1. Opens Communication.
Texting has quickly become the preferred method of communicating for many of our residents. Our SMS messages are tied to property-specific numbers, so residents can either reply via text or call the number and reach our office. Many residents have learned to save these numbers for a quick way to get in touch.
2. Saves Time and Resources.
Our office staff spends way less time posting notices on doors and making individual phone calls to residents. What took hours to communicate before can now be communicated to everyone in a matter of minutes.
3. Tackles Both Big and Small.
Whether it’s a significant change in company policy or an individual message, the texting application we use makes it easy to target one person, one building, one community or the entire portfolio in minutes.
4. Turns Emergencies Into Opportunities.
Communication is critical during emergencies. With 95 percent of text messages read within five minutes, text is an ideal solution for us to reach residents quickly. Whether it’s a gas leak, power outage or water interruption, providing a timely response has allowed us to turn emergencies into opportunities to capture and maintain residents’ trust.
5. Helps In Retaining Residents.
Using text to engage residents sooner in the renewal process has streamlined the procedure for us, and ensured that we provide consistency in contacting each expiring lease.
6. Simplifies Rent Collection.
Even with auto pay and online payment options, collecting rent can be a real pain! With automated balance reminders sent to residents via text, we make sure that they are always aware of current balances and deadlines, making everyone’s lives easier.
7. Improves Online Reputation.
Texting is a great channel to ask residents to share their experiences. We’ve also combined texting with a service partner’s reputation management services to create campaigns that sniff out and fix problems, as well as recognize staff members for going the extra mile.
8. Sends Community Updates.
We hold many community events throughout the year and texting has been a great way to promote them and get people involved. It helps each resident feel personally invited and lets them know that we care about them individually.
9. Surveys Residents.
We began texting out short urls and mobile-friendly surveys that can be accessed immediately on residents’ phones. Making these surveys more accessible has doubled participation while drastically reducing the lag in response times. Then the data can quickly be analyzed and used to shape policies and improve resident experience.
10. Finds Lost Pets.
Pets are usually cherished members of the family, and losing one is a tragedy many can empathize with. Spreading the word through text to our residents to help locate runaways usually results in an astounding level of engagement. We see an almost universal success rate in reuniting lost pets with their owners.
If you would like to be considered for a future End Points column, please contact Lauren Boston at 703-797-0678.