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Communications Series Part 1: Preparing for Community Outreach in Pilera

Note: This manager toolkit article has been updated on May 27, 2021, to encompass more tips on what to do before you send a message in Pilera, as the Communications product has evolved over the years. 

The Manager Toolkit Blog is an educational series, seasoned with tips within Pilera’s property and HOA management software to help you increase resident satisfaction, improve operations for your staff members, and keep your company competitive.  

You need to send out a message to your residents on a regular basis to keep them informed.  Keeping them informed on a frequent basis also helps you to reduce inbound calls and emails to the office, so that you can focus your time on bigger projects.  The message you want to send could be about a water shutoff or a change to how the association is collecting payments. It could also be an emergency message. What do you need to do before you send out a message? Let’s walk through those steps.    

Check the accuracy of your resident contact information

To reach your residents more effectively, it’s important to regularly perform a quality check on your resident contact information.  Over time, some of your resident’s contact data may become outdated. They change their phone number or sign up for a new email account.  There are two ways to check the accuracy of data in Pilera.  

The first way is through the Occupants page where you can view all the residents living in the community at a glance.  Next to the resident name, you will see the resident’s communication preference (phone, email, and text).  You can also view any invalid email addresses or text numbers in real-time.  The second way is through an automated report that Pilera sends directly to your inbox.  This report will display residents that have invalid email and SMS numbers in one place.  So how can you go about correcting this?

Send a direct mail to residents whose email address or phone number you don’t have in Pilera.  Encourage them to keep their information updated in the resident portal so that they can receive important community messages on time.  Additionally, let your residents know how convenient and simple it is to get all community updates in one place through the resident portal.  They can make online payments, and they can view documents, events, community directory, and messages all in one place.  Residents can also update other information too, such as insurance, cars, pets, contacts/guests, and manage other occupants.  

Introduce your management company to the community

Have you recently brought on a new association or have new residents join an association you currently manage?  Before sending them messages about water shutoffs, payments, or the like, be sure to send residents who are new to your company a welcome message.  A welcome message is an email to your residents introducing the management company. It will also contain a link to join the community portal. You can customize the content in the Welcome Message Dashboard, which also tells the resident’s login status. If a resident hasn’t logged in to the portal, you can send them a welcome message.  

Edit your email footer

The email footer content shows up at the bottom of every email that goes out to your residents through Pilera.  This is a great way to convey important information such as who to contact in an emergency, new procedures, or even office hours.  Company Admins or Template Admins can customize the email footer in the Templates section of the app.  

Create a distribution group 

Do you need to send a message to people in the architectural committee or residents living in the northeast stack of a building?  Through the distribution groups in Pilera, you can create any combination of locations or people to send a message to.  With locations, you can include any residents in specific streets, buildings, floors, or units in the distribution group.  One of the most beneficial aspects of the distribution group is its self-maintaining capability.  That means, when a resident leaves or joins the community, they are automatically added to the list.  Your distribution group will always be accurate.  

Add message content and save it as a template

The next step is to create your actual message content in the Send Announcements area in Pilera. You can add content for your text, phone call, and email messages all in one place. Once you’ve added your message content, take a pause before you hit send. The message you’ve written takes time and effort. There will be opportunities for you to reuse many of the messages, such as a maintenance alert, in the future. You can save the content for your text, phone, and email content as a template and reuse it in the future, which will save you a lot of time.

Prepare to communicate with your residents

Taking these steps before you send out communications in Pilera will bring many benefits to your communication efforts in Pilera.  It will:

  1. Increase the reliability of your resident database, thus improving your deliverability rates.
  2. Keep information consistent across your company and save you time.  
  3. Let residents know who you are when you send them a welcome message and what they can expect from your company.  
  4. Send relevant information to the right residents and increase satisfaction.  

We hope you enjoyed going through these quick tips on how to use Pilera for your condo or HOA communities.  We thank you for your time and will back shortly to give you some more insight into communications.  Stay tuned!