You may have heard the phrase “communication is key.” In multifamily, this could not be more true. Savvy property teams understand that positive communication can foster stronger relationships with their tenants and prospects, leading to greater satisfaction as well as more leases and renewals overall.
Communities that respond quickly to prospective renters are more likely to keep those renters engaged. Communities that reply late to a prospect may risk losing them to a competitor. Additionally, if a resident doesn’t receive quick responses to their maintenance emergencies, they may develop a negative view of the property and look elsewhere when their lease is up.
With busy property teams juggling multiple tasks, communicating effectively is easier said than done! Monitoring and managing multiple channels such as email, phone, text and chat can be a challenge. And teams often don’t have time to sift through different systems to find information and draft unique responses to every inquiry.
So if communication is so critical, how do communities get it right to win over renters? To better understand the problem and solution, let’s take a deeper dive into what renters truly want, and how properties can deliver an exceptional experience with the right communication measures in place…
Renters want to communicate on their terms
Today’s busy renters are accessing their mobile devices on the go. In fact, 75% of people aged 44 and below like contacting businesses via text. Additionally, 53% of consumers say they feel more positive toward a business that uses mobile messaging to communicate.
Text messages are ideal for quick notifications such as package deliveries, maintenance updates, or tour appointments. Properties that employ SMS messaging in their communication strategy stand a better chance at retaining renters by reaching them across channels they find more convenient and engaging.
While important, SMS isn’t the only channel you need in your arsenal. 75% of consumers favor live chat over any other channel. Live chat is instant and less of a commitment of consumers’ attention and time than waiting on hold on a phone call, making it a convenient and quick option. But live chat alone isn’t enough — 51% of customers want businesses to be available 24/7. Having a solution that responds around the clock to renter inquiries can assist apartment hunters with odd schedules, or residents experiencing after-hours maintenance emergencies.
Being able to answer renter questions quickly, efficiently, and on the channels they prefer goes a long way to meeting or even exceeding their expectations. So how do you meet customer expectations and keep your sanity? It may be time to look at your toolset…
Evaluate your current tools with a critical eye
Step back and ask a few key questions about your current communication tools:
- Is your staff able to answer calls as they come in?
- Do you have an online chat tool in place?
- Does your communication tool take advantage of automation to reduce manual efforts and save staff time?
- Are you working with a single program that does everything you need, or are you cobbling together a solution out of multiple programs that each have limitations?
- Does it take hours to learn how to do a simple task?
- Can you start a two-way conversation with someone via text or email?
- Is it easy to create contact lists and send text or email blasts community-wide?
- If the recipient can reply to your text or email, does that response go to a single location within your solution to easily manage the conversation?
- Is there a library of professionally designed templates that you can reuse to send similar messages over time?
- Can you administer resident satisfaction or review generation surveys from directly within the program?
If the answer is no to any of these concerns, then you may need to look for a different solution that can handle these tasks.
Implementing integrated and automated communication tools
With the right tools, property teams can respond quickly and with less effort. For instance, a communication platform with a library of professionally designed templates may help property managers and leasing agents feel less stressed when the burdens of email creation are lifted.
Automating routine messages such as video tours, in-person appointment confirmations, maintenance updates, resident renewals and more can save valuable time by removing unnecessary manual effort.
Solutions that integrate with your PMS or CRM also reduce effort by automatically filling out guest cards from chat inquiries, or easily sort resident lists by selected attributes for truly effortless and efficient communication.
It’s also crucial to find a solution with robust reporting to let your teams regularly measure their performance such as call volume, appointments set, marketing channel effectiveness, maintenance performance and even renter satisfaction.
A full-suite digital communication solution doesn’t need to be complicated to deliver the functionality that a multifamily community needs. And, in fact, it shouldn’t. The ideal solution is easy to use for staff of all technical skill levels, but it also shouldn’t be so stripped down or simple that it can’t get the job done. It should be able to make the sending of messages to residents and prospects fast and easy, but also professional.
Don’t lose renters to poor communication
Need help keeping up with renter inquiries? Rent. offers easy-to-use and effective communication solutions that give onsite teams the power and flexibility to stay on top of all their renter communications. With automations that reduce effort and error, to unified inboxes and effortless compliance, there’s no better way to win favor with renters.