April 30, 2015

Are Residents Getting Your Message? The Power of Automation

How much time are you spending on your communications to residents? The answer is probably this: Too much time.

Every day, property management companies communicate with their residents. Sometimes it’s a simple reminder about upcoming repairs; other times it can be to address a noise complaint or send an eviction notice. Communication is key. What shouldn’t be part of the process is the mad flurry of emails, texts, notices and phone messages that keep you bogged down in administration.

Too many property management companies send their communications out piecemeal. They use a variety of tools that work in isolation and rely on repetitive, manual tasks. But what if there was a simple alternative? What if you could automate all your communications tools – what benefits would that reap?

Better Communication for Better Customer Service

Put Your Best Foot Forward – Within the first 30 days of moving in, new renters subconsciously make up their minds as to whether they will renew their lease. Many have questions about the building’s operations and policies, and it’s important to address their concerns promptly. But answering their questions one by one can be time-consuming – and unnecessary; most new residents have the same questions.

Why not use property management software to create a New Resident Campaign that includes a move-in package that answers their FAQs? The package can be sent automatically via email whenever a new renter moves in. Not only will you save time, you’ll improve renter satisfaction by addressing their basic questions about recycling and garbage collection, parking suggestions and other common issues. What about a follow-up survey 2 days after they have moved in and a personal greeting from the Office Manager after the first 30 days? All these steps can occur automatically, drastically improving your customer experience.

Manage Expectations – One of the quickest ways to frustrate residents is to keep them in the dark about maintenance on the property. So enlighten them. Take away the element of surprise and offer them a one-click solution to staying on top of any maintenance work being done outside the building. Simply send a message to your list of renters who opted-in for electronic communications, keeping them apprised of what work will be done and how long it should take. No hassle for you, no frustration for them – an easy, win-win solution.

Personalized, Friendly Service – Don’t mistake automation for dissociation. When you automate, you can customize your communications in many ways. For instance, you can target only the people affected by the repairs; if the water is shut down on only one floor, you can contact just the people who live there. You can also set up your communication solution so that it automatically messages anyone who is overdue on their rent with a friendly reminder.

And, don’t forget to personalize your messages so they include first names. Imagine how much friendlier it is for a resident who books the party room and gets a confirmation email with a message like, “Enjoy your special occasion, John!” Or you can even use an automated solution to send your residents a personalized “Happy birthday, Jennifer, from everyone at ABC Property Management” note! So, even if you forget, the system won’t!

Survey Says – What if you could survey all those residents who contacted you about concerns and issues, and could get information on how you’re doing, and on which third-party maintenance companies are getting the most praise or, worse, the most complaints?

With property management software, you can automatically send an electronic survey to anyone who made a complaint or service request. Soliciting feedback not only gives you a good indication of how you’re doing and which maintenance companies you should continue to hire, but also sends a clear message to renters that you care.

Better Communication for Better Operations

Reduce Arrears – It’s a simple fact of property management: People often need to be reminded when their rent is due. But that shouldn’t mean you have to spend valuable time following up. Schedule automated reminders via email, social media, SMS or voice alerts – whatever communication channel each renter prefers. You can schedule end-of-month reminders for the entire year, so it’s off your plate for the following 12 months.

Stay Organized – Another fact of overseeing a rental building is that residents come and go. You need to maintain a database of current contact information for each of your renters, as well as a history of communications. If you rely on manual processes, it can be time-consuming, especially if you manage multiple buildings. But there are better options. Using automated property management software helps you organize renters’ paperwork, and instantly updates new information as it comes in.

Reduce Costs – If you’re currently relying on sending written rent reminders or printed flyers and newsletters, your time isn’t the only thing you’re wasting. The costs of manual, hard copy communications are far greater than those associated with automated processes. Just imagine how much you can save by switching to an automated, digital communications system.

An Automatic Improvement

Automation has the power to make life easier for property managers while also reducing costs and improving organizational efficiencies. It can also greatly enhance customer service, giving your renters more reasons to stick around for longer.

Property Vista offers more solutions for communication automation with residents. In minutes, our leading-edge software enables you to set up automated notifications for maintenance and repair requests, rent reminders, payment notifications and much more. Property Vista compiles and stores the communication history in each renter’s personal profile, opening the door to endless possibilities.

Cut back on your daily workload and improve customer satisfaction by keeping your residents in the know.

To discover how Property Vista can work with you to streamline your operations, sign up for your free account today.

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Robert Braun

President, Wolverine Property Management

Describe your experience in a few words

We have information now at our fingertips. It’s much easier to know correct details and respond well

What do you like the most about the software?

We now have a connection point into our entire resident base. The myCOMMUNITY resident portal has led to a significant increase in our tenant self service, online transactions for both rent and maintenance are way up and we are experiencing dramatic improvements in overall resident satisfaction. I’m not sure how we ever operated in the past without their help. If you’re looking for happier residents, these are the guys to talk to.