We live in a digital era, but relying solely upon email to communicate with tenants is a bad idea. Everyone can relate to having an inbox stuffed with junk, making it confusing and time-consuming to separate the important from the fluff. Chances are good, your community announcements are getting lost in the shuffle of coupons and sales pitches. So what's the best way to communicate with your tenants? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends a multi-platform approach. Rather than rely solely on email to communicate that the pool is closed for cleaning or that the parking lot will be repaved next week, spread the news across social media, text messages and even paper notes.
Face-to-face meetings should not be discounted, especially when you've got big news to share. Updates about construction in the area, upgrades to the property or changes to zoning for school districts warrant a face-to-face discussion. Even if only a handful of tenants have the interest or time in showing up to such meetings, they can connect you with the people who need the information most.
Telephone calls can also be a great way to communicate important news. Consider investing in an automated voice messaging service that will contact your tenants for you. These systems are great when you've got an entire community to inform about an emergency or sudden change in policy. They should not be used, however, when conveying personal information to specific tenants. Save the robocalls for community-wide announcements.
Of course, there's nothing that beats pen and paper when it comes down to it. Holiday cards, thank yous and information about signing another year's lease should all be communicated in paper form. Though you certainly could email about these things, a thoughtful card or important memo hold so much more significance when they come in a physical envelope. If you're worried about the information being lost or forgotten, follow up with an email confirming receipt later that week.
There are no hard and fast rules about communicating with tenants, but no matter which platform you choose, it's best to be consider your audience. If your community is mostly made up of college students on the cutting edge of technology, text message announcements will probably suffice for most things. On the other hand, families who are busy with kids and school may miss texts that come to their phone and prioritize emails instead. Meet your tenants where they are at when it comes to communication. That way, everyone wins!
- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management
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