Here are some of the key components of effective communication with residents when there is such a wide variety of multifamily communication channels.
Having an effective communication plan for on-site property teams to implement when it comes to communicating with residents is paramount.
Yet, with such a wide variety of communication channels – as well as individuals’ preferred styles of communication – it can be difficult to implement a plan that will reach the highest level of engagement. The key to effective resident communication lies in having a well-balanced blend of digital, in-person and traditional grassroots communication.
By mixing these communication styles, multifamily property managers can communicate effectively with their residents. Communication styles can include e-blasts, social media posts, paper flyers and text messages.
Email blasts can be sent by using features of your CRM system (as Yardi RentCafé offers), or by using a third-party software (such as Mailchimp), giving companies the ability to send a single email message to multiple recipients at the same time.
Sending an e-blast is an effective way to send a large sum of information to a large group of people in a timely manner. While e-blasts lack customizable features specific to each recipient, they can be an effective way to communicate when rent is due, to communicate about issues and updates regarding parking and maintenance, community events and even host potential giveaways.
It is important to ensure residents add the sender of emails to their contacts, as e-blasts can often be marked as spam. E-blast software systems offer tools to create templates that property managers can adjust and edit with ease, depending on when the announcement is going out.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts are an effective way to communicate with current and prospective residents, as they can be used to share a vast amount of information – including leasing updates, community events, and resident profiles – and the leasing office’s hours, announce giveaways and contests, and much more.
It’s recommended that multifamily accounts pose questions and calls-to-action to boost engagement with its targeted audience. For example, you may ask a question within a caption to prompt residents to “comment below.” Or on apps like Instagram, you can use its features such as stories and reels to engage with your target audience outside of the standard post.
One of Instagram’s newest features is guides, which communities could leverage to showcase amenities, features within the various floorplans, places to eat and things to do around the community, standard move-in checklists and more.
Paper flyers can be an effective way to communicate with residents who may not be active online.
Flyers can easily be placed outside of residents’ doors, under their doors, on community boards or in their mailboxes. By distributing flyers in every mailbox or room, managers can ensure the information is being seen by everyone.
They can also be helpful for residents who hang them on their fridges to remind them of upcoming due dates for rent, amenity closures, community cleanings or reminders to renew. You can kick it up a notch by offering a goodie bag or treat along with the flyer. Whether it’s thanking them for being a resident or getting their attention for an upcoming event, adding this personalized touch to multifamily communication has been proven to be effective and well-received.
SMS blast reminders can be another effective way to communicate with residents, as they reach the residents’ phones.
P.B. Bell uses its CRM software, Yardi RentCafé to effectively implement this strategy, but there are other third-party services that offer this feature if your CRM doesn’t have these capabilities.
SMS blasts can be great for communicating last-minute announcements. However, if messages are sent too often or are too long, residents can block the number they are coming from, so use this tactic wisely. With that being said, it’s important to provide residents the ability to opt into and out of texts. Keep your messages short and sweet, including only the most important information.
There are multiple communication channels to use with multifamily residents, but the most effective approach is to use all of them for different means in order to communicate with residents at the right time. Effective communication with residents is crucial because it allows residents to know what is going on in their community and can encourage people to re-sign, or sign in the future.
About the author
Kristina Rauscher is marketing director at P.B. Bell, where she leads corporate marketing initiatives and communications while strategically planning marketing efforts for the P.B. Bell portfolio. Her skills and duties include branding, creative direction, digital marketing, advertising, public relations, outreach marketing, and events.