The Power of Texting for Multifamily and Student Housing in Times of Urgency

In times of emergency, prompt communication can save lives. If there were a gas leak or a fire, you would want to make sure that everyone received alerts immediately and responded appropriately. Texting is one of the most effective ways managers of multifamily and student housing properties can achieve this quickly and economically. 

Text messages are easy to send en masse at very short notice and in turn, enables senders to disperse urgent information to large groups of people.  

Texting has a 98% open rate, with 90% of these messages being read within 3 minutes. This is why many municipal authorities, building managers, and property managers opt to use this tool for emergency notifications

Building facility managers can use advanced digital technology to harness the power of text messaging for resident communications. By keeping residents engaged and informed, you will be playing your part in keeping them safe and at ease during these tough times. We’ve compiled a few reasons why multifamily and student housing property managers are opting to send out emergency notifications via text.

The Ability to Reach Large Numbers of People Immediately

Bulk texting has been in use for business marketing, reminders, alerts, and even political campaigning. You may already have used these services to send rent reminders, maintenance notifications, or market to potential tenants. 

Since regular mass texting offers no simple way to manage mass responses or group the cell numbers you have available, a different kind of emergency alert system must be in place. For instance, if there is a flood emergency in one building, there’s no need to spring the entire property into action, just the residents of that specific building. 

In addition, unlike email, most people keep their cell numbers the same for years at a time. It’s a consistent, reliable way to keep in touch with your residents. 

Two-Way Texting for Effective Communications

While text message marketing relies heavily on one-sided, promotional communication, effective communication within multifamily and student housing properties needs to go both ways. You can use a regular 10-digit number registered to you or your organization and enable two-way texting so that you can both send and receive texts.

That way, your residents can receive messages from you as well as report issues such as maintenance problems as soon as they occur. That alone can save you from extensive damages which can result from issues such as flooding. 

Two-way communication also allows you to share and discuss advisory information during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. You can advise residents and answer their questions in real-time on social distancing and lockdown guidelines, and generally maintain situational control with a more personal approach than flyers or a webpage with guidelines listed on it.

Segment Resident Groups for Targeted Communications

An important part of sending mass text messages is the ability to control who the message reaches. You need a way to restrict the communication and target specific groups of residents such as those in a particular building or the new residents.

Being able to send the right message to the right group of people is important because it helps you to control panic. During the pandemic, we have seen just how disastrous misinformation and rumors can be. 

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Meaningful Engagement in Tough Times

During COVID-19, there have been a lot of upheavals ranging from lack of income to illness to loss. A lot of suffering has ensued, and people are feeling alone or powerless.

For landlords, the situation is not better. The eviction moratoriums issued mean that you might also be feeling drained and powerless against the COVID-19 economic situation. However, you are in a unique situation to sow hope and encourage residents so that we can all get through this together.

A lot of families are running on empty right now, which is why being able to single out specific residents and send helpful information can be one of the best things you could do for them. 

Text messaging is a unique form of communication because it maintains a level of human connection. Unlike emails, texts allow you to engage intimately with residents by offering helpful information and assistance to those who need it most. Information about soup kitchens, financial assistance programs, and more can help your residents feel like you’re in their corner. 

Texts are a Primary Means of Emergency Communication

Text messaging is the method of choice for emergency communications used by many businesses and government agencies. For one, texts are only a few bytes long thus have a minimal footprint on communication networks. Thus, they use up very little bandwidth compared to calls.

Secondly, texts use asynchronous technology. This means that they will keep trying to get through to the recipient phone until delivery occurs, even if they encounter delays or the phone is offline. 

Third, text messages are a perfect emergency option because they don’t use the same traffic channel as calls. When those main channels are full, texts still go through because they use different routes called control channels. Think of it as driving on the shoulder when the freeway is full of traffic.

Have an emergency response strategy in place, which can mean having automated text messages and templates ready to go with the right emergency response information. Include important information such as:

  • How to respond to a disaster like fire, flooding, or power outage
  • Provide accurate information on COVID-19 measures and guidelines as provided by official sources 
  • Include a set of clear instructions on how residents are to behave to minimize misunderstanding and panic. Careful wording is necessary, which can be impossible when you are under pressure 

Be sure to keep your texts very short (450 characters or less) and concise. The information contained should also be simple and free of ambiguity to prevent confusion. Notifii makes it very easy for multifamily and student housing property managers to send urgent messages and ensures instant delivery to residents’ phone numbers, thanks to our dedicated texting platform.

Stay Informed of Who is Receiving Your Alerts

Texting during emergencies is only as effective as the reception and response rate. As a facility manager, you need to make sure that important information is reaching the right people at the right time. Only an advanced communications platform such as Notifii Connect gives you the power to generate reports to see how residents are reacting to your communications. 

Notifii Connect gives managers of multifamily and student housing properties the tools to harness the power of text messaging to maintain urgent communication. During and after COVID-19, the platform will remain the perfect communications hub for all resident communications. 

We invite you to schedule a demo today to see how Notifii will help you to engage and care for your residents better.

Read More:

Emergency Apartment Notifications for Property Managers

4 Ways Technology Can Boost Efficiencies at Your Student Housing Properties

How to Get Your Message Across in 450 Characters or Less