Improving Resident Communication with Automation

With all of the messages residents and potential residents are inundated with every day, it can be hard to cut through the noise and make sure they are not only receiving your messages, but also opening and reading them. What makes this even more difficult is all of the responsibilities your leasing agents and on-site staff have on their plates that consistent communication is often put on the back burner.

That’s why multifamily businesses should look into incorporating automated messaging into their communication strategy. It ensures that you’re able to hit residents and applicants with the right messages at the right time without burdening team members with one more task.

This is important because many of the top pain points residents have with property management companies are communication related according to a recent survey. The top five pain points include:

  1. Not feeling like their voice is heard by management
  2. Having to reapply every time you move
  3. Not understanding why certain fees are charged
  4. Worrying about getting their security deposit back
  5. Not knowing the status of maintenance requests

For potential renters, open communication with management is right up there with quality of the unit and location as key factors in deciding where to live. And it’s not that residents just want an open line of communication, they expect a fast, personalized response as well. You might be wondering how fast is fast. Research finds that 82% of consumers want an immediate response, which for most is considered within 10 minutes. And the best way to ensure prompt, personalized responses is through automated messaging.

Setting up your automated communication strategy for success

The first thing you’re going to need is a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution that is first and foremost easy to use and second integrates nicely with your property management and leasing software. Even better if your property management platform has CRM capabilities as well. This is important because your CRM needs to have seamless access to all of your customer and lead information to effectively trigger automated messages.

When your CRM has access to data related to the various activities that occur during the renters’ journey, both before and after move in, it makes it easy to trigger messages automatically when certain events occur. Some of the most common and useful messages we see our customers utilize are:

  1. Status updates during the application process
  2. Package pickup
  3. Resident reminders (rent is due, etc.)
  4. Reminders about scheduled tours.

One of the biggest benefits about Entrata’s Marketing and Leasing Suite of products is it’s completely customizable, so the only limit to the types of messages you can automate is your own imagination. With other products in the space, a lot of dev and integration work is required to get this same level of customization, and even then the access to real time data needed for prompt responses may be lacking.

Ensure automations are fine tuned

While automations help save time and allow you to reallocate staff to more pressing tasks, what we often don’t take into consideration is that these automations have to be generated by a team member. It’s important that when you create these automations that the messages are accurate, current, and personalized.

If you set up a holiday greeting message and it doesn’t get triggered until February, it’s not going to be a good look, especially if your residents are anything like Larry David, who said the statute of limitations on wishing someone happy new year is three days. It doesn’t matter what the sentiment was if the execution is poor.

When it comes to personalization, you never want to address emails “Resident” or “Current Resident”. It’s better to have no salutation at all than to come across as impersonal. The good news is that tools like Entrata’s CRM make it easy to pull first names into your email communications to provide that touch of personalization that today’s residents desire.

Streamline the lead to lease process

Attracting new applicants to your property can be hard enough as it is, but keeping them engaged throughout the rental process may prove to be even harder if you don’t have the right tools in place. With automated lead communication you can rest assured that applicants have all the information they need when they need it to accelerate the process from lead to lease, while delivering a better experience for both on-site staff and applicants alike.

Now, instead of being buried in phone calls or sending emails, leasing agents can focus on giving tours and other important tasks that help them get more leases signed.

Learn more

Learn more about how to improve your resident communication strategy by downloading our latest ebook, When it comes to resident communication, the struggle is real, today.

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