More Important than Ever: Efficient Community Communication
Remote communication has become the new norm, and by now, everyone is used to it. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the industry has perfected the art.
More than ever, effective communication platforms are a must as apartment communities continue to work with smaller onsite teams while striving to maintain service levels. While tech can certainly help to stay connected with residents, a few grassroots concepts are helping teams, as well.
Naturally, email is an effective starting point, as 68% of young renters prefer this communication method. But delving below the surface, here are some key tactics—both of the tech and non-tech variety—that can boost communication efficiency levels:
When the idea is to reach someone as expediently as possible, why not go to where they are most active—social media. Facebook messages, Instagram or Twitter direct messages and other social channels often work best to connect with residents. It’s always best to ask if they are OK being contacted through these channels, but they are often the most efficient. For community-wide communication, posts on these channels are often seen more quickly than flyers in common areas.
The idea of matching preferred communication methods to the resident was already gaining traction. Now it has become more prominent. Not many 70-plus-aged residents are going to be quick to answer DMs—assuming they are on social media to begin with—and few student renters are going to be patient enough to correspond by snail mail. While some community communication will always be standardized, communities that make the effort to tailor their communications to particular residents will experience a dual benefit: happy residents and timelier correspondence.
Texts with a dash of the old-fashioned phone call
In its infancy, text messaging was considered a private channel off limits to businesses. The phone call was the standard for general communication. That idea had almost completely reversed in recent years, as people craved quick-hit communication for medical refills, package tracking, resident communication and other external notifications. Answered phone calls were often relegated to close friends and family.
But text messages during the pandemic became overwhelming to some, as local businesses overloaded people with updated hours, specials and the like. Jonathan Jeans of B.HOM Student Living noted that residents more than ever are willing to take a phone call to escape the barrage of texts. With more free time than usual, the calls weren’t viewed as anything abrasive.
Robust messaging platform
Whether the communication is property-wide or resident-specific, an efficient tool to manage it is a must. Property teams can be more efficient with dynamic recipient lists, merge fields and automated send options at their disposal. Those tools allow them to effectively monitor resident email communication without sacrificing a personal touch. An efficient message center should provide users with text and voice capabilities and the ability to deliver a quick response.
A time will never exist when efficient community communication is not important. The importance just happens to be elevated at the moment. As such, making sure your team is equipped with the right tools, mediums and platforms to connect with residents is paramount.