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Texting Your Residents and Prospects 101

 

W  e’re living in the era of the text message.

In 2011, Pew Research revealed that only a third of Americans preferred a text message over a voice call. Just four years later, that number jumped to 70%. And now, texting has become so widespread that they’re now considered the most effective form of communication in terms of open rate, positive sentiment and more.

Property managers are finding favor with texting platforms to stay in touch with residents, especially with regards to community information, urgent updates and package drop off.

However, it’s important to realize that despite the friendly nature of text messages, property managers should exercise common etiquette when sending messages to residents.

We’ve compiled a brief guide of do’s and don’ts to help you get the most from your text messaging program:

Must-Do Texting Rules for Property Managers

When residents hand over their phone number for texting, they expect you to treat it with respect. The following texting rules can help you leverage their phone number in a way that will benefit the resident and the community at large:

Get Permission to Send Text Messages

Though texting seems like a natural part of daily life, there are some people who would prefer other forms of communication. Not everyone gets unlimited texting - it could cost them every time you send a message! Ask for residents for their permission to opt-in to your texting program, then be prepared to explain why they should join.

Personalize Your Message

Text messages are a personal form of communication, so make sure you tailor it to your user. For example, your message should use the person’s name in the greeting.

Also, each message you send should be relevant to your recipient. For example, you wouldn’t text people in Building 1 about maintenance activities in Building 2. Messages should directly apply to each person you’re texting if you want to be well received.

Keep Messages Short and Sweet

You’re sending a quick note, not a novel. Keep messages short and to the point so that residents can get information quickly. Otherwise, you risk them tuning out your message completely.

Provide a Quick Way to Get More Info

To keep messages shorter, you might forgo sharing all the details at once. Instead, provide a link the user can click to learn more. This gives them the choice of learning more when it works best for them, plus it gives you a great way to track user engagement.

Send Messages that Add Value

Sending text messages for the sake of keeping in touch isn’t enough to see tangible benefits of your program. Every message you send should add value to the resident. For example, things like package delivery, community events, and planned outages are usually of interest to a resident. Even better, you can divide your communications into different categories (events, reminders, maintenance, etc.) and let residents opt in to what they’re interested in.

Texting Practices to Avoid

When you’re developing a text messaging strategy for your residential community, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid. Take a look at the following practices to keep out of your strategy:

Sending Too Many Messages

Because texting is simple and inexpensive, it’s easy to go overboard on communication. But sending too many texts are sure to get you blocked or ignored. Keep communications to a minimum and only send out texts when necessary - your residents will thank you!

Sending Images

Images take up more data than text-only messages, so leave them out of your communication. If you need residents to see an image, consider sending a link to the image instead. This gives each user more control over what enters their inbox and what they engage with.

Texting Outside of Business Hours

Even though texts can easily be sent at any time, it’s best to keep your communications within regular business hours. With the right software, you can schedule texts ahead of time so you never miss an opportunity to connect.

Sharing the Resident’s Phone Number

Residents entrust you with their personal information, so make sure you keep it private. Sending text messages en masse could easily expose private information if you’re texting the old-fashioned way (i.e. without a software platform). You should design a privacy policy that ensures residents’ phone numbers will be as safeguarded as the rest of their personal information.

How Notifii Can Help

Notifii was made for residential and housing communities to stay connected to their residents. Our easy-to-use platform can send individual or mass text messages, push notifications, and emails at scale while giving residents control over the communications they receive.

See Notifii in action by scheduling a free demo or take it for a free 14-day test drive!