It’s no longer a novel idea to use digital technology to reach your tenants- it’s an expectation. But with ever-advancing tool sets, figuring out how to do it effectively can be daunting. Here’s how to do it right by considering the tenant’s experience.
Digital technology can be a property manager’s best friend when it comes to communicating with tenants. In fact, the advent of smartphones and apps have made digital communication a given; tenants expect it.
As you probably know, there is not just one way to do this. As a matter of fact, there are so many digital channels it can be overwhelming. Which channel should be used for what? Are you missing an important channel? Or, even worse, are you overloading your tenants or bombarding them?
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Here we take a step back and take an overview of the way property managers can best communicate with their tenants in the digital age.
Text messaging. It’s no longer a generational thing; as texting becomes the norm for quick communication, many tenants expect their property managers to contact them via this channel. It makes sense: texting is fast, direct and gets right to the point, quickly communicating important reminders and updates. When’s a good time to use texting to communicate with your tenants? Some examples include package delivery notifications, rent due date reminders and community announcements.
Software portals. A software portal dedicated to your property and your tenants use can increase convenience for them and the attention from them that you need. This comes in handy during a maintenance job. Both you and your tenant can track keep track of any outstanding needs, monitor progress and receive status updates on open items. This allows your tenants to feel heard and enables you to address their needs in an organized and timely manner.
Social media. Property managers are increasingly going to where their tenants are, and these days, that means social media. Creating pages/accounts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will help spread important messages to tenants and potential tenants as well as build community among you and your audience. More tenants are reached in less time; in fact, they’re reached with the click of one button. Updates and communications can also be posted in real time.
Tenant satisfaction surveys. What’s the best way to satisfy your tenants? Going straight to the source is an essential place to star. Online surveys in which the tenants can stay anonymous encourage frank feedback and useful information that can improve the tenant experience. Online survey tools are easy to use; two of the most popular are Survey Monkey and Survey Planet. Read more about how to create the most effective tenant satisfaction survey.
Best Practices of Digital Communication
Get personal. Automating your messages to tenants may be convenient, but be careful not to send too many that seem generic and de-personalized. This may turn off tenants to future messages if they feel they are being bombarded with impersonal notes (equal to robocalls and junk mail). Be sure to ask your tenant how they best like to be reached with important information (phone call, email or text), and try to reach them that way consistently. Not all tenants work 9-5 jobs or have traditional lifestyles. Some may travel often, and be in different time zones. You may also want to add a personalized first name to each message you send, so the note doesn’t feel inauthentic.
Follow the law. Remember that not all communication can be sent by text or email. For instance, during the eviction process, laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes from city to city. These rules are put in place so that eviction cannot happen on a whim. In just about every case, a court order must be obtained, and the appropriate notice (or notices) must be issued. The bottom line: you cannot evict someone with a text. Find out more about the proper way to handle an eviction.
Personalize your emergency services. When devising your digital communications plan for your tenants, don’t forget to do the same for your emergency communications. Where else could customized communication matter most? In an elevator entrapment or emergency situation, Kings III Emergency Communications utilizes technology that puts your tenant right in touch professionals who can help them immediately. The Kings III staff handle calls placed from your property’s emergency help phones and keep you informed every step of the way. Your ability to stay ahead of emergencies can reduce risk, liability and costs. Even more importantly, it can save lives. Tenant satisfaction can increase when providing a personalized, state-of-the-art emergency communications service that’s always there to help.
Being in regular contact with tenants is par for the course for property managers. The way it’s done can help build trust and satisfaction, ultimately contributing positively to the tenant experience.
At Kings III, we aim to provide excellent service to all people (tenants, employees and visitors) when it comes to property safety. Learn more about how you can maximize your property’s emergency communication here.