3 Ideas for Improving Resident Communication

If I could boycott US Airways, I would. But I live in Philadelphia, their primary hub, and despite the welcomed arrival of Southwest, US Airways is often the only carrier with a non-stop or convenient departure to my destination. Such was the case with my current trip out to Seattle for the Riverstone conference—sure enough, I saw once again why I don’t like USAirways: their lack of communication.

Clear and sufficient communication is just as imperative in the multifamily space as well. How well are you doing in these three areas of resident communication?

Application process. All first time renters (and many veteran renters) do not understand the rental application process. Surprises such as low credit scores, the need to find a last minute co-signer, or tight application timelines can confuse and upset prospects who are already stressed out by the apartment search. How can you help? How about posting an educational piece on your website that informs customers about what to expect? Explaining what hurdles might arise during the process can help avoid a lot of hard feelings over what is simply business as usual in the multifamily industry.

Social media mentions. It always surprises me that many large businesses don’t reply to social media mentions (including US Airways). Not replying to customer complaints on your Facebook page can escalate to a post you can do nothing about on apartmentratings.com. Free and low cost tools are available to assist with the social media monitoring process, so there is no excuse not to be aware of and respond in a timely manner to comments on your blog and/or social media pages.

Maintenance/weather related notices. You probably have a pretty good process in place to let residents know when basic services such as water, electric, or elevators need to be offline for repairs or maintenance. Why not use these same systems to notify people about the snow removal process and how they can help everyone to dig out? Timely and thorough communication will help you to avoid annoying 5 a.m. calls to the manager on duty.

What are your communication enhancing ideas? Share them below.