The way property management companies communicate with residents has changed drastically over the years. Long past (not to mention ineffective) is the use of paper flyers and message boards. But communication is as important as ever when it comes to building responsive communities able to act on critical messages.
Why Is It Important to Communicate With Residents?
Keeping renters educated and in the loop is a primary goal of community leadership. Your residents need to know what is going on, as well as the why behind it. From power outages to new recycling programs, residents can’t make proper arrangements if they don’t know what’s happening. It’s also important for residents to be able to easily communicate issues and feedback with management, so it can act.
Technology has made it easier than ever for property management to share details with residents in a timely fashion. This ensures that everyone is on the same page.
5 Tips for Communicating With Residents
Posting a flyer on a bulletin board isn’t going to cut it if you want to reach all your busy residents. Learning how to effectively communicate with your community is critical, because if people don’t get the notice, they can’t plan around it. Here are five effective ways to approach communication with residents:
1. Reduce your reliance on paper
While you may still want to post important information around community common areas to cover all your bases, work on reducing your paper use. It’s a passive form of communication, and more importantly, it’s not a sustainable practice. Lead by example if you want to promote sustainability within your community, and limit the number of flyers and mailers you print.
2. Send an email blast
When residents are onboarded, it’s easy to obtain an email address for community correspondence. Reassure them that they are not going to get spammed, but instead, will be kept abreast of important community events, updates, and maintenance issues.
Use the email list to communicate events on a monthly basis with a newsletter and community calendar. Inform residents when there will be shutdowns of utilities or limited access to certain areas when maintenance is required. A good email list can reach all residents in a matter of minutes, instead of holding out hope that everyone notices a flyer in the hallway or elevator.
3. Maintain a community calendar on the website
Make the website easy to read and have a community calendar prominently displayed on the homepage for residents to refer to as needed. This is a great way to make sure community events are being shared with residents. As managers work to build stronger communities, regularly scheduled events can help build neighborly relationships.
4. Use SMS text notifications
Most of us rely on text messaging for updates on critical items. Ask residents if they want to opt in to SMS text message updates. This is likely the fastest way to deliver important information. Similar to email, you can send updates and urgent messages to your entire resident list to make sure everyone has the information they need for their daily activities. This works for long-term residents and those staying in temporary housing, too.
5. Offer a digital maintenance request form
Reduce the work required for residents to make a maintenance request. Keep a form readily available on the website so that residents can easily get in touch with management. Be proactive and disclose the average turnaround time for requests so that residents know what to expect—unless, of course, it’s an emergency. In that case, an emergency phone number should be listed and regularly monitored.
Proper communication with your community is essential to establishing a place people enjoy living. Satisfied residents want to renew leases and refer friends, adding value to your bottom line.
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