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Using Mobile Technology for Tenant Communications

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You may have the nicest rentals around, but if you don’t handle prospective and current tenant inquiries and issues quickly, they may still leave. Management’s ability to provide top notch customer service will help to attract and retain more residents than fancy luxury amenities. 

Zillow reported that “Over 60% of customer turnover is controllable, with staff performance being the largest determining factor in why a tenant moves out.”

On the other hand, “Tenants satisfied with property management are more than 3x more likely to renew.”

So what’s the best to manage both mass communications to all your residents, conversations between groups of roommates or co-habitants, and the lease holder? While many property management firms use email as their main source of communication, it may not always be the best or fastest way to get the message across.

Mobile technologies allow property managers to communicate with tenants at a moment’s notice. Whether there’s been an emergency on-site, or a last minute social gathering—mobile technology can help to provide a source of ongoing communication. Mobile tools are great for situations like:

  • Emergencies
  • Rental payment reminders
  • Maintenance tasks
  • Scheduling showings
  • On-site community events
  • Package deliveries
  • Community newsletters and more

Although email and paper-based communication is effective, mobile tools are a great way to increase the speed of response from your tenants.

Ultimate Guide to Tenant Communications

Why Mobile?

If most people were asked when was the last time they checked their phones—chances are it would be within the last several minutes. 

According to the PR Newswire, Americans now check their phones 96 times per day. This comes out roughly every 10 minutes. This is a nearly 20 percent increase compared to just two years ago.

People rely upon their phones more than any other form of technology. If it isn’t already, your communication plan should all be optimized for mobile. 

Mobile channels for tenant communications

Text messaging

Just like in their day-to-day life, your prospective and current residents want to be able to reach out to you with a quick text. In fact, 9/10 consumers prefer it.  Plus, texting is fast for two-way communication and gets responses back from your tenants and prospects faster. Best practices for text include:

  • Make sure you have a system and process to track, log, and respond to texts
  • Don’t send texts at crazy late or early hours - alerts at 1 am about the pool being closed are not appreciated
  • Use lists and segments to send only relevant messages, for example, only send the pool closure notice to the relevant buildings
  • Make use of short response codes and automation - such as “reply Y to confirm your showing tomorrow”
  • Use group messages appropriately, such as between roommates, but not for everyone in the building
  • Make sure your system allows you to manage text features like attachments, emojis and photos, which can be helpful in actually completing tasks via email

Email

Email is ubiquitous - it works on your phone, laptop, computer and more. But to make sure your message gets received is a little trickier. Take note of these best practices:

  • Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile. Use testing software like litmus to ensure it looks good on all kinds of mobile devices.
  • Watch your deliverability scores to avoid your emails landing in the promotions or updates filters or worse. You may be sending emails that no one even knows are there!
  • Keep it short and sweet. Unless there’s a lot to say for some particular reason, it’s best to have just one or two main points to communicate per email or people will tune out. Be sure to put the most important content at the top!
  • Test all the links! Make sure they go where you think they should.

Instant Messaging

While Slack and Teams and the like may be used almost continuously in some workplaces, they may be hard to manage across thousands of tenants at multiple locations. The sheer volume is hard to keep up with. 

However, you may be interested in using certain forms of chat and instant messaging. You may find that a volume oriented support system like ZenDesk or FreshChat that has built in ticketing could work with your resident portal, or that Facebook messenger bots works best for landing new leads from your social media. 

You’d be in good company if you add mobile messaging support. According to Facebook and related research from Sentient Decision Science, among people surveyed who message businesses, 69% of Americans say being able to message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand.

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There are many other forms of mobile communication. The best practices across the board are the same as any other communication: be honest, be transparent, and be sure to follow up. Lastly, remember that any written communication is subject to subpoena, so keep it to anything you wouldn’t be sorry your lawyer saw!

How ResiDesk can be used to Communicate with Tenants 

ResiDesk accelerates tenant communication from days to minutes. We help property management groups increase conversions and minimize tenant turnover. By integrating with your property management software and Outlook tools—ResiDesk expedites messages to help reach your tenants quickly.

For more information on how ResiDesk can help your property management group—be sure to visit our website for more information. 

Additional Resources:

Talking to Your Tenants About COVID-19
Lessons in Asset Management: Prioritizing in Real-Time