Do you often ask a fellow community manager if they sent out a message about an upcoming event yet? Do you often struggle to find a message about maintenance you sent out months ago? Or, is it challenging to figure out which residents are not receiving your messages or not opening them, and why?
Managers and board members often struggle with improving transparency in their communication strategy. When companies lack visibility into their communication efforts, they can lose up to $62.4 million in productivity according to Ring Central. A lack of visibility into your communication efforts can also lead to a decline in resident satisfaction and even the potential for liability. In contrast, having visibility into your communications efforts means you can:
- Keep your team on the same page and thus deliver a better resident experience.
- Identify successes in your communications strategy that you can repeat.
- Identify areas in your communication strategy that you need to improve on.
- Protect your community from potential liability.
In this post, we will cover 6 steps in Pilera you can take to gain visibility in your communication efforts.
1) Designate responsibilities
The first step to improving transparency in your communications efforts is to designate responsibilities. This way, you can set clear expectations on who will be responsible for communicating with residents.
User roles in Pilera enable you to designate different responsibilities for employees based on what actions they need to perform. User roles also keep your staff and board members in the know when it comes to your communication efforts.
We recommend setting these three important roles:
- Message Admin – These are the individuals in your organization who will be responsible for managing communications with owners, tenants, other occupants, and board members. They can send announcements and manage messages in the Message Center.
- Announcement monitor – These individuals will receive a copy of every announcement that you send out. For example, you can set this role for your Board Members to keep them informed of every announcement you send.
- Message monitor – These individuals will receive a copy of every message that is sent out through the “Send Message” feature.
2) Fix invalid resident contact information to improve message deliverability
Your residents’ text numbers or emails may change from time to time, so it’s vital that your database has the latest information. Not having accurate contact information will adversely affect your message deliverability. It also means your residents aren’t receiving your messages and that could result in a potential lawsuit.
Here at Pilera, we take the delivery of your messages seriously and offer many ways for you to identify which residents aren’t receiving your messages and why. Let’s take a look at each way.
The occupant search page lists all of the residents in your community. Next to each resident’s name is a visual indicator that shows their communication preferences and contact information failures at a glance.
In each individual resident’s profile, you can view the resident’s contact information, preferences, and failure reasons in detail.
Each month, managers receive a report on invalid contact information directly to their inbox. This report compiles a list of residents with invalid text numbers and email addresses so that managers can fix them.
Within the Message Center, you can also view the success or failure of each outgoing message. Real-time analytics show if a resident’s email has bounced or if a text number is undeliverable.
3) Focus your message on only those who need it
When communicating with your residents, it’s important to send specific messages to only those who need them through segmentation. That helps you to build trust with your residents while ensuring they aren’t frustrated by receiving messages that don’t impact them. Repeated, unimportant messages or stimuli can result in residents missing actual important messages.
In Pilera, you can segment your message by location (drilled down to the unit), user type (board, tenant, owner, other occupants, manager, etc), and by a specific distribution group. Then, there are two ways you can confirm your recipients before pushing “send”:
Distribution Group Preview
As you create your distribution group, you can view all the residents included in that group.
Send Announcement/Message Preview
When you use the Preview & Send option in Send Announcement, you can confirm which residents will receive a message and if they will receive it by phone, text, email, or PDF letter generation.
4) Build trust with your residents
Trust and transparency are key to operating a community smoothly. When you communicate frequently and consistently, residents are less likely to call the office with questions or complaints. The more informed your residents are, the more productive and organized your team will be.
How you can build trust through Pilera’s communications:
- Encourage residents to manage their own communication preferences and contact information. This way they can always count on receiving messages the way they want.
- Roll out the resident portal to your community so that residents can access past messages and all important community information. Our clients include a link to the resident portal in their email signature so they can increase resident signups to the portal.
- Know when a resident has changed their contact information, that way you can verify they’ll be receiving your next message. Pilera sends an email notification to the main manager contact whenever a resident updates their contact information.
- Keep residents informed on their customer support, maintenance, and ACR requests.
5) View the message center regularly
Knowing what messages have been sent out to your community is key to improving visibility in your communication efforts. A communications archive that is easily accessible can benefit your community in numerous ways:
- It reduces the back and forth communication among employees, including those working after-hours. If a staff member is out or has left the company, others will know what was done.
- A substitute manager who usually doesn’t manage a community can check the message center so they can respond to resident queries or complete other tasks.
- Reduce the community’s risk to liability.
Improving accountability with Message Center:
Every message you send out through Pilera is automatically archived in the Message Center. You can view a history of all messages sent and sort by the message category. Each individual message displays the following details:
- The message content
- Who sent the message
- When the message was sent
- All recipients with delivery and open status.
6) Measure your communication efforts
After sending out your messages, it’s important to measure your efforts. Identify the successes in your communication efforts and what you can improve. For example, if residents are consistently getting your emails but not opening them, you may need to improve the subject lines. Or, if inbound calls to the office have increased after you send a message, that may indicate that your message needs more details.
In Pilera, you can measure your communication efforts through real-time analytics and communication usage reports.
The Message Center provides delivery analytics of your messages in real-time. You can see who clicked on or replied to an email, received a text message, or picked up a live call.
Communication Credits Report
This report details how many messages each community in your portfolio is sending out on a monthly basis. Through this report, you can easily identify which communities are communication superstars and which aren’t sending out enough.
Transparency is vital to your communication efforts right from creating your recipient lists to evaluating the success of your efforts. Pilera Communication helps to improve visibility within your organization and build trust with residents. As a recap, you learned about these 6 steps that are important to transparent communication efforts:
- Designate Responsibilities – Assign someone the responsibility of managing communications with the Communication Admin role.
- Fix Invalid Contacts – Managers can easily identify which resident contact information is invalid so they can fix it and improve message delivery.
- Message Segmentation – When creating your recipient lists or sending out a message, you can confirm all the residents who are going to receive it before hitting send.
- Build trust with your residents – Encourage your residents to update their communication preferences and contact information so they are always informed and you are always up to date.
- View communications history – Your managers will be on the same page when they know which communications have been sent out with an automatic archive.
- Measure Communication Efforts – Real-time message delivery analytics track whether a resident has opened or replied to an email, received a text message or listened to a voice call. Communication usage reports show which communities are communicating the most, and which could improve their efforts.
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Pilera Software is the premier property management software that has helped thousands of community managers and back-office personnel improve communication and customer service. Request a personalized demo so you can learn how Pilera’s community management suite can increase work efficiency for your company.