October 15, 2015
6 Need-to-Know Communication Tips for Property Managers
Communication matters. Why? Because it’s your link to current and prospective renters. Good communication—clear, friendly messaging that speaks to your audience—builds bonds, improves retention rates, and educates residents about property management policies and procedures.
The trouble is, not all building owners and property management companies have a solid communication plan in place. That means they’re missing out on the opportunity to retain existing renters and attract new ones.
Here are six communication tips to help you reach your renters in a better, more memorable way:
Make Communication Mission-Critical
Let your residents know they matter—and that communication goes both ways. During your first conversation with new tenants, emphasize that your property management team is available to listen to any questions, comments or concerns. For existing renters, arrange annual meetings to get their feedback and identify their priorities. Or send out surveys to benchmark how satisfied they are with the property management and find out if there’s room for improvement. Remember, you can’t give your renters what they want if you don’t know what that is. Ask. And then listen.
Personalize communications to existing or prospective renters. A message that opens with “Dear Sarah” goes a lot farther than one with “Dear Resident” at the top. And never sign off as “ABC Property Management.” Instead, use a contact name, with the company name underneath. Show your renters that you know who they are, and that you’re a real person, too—not some faceless entity beyond their reach.
It’s far better to help residents prevent incidents than to have to respond to them. Don’t wait for something to go wrong; raise awareness first. It shows you care about residents’ safety. You can use newsletters and internal memos to remind people not to keep valuables in their car, for example, or to let them know what steps to take in the event of a fire in their unit. You could also emphasize the importance of renters insurance.
Share the Good News
Don’t be shy about letting residents know what a great job you’re doing. On your blog and in your community newsletter, share news about upgrades and other improvements to the building. If you’ve painted, planted a garden or replaced the furnace, spread the word. It shows prospective residents that you respond to any issues and are committed to ongoing property maintenance.
Most of today’s renters live in the digital world, so you need to have a presence there. If you haven’t already, set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to showcase your properties. Or set up a blog and regularly update it with photos, as well as text. You can share information about available units, local events, and sales and deals from nearby restaurants and shops. Make sure you monitor and respond to any queries—good or bad. Don’t worry if you see a few complaints or negative issues; it happens. Just acknowledge them, and ask the person who posted to contact you via email so you can take the conversation offline and resolve the issue.
With communication, it’s as much what you say as how you say it, and how often. Prepare a schedule outlining when your newsletters, memos and new blog posts go out, and how often you update social media. You should also make sure your messaging is consistent across all communications. Having a steady presence will show renters that you’re reliable and that you care about putting your property’s best face forward.
These simple tips will help you go a long way toward improving tenant relations. If you’d like to learn more about how to develop your communication strategy so you can better reach current and future residents, sign up for your free account today or give us a call to learn more.