – from kids’ school books to golf clubs – with a unique scannable QR code, so that lost items are easily returned. “This is a particularly handy function when your beloved pet goes missing without your knowledge,” Menton points out.
The ‘Help’ and FAQ sections are handy guides to handling common problems, while the Classifieds are useful for homeowners looking to buy and sell items. Then there’s ‘Friendly Neighbourhood Services’, another feature entirely unique to Steyn City, which enables residents to advertise services they may offer to other residents, such as au pairing, tutoring, pet sitting, cake baking or vet care services at home – all in keeping with Steyn City’s desire to build and strengthen bonds between neighbours, Menton points out.
Because fitness and wellbeing is central to the Steyn City way of life, the next phase of the app introduces ‘Guided Trails’, a feature that offers residents a multitude of track and trail options, depending on their preferred sport, fitness level and goal distance. This feature will even tailor routes to incorporate the specific locations you would like to pass during your training session.
Security has also been addressed on the app, with functionality that ensures that all guests who receive an access code can be tracked while driving. Thus, if any visitor strays beyond the place they have come to experience – such as the golf club or restaurant – security will be alerted to a potential threat, and the resort’s roving guards will help them find the way to their intended destination.
Van Niekerk informs that other functionality will be added and enhanced over time, with a number of new innovations scheduled for release in 2020. Many of these revolve around the exciting goal of transforming Steyn City into a cashless society, so that residents can pay for everything from their meals at restaurants on the lifestyle resort to home deliveries and even utilities with the app. “You’ll be able to purchase gift vouchers and top up your children’s e-wallets, so that they can make their own purchases at the lifestyle resort,” Van Niekerk says.
Linked to this is another service on the offering – a ride-hailing service. The ultimate time-saver, this feature also spells convenience for parents, who can schedule lifts for their children with vetted Steyn City employed drivers to offer complete peace of mind. At the same time, Steyn City is preparing to introduce a shuttle service to business hubs like Rosebank, Sandton and Fourways. In the manner of overseas commutes, the shuttles will be fitted with wi-fi and fold-down trays, making it possible for businesspeople to respond to emails and complete deadlines, rather than wasting time in traffic.
A separate set of features is available for members of the general public, as the downloaded app will provide access for any visitor wishing to gain entry into the lifestyle resort, going forward. Steyn City will use this portal to regularly promote special deals on golf and restaurant experiences, early bird tickets and discounted rates for events, and access to view all available properties for sale, as well as opportunities to attend pre-launches of new property developments.
“This is definitely one of the larger and more exciting projects that we have worked on. With the large amount of exciting features, it will always be a developers’ favourite, and a true first,” Van Niekerk enthuses.
It’s a first for Steyn City, too – and, at a place known to wow the market on a regular basis, that’s no small feat. “We’re especially proud of this development and what it means for our residents and potential investors,” Menton concludes.
For more information, visit www.steyncity.co.za