Do you ever text your tenants? How about your prospects?
SMS texting has a lot of benefits for property managers. For one thing, sending a text is faster than writing an email or placing a call. Texts also have higher open rates than emails. And younger generations increasingly prefer texting over other forms of communication.
But how do you make sure your texts get the message across without annoying the recipients or, worse still, breaking the law? Don’t worry, we’re here to help with 6 do’s and don’ts of texting for property managers.
DO get permission before texting anyone.
DON’T text prospects or tenants who haven’t opted-in.
Always ask for permission before you start texting prospects or tenants. If you don’t, you could be violating the law! The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a federal law that says organizations are required to obtain prior express content before texting their contacts. Meaning you can text your customers (and potential customers) if and only if they say it’s ok.
So how do you do get their consent? Well, you can have new prospects and tenants opt-in to texting when they complete their contact information. And you can ask current tenants to sign a waiver the next time you see them to make communication easier. You can also use software that takes care of getting express consent for you. Yardi Breeze users can text any prospects or tenants who have opted in through RENTCafé, eliminating the guesswork and legal risk.
DO alert tenants to special events, scheduled maintenance and lease renewal dates.
DON’T waste time printing out notices and hand delivering them.
Now that you know who can text, save time and paper by using it to your advantage! Instead of printing notices that you have to hand deliver (only to have them go unnoticed or end up in the trash), send a text. “You have a package at the front desk.” “Save $100 if you renew your lease before May.” “The water will be shut off for maintenance today between 2-3 p.m.” These are all useful messages that provide value and establish you as the most helpful and proactive property manager around!
DO let recipients know that texting is a two-way street.
DON’T send generic messages that seem like they come from a cold, unfeeling robot.
In any healthy relationship, communication is never one-sided. Close your messages in ways that let the recipient know you are available to answer any questions they might have. “We’re here to help,” “I’m only a text away” and “Don’t hesitate to contact us” are nice ways to humanize this largely technical interaction.
When it comes to emojis, err on the side of caution. If you’re a multifamily property manager, one emoji is probably fine and even borderline cool. But more than that is definitely too much. Remember, you’re their landlord, not their teenage neighbor.