Imaginative Ideas Help Keep You in Touch with Residents
Successful property management companies use traditional apartment marketing techniques to attract prospective residents to their communities, as well as retain existing residents.
But it pays to look beyond the “usual” channels, such as brochures, posters, and notices on the doors, to electronic ways of communicating with your residents. Once you start thinking about it, you might be surprised at how many untapped options are available to you—mostly at very little cost.
Before embarking on any marketing communications initiative, it’s a good idea to develop a creative program that keeps the goal of retention and renewals in mind. Craft a set of messages and use them consistently in all communications channels at your disposal—including, just to name a few, e-mails, mobile communications, the resident portal, social media, and monthly convergent bills.
Try the “Greener” Option
A very cost-effective way to communicate is to go paperless. Send your residents eBills for rent and utilities and include messages that encourage electronic payment options. Take advantage of new mobile technology to text messages to remind residents of upcoming renewals, drive traffic to the resident portal or announce the date of the next community happy hour. Encourage residents to use e-mail and texting to communicate with your site staff when they have questions, developing a convenient two-way communication flow.
The resident portal is another great channel for communications. Consider posting “ads” on the portal to remind residents of upcoming events or important dates. Create an online bulletin board to post helpful information (for example, how to prepare for cold temperatures) or make announcements (the west parking lot will be closed for paving next Tuesday). The portal is also an excellent way to remind residents of the services you offer, such as electronic payment options and online service requests.
Going further, consider expanding your social media presence as a way to share information, but also to track what residents are saying about your community. Develop a strategy to use social media in a way that works for your residents and your community.
Convergent Bills have a Captive Audience
Don’t overlook the monthly convergent bill, which contains all charges—rent, utilities and fees—in one convenient bill. Every resident gets a bill and everyone, hopefully, reads it, giving you a handy channel. The notes or message area on these bills provides the perfect venue to convey information you want residents to see. Consider personalizing messages when it makes sense as well.
Regardless of which channel you use, the most important thing to remember is to maintain regular, consistent communication with your residents. It will remind residents about how great it is to live in your community.