Picture a situation where you need to communicate a change in rent collection schedule or an urgent fire drill. Do you text your tenants (perhaps 100 or more) or email them? On the one hand, you don’t want to be too informal about it, but you also need to make sure that the information is received immediately. This is the classic text and email dilemma that we’re going to resolve.
As a property manager, you face this problem every day when you:
- Have to issue emergency alerts
- Have to communicate important changes in tenancy contracts
- Want to reach out to prospective tenants
- Need to inform your tenants to pick up deliveries from the front desk. This is especially true now that we use contactless package handling to maintain social distancing.
Both text and email can serve these needs to some extent. Whichever mode you choose, you need to keep in mind the various advantages and disadvantages of both text and email messaging for housing communities.
When to Use Texting
Texting is a mostly informal method of instant communication, especially true when you consider chatting platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Since the 90s, text messaging has evolved into a popular means of communication, especially among millennials.
Given that the majority of renters today are millennials and Gen Zs, texting is a must-have tool for all housing managers. Studies already show that consumers prefer texting with businesses over email, such as this one conducted by ZipWhip.
The insights shared in that report show that business texting has evolved into a powerful platform that you can take advantage of in more ways than ever before. That is especially true with modern communication solutions such as our Notifii Connect platform for powerful, customizable, and targetable text messaging.
Here are some ways you can harness the advantages of text messages in resident communications.
According to research, text messages have a 98% open rate. Of these, up to 90% are read within the first 3 minutes, making text messaging a powerful engagement tool. Emails manage an open rate of between 20%-33% in comparison.
Despite the potentially invasive nature of text messages, 4 out of 5 consumers wished that businesses would text them more. That means a lot for property managers, showing that text messaging is a great way to reach out to both potential tenants and existing residents.
For that reason, Notifii has now added powerful sales and marketing features such as Dynamic Grouping and Segmented Marketing. They allow you to get more engagement by dividing your resident list into groups that you can target with more specific text communications.
High Priority Messaging: Instant Communication and Replies
Given that most text messages are received instantly, texting is the best way to send high-priority communications such as those which require a reply or an immediate action. Emails tend to get lost in spam or parked on the unread list while texts receive almost immediate attention, making them perfect for emergency alerts.
Texts are great for instant, automated communication such as reminders, marketing campaigns, and various automated text blasts. What’s more, you can streamline your communications strategy by inputting FAQs into your text management software and your residents will get an immediate answer to every common question.
See here for more information about how automation can benefit you as a housing manager.
Conversational Communication to Build Tenant Relationships
Texts are informal, engaging, and intimate. These qualities make them the perfect platform to help build better tenant/landlord relationships, and remember, engaged residents, are residents that renew.
When to Use Emails
Emails are seen as the business world’s formal communication method, replacing the traditional “snail mail.” Email plays a vital role in the communications arsenal of property managers because of its many business-centric benefits. It is instantaneous, free, and can be branded and targeted to various customer segments as needed.
According to Statista, the number of email users in the world hit 3.9 billion in 2019. This means email is still an integral part of modern communication, and it is expected to grow even further.
Housing managers find emails invaluable for communicating with large numbers of people effectively and affordably. More importantly, emails retain formality even when they are repetitive, a quality which instant messaging tends to lose very quickly. You can opt for email communication when you need to:
Send Formal Communication Such as Agreements and Leases
One of the most important advantages of emails is that it retains records for documentation and future reference. This makes email perfect for official communication and sharing documents such as agreements and tenancy leases, and date notices. Another great bonus is email tracking. It’s fairly easy to track opens/forwards and bounces utilizing email.
You can make emails as long as you need them to be. Thus, emails are suitable for formal communication that needs a lot of details or instructions.
Unlike the emails of old which were boring and plain, modern emails are highly versatile and customizable. You can add various HTML and signature templates to improve your branding and business personality through unique colors, shapes, and various graphic elements. Notifii Connect supports this feature, helping you to create engagement even through email.
Attach Documents, Files, and Media
Emails allow you to attach media such as documents, photos, videos, maps, among others. These can then be opened directly from the browser, making a seamless communication experience.
Inexpensive Mass Communication
You can send emails for next to nothing so long as you have the right equipment and tools. This may not be true in practice because you might need to have professionals set up the email structure and branding, but it is still cheaper than text messages.
Text and Email for Property Managers
Text and email both have their place in your communication needs as a housing manager. The utility of each mode determines which one is best suited for the occasion at hand. Ask yourself the following before you choose which platform you will use:
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1. What Tone Do You Want to Present?
If you want to come off as conversational and/or informal, text messages are perfect. Being conversational and friendly helps to establish rapport and a healthy relationship. Emails are best used for official or formal messages such as notices.
You can send out both forms of communication for very important messages. Notifii makes it so much easier to do this because it is available across multiple devices at once, including desktops.
2. Which Platform Best Suits Your Needs?
Both text messages and emails can now be made interactive and highly versatile. Texting includes options such as interactive emojis, response trackers, and various other tools. Email allows a wide range of attachments and formats with the possibility of high-level branding and personalization.
Speaking of special features, Notifii Connect has an auto-responder feature that responds to FAQs submitted by your tenants for increased convenience.
3. Do You Have the Time to Set up Branded and Signed Emails?
Now that we mention branding, emails can take a lot of work to set up and brand correctly. A good email might need professional writing, branding, and formatting. In comparison, text messaging requires minimal setup, especially when you already have a resident multifamily communications strategy.
4. Platform Used
Email relies on an email client platform such as Gmail, Yahoo, or even custom intranet mail servers. This also means that you and the recipient need an internet connection. Text messages only need a working phone, which doesn’t even have to be on Wi-Fi.
Notifii Connect: Making Communication With Residents Easy and Seamless
Why choose between text and email when we have it handled for you? Now that we are required to engage remotely with residents, you will need both platforms more than ever to get in touch with residents and tenants instantly.
Notifii, which also brings you our leading package tracking platform for apartments, now gives you Notifii Connect. Notifii Connect is an automation-fueled email and text platform that provides a centralized communications hub for housing communities.
To see the platform in action, schedule a demo today and experience a new dimension of effective, engaging communication.
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