Using Text Messaging to Communicate with Tenants
A significant aspect of a property manager’s role involves communicating with tenants. The methods used to communicate can vary, with in-person and phone interactions being traditional techniques utilized for many years. However, with the advent of technology, email, social media, and text messages have become increasingly popular tools in a property manager’s arsenal.
A strong tenant doesn’t let an antiquated system hinder their ability to communicate with tenants. It’s essential to adopt modern methods of managing your properties. Text messaging stands out among these methods of communication due to its unique attributes.
Many property managers are hesitant to text their tenants because it doesn’t seem professional, or it feels too personal. It is, however, important to create a friendly relationship with tenants. Your tenants should feel like you are approachable and available when they have concerns or questions. Opening up texting as a form of communication is a great way to do just that.
Here are some ways in which text messaging assists property managers in communicating with tenants:
- Saves time: By sending texts, property managers can ensure that their message will be read, as opposed to calls that may not be answered or voicemails that may not be listened to. And if you are sending letters — forget about it. It takes days for a letter to arrive and who knows how long before it’s opened.
- Streamlined record-keeping: Many texting software programs maintain a log of communication, making it simple to track who the message was sent to, and when.
- High read rates: According to research by OpenMarket, 83% of millennials prefer texting a business to calling a customer service line. This is important as the millennial age group is renting housing at a higher rate compared to older generations. With Gen Z, those statistics are only getting more dramatic.
- Reliability: Text messaging is a dependable form of communication, as a vast majority of texts sent are delivered, even when there is no internet or power. Different SMS providers report varying deliverability rates, but many are above 90%.
Although the deliverability statistics for text messages are remarkable, it is the responsibility of the sender to ensure that their messages are not blocked due to inappropriate content.
Telecommunication carriers have established strict guidelines and regulations to prevent the transmission of spam content.
If you choose to text your tenants, make sure you follow these tips to keep communication effective and professional:
- Offer an opt-out option: It is crucial to provide an easy opt-out option for tenants, and it also benefits the property manager by ensuring that the wrong people are not receiving information about their properties or tenants. Include opt-out messaging in every text sent.
- Personalize messages: While not all non-personalized messages get blocked, telecommunications carriers are on the lookout for messages that are identical and sent to multiple people. To personalize the message, include the recipient’s name in the message or reference the name of the property being addressed.
- Use full URLs: While generic link shortening tools may sound convenient as they reduce message characters, they can lead to blocked messages. Use the full company domain in the URL. If the carriers cannot trace the URL back to the owner or sender, it is likely to be blocked.
Texting is useful during the showing process as well. You can use text messaging to schedule tours with potential residents, send appointment reminders, and present alternative rental options. For current residents, try sending reminders about rent deadlines, event information, maintenance updates, and more.
An SMS software or application to person (A2P) SMS software can be especially beneficial for property managers seeking additional opportunities to communicate with residents and provide exceptional customer service. Most SMS software enables property managers to:
- Enable two-way texting, allowing residents to initiate a message or respond to a message sent by the property manager.
- Maintain the confidentiality of property managers’ personal phone numbers by providing them with a consistent, assigned number for texting.
- Automatically respond to non-emergency texts.
- Send messages in bulk and use templates, avoiding the use of the group text function.
- Store resident phone numbers within their residential management software.
In turn, residents can save the property manager’s number in their phone contacts, enabling them to directly report community issues, ask questions, or provide valuable feedback.
Many customer relationship management programs have SMS software integrated into their interface as well.
As you plan to use text messages in 2023, it is essential to keep privacy in mind.
Avoid sharing personal information through text and request that residents do the same. Regularly update the list of recipients to guarantee that only current tenants are included.
By following these guidelines, property managers can leverage text messaging as a highly effective communication tool that offers rapid, direct, and efficient access to residents, enhancing the relationship between the property manager and tenants.