Sending tenants information that isn’t valuable through channels they don’t use or don’t want to use puts a wedge in relationships between them and property teams. Communicating the right information through the right channels is key to creating strong relationships. As a result, you will gain greater tenant loyalty.
Here are three things (backed by data) that your tenants wish you’d stop doing:
1. Phone calls and emails
We tend to assume that property teams aren’t using phone and email to communicate with tenants because the industry has drastically changed in the last few years. But according to The Tenant Experience Gap Report, an alarming 90% of building management teams use email to communicate with tenants today and 66% use phone calls. We also found 77% of tenants prefer to communicate via text message or messaging apps (i.e. Slack, Facebook Messenger, Skype) over email, property management software mobile apps, and phone calls in the future.
Where to communicate?
Today, 80% of tenants communicate with friends and family via text/SMS or other messaging apps. Almost three quarters of them want to use the same for business communications. Meeting tenants on the technology they already know and love such as text message and tools like Slack and Facebook Messenger will encourage a strong user adoption of the technology you provide them.
2. Sending too much or not the right building information
Though communication between property teams and tenants has improved in recent years, we still find that much of the information that is being sent is not being seen by tenants. Either this is true because there is too much information being sent or because it is not information that tenants find valuable. But, to provide the best tenant experience, they need to be supplied to with information that will enable this.
What to communicate?
Providing information tenants actually want as opposed to what property teams assume they want is what sets high performing CRE organizations apart from their peers. CRE organizations must understand what information truly matters to their specific tenants. Many times, we find that the information they find most valuable is information that would impact their workday experience. For example, notifying them of construction that is causing one of the entrances to the building to be closed. Knowing this information before they get to their office building with a closed entrance will prepare them for the inconvenience.
3. Writing complex, uninformative emails in an attempt to get the point across
Many times, emails that tenants receive from property management teams are chalk full of important information, but the way it is written and displayed causes people to glance over them. Think about the types of communication that you receive and truly read. Many times, it is simple to scan and digest. Your tenants receive loads of emails a day from peers, executives, board members, and companies vying for their business. Don’t let your email get lost in the mix. You have important information to convey, and it has to be delivered the right way.
How to communicate?
Communication between property management teams and tenants should be a two-way stream, not an email with a ‘do not reply to’ email address. The way you communicate should also be conversational and easy for tenants to quickly read and understand the point. Tenants should be able to easily register a visitor by typing “register visitor.” On the other side of the coin, property management teams could send a text notification saying, “bathroom on 7th floor closed for renovation.” Additionally, if the message is sent through text or another messaging platform such as Slack, a tenant could reply to the thread, asking any questions they may have about the bathroom closure. This spurs two-way, natural conversations, making communicating with tenants simple and effective.
Proper communication fosters strong relationships between tenants and property management teams. If you are communicating through outdated technology with complex messages, I’m willing to bet your tenants are not retaining the information you’re trying to convey. To improve the way you communicate with tenants think hard about what your tenants want to hear from you, where they want to receive this information and how they want to read it.
For additional tips to better tenant communication read this helpful guide: Five Quick Tips for Better Tenant Communication.