Good communication is the foundation of any community’s success. When you communicate regularly and effectively with residents, you can keep them informed, safe, and invested in the community they call home. Effective communication between board members and managers keeps everyone organized, improves efficiency, and reduces costs for the community. Technology plays an important part in streamlining your HOA messaging efforts – from delivering messages instantly to ensuring your message reaches the right residents.
We recently surveyed our clients on their communication processes and the specific features in Pilera that are instrumental to their success. In this month’s Manager Toolkit, we’re thrilled to share 5 main ways our clients improved their outreach with Pilera. We’ll also share some quick tips and resources to level up your communication efforts.
1) Multi-Channel Communications
A multi-channel communication strategy is important to our client’s success in keeping residents informed. As residents’ needs evolve, communicating through one channel may not be effective enough. Thus, it’s essential to use a mix of traditional and electronic communication methods to increase reach. For example, text messages are immediate and non-intrusive, making them a very popular choice among residents. Alternatively, for residents who do not have other means of electronic communication, managers can reach out through automated phone calls or postal mail.
Having many ways to communicate also helps your community to comply with local regulations or bylaws. For example, Nevada state requires that HOAs send out postal mail to their residents. In contrast, Florida state requires condos with more than 150 units to provide website or portal access for residents to view important documents.
Pilera Quick Tips:
Tip #1: Let your residents choose how they want to hear from you
Encourage your residents to choose how they want to hear from you. When you send out a welcome message to residents, let them know they can select among phone, email, text, and postal mail. Your automated welcome letter is also a good opportunity to set expectations on what type of messages you’ll be sending them. You can also have paper forms in the office for your residents to fill out in the event they do not have an email or electronic communication on record.
Tip #2: Send messages at scale
In Pilera, you can send out mass messages through email, phone, and text. You can also generate PDF letters that you can upload to a third-party solution such as SouthData for postal mailing.
“I think our annual meeting attendance and/or return of proxies has been higher with Pilera communications as we use the follow-up reminders very regularly.”Kirsten Capps, Forest Green Realty
2) Fast and Reliable
Our clients have shared that one of the biggest benefits to Pilera Communications is speed and reliability. Being able to send mass email, phone, and text messages quickly is vital during an emergency, where there’s no time to lose.
A reliable communication system ensures that your message gets delivered when it needs to. That means you can be confident that your message is delivered even in the toughest conditions, such as a local outage or storm. Here at Pilera, we take the deliverability of your message seriously. Behind the scenes, our team is working to maintain message reputation so that your message is delivered every time. As of the time of this writing, Pilera has a 100% message reputation for email delivery.
Pilera Quick Tips:
Tip #1: Use Reverse911 Functionality for emergency messages
When you need to send an urgent message to residents, select “Emergency” as the message type. The emergency setting overrides the resident’s communication preference, thereby sending them phone calls, emails, and text messages. When residents receive a phone call, for example, we specify that it is an emergency message from their community.
Tip #2: Easily detect invalid contact information
Ensuring you have the most accurate contact information is vital to your outreach efforts. Oftentimes, a residents’ email may bounce or a text number may become invalid. In these instances, Pilera helps you identify incorrect contact information in 3 different ways:
- Automated monthly email – Managers receive a monthly email with invalid emails and text numbers.
- Real-time in the app – View incorrect contact information in the app in real-time on the Occupants page. Visual indicators show resident communication preferences, which contact information is invalid, and if they have unsubscribed.
- Resident profile pages – Individual resident profiles give you more insights on the exact contact issues and ways to correct them.
We recommend encouraging your residents to self-update their information in the resident portal so you will have the most accurate information. Residents can set their communication preferences, and update their phone, email, or text information. Additionally, they can even add alternate or emergency contacts.
3) Save Time & Increase Productivity
Automated technology offloads many time-consuming processes, such as manually organizing your recipient lists or creating your message content. In a recent survey we conducted, 89% of our clients say that saving time with Pilera Communications frees their staff to provide additional services to residents. Your employees are more productive as a result of these time savings, and your residents will be more satisfied with the services you provide the community.
Pilera Quick Tips
Tip #1: Create different templates for different needs
Templates allow you to compose a phone, email, text, or letter and save it for future use. When you need to reuse content on a regular basis or make sure your message is consistent across all your employees that send out communications, templates can be really handy. You can also create templates for different communication needs. For example, you can create a template for messages about an upcoming Board meeting that you want to send through text only. Or, let’s say you want to create a monthly newsletter to distribute to your residents. Some of your residents prefer email while others appreciate receiving postal mail. You can send the newsletter based on your resident’s preference so no one is left out.
Tip #2: Schedule communications in advance
In Pilera, you can schedule messages up to two weeks in advance down to a few minutes. That way, you don’t miss out on sending a message.
“Using Pilera saves on paper and time for someone to post messages on doors. I can send out a message right away to the buildings, the entire property, or to an individual with short notice. I love Pilera!”Mindy Barclay, Axiom Property Management
4) Reduce hidden expenses
It’s important to make your communications process efficient so that you can save more on your community’s budget. Keeping unnecessary costs down can save not only your association money but residents’ money too. Communities incur hidden costs in data management, physical mailing, and handling inbound calls. In our survey, 79% of our clients expressed that they have been able to lower hidden expenses and save money after sending messages through Pilera.
Pilera Quick Tips:
Tip #1: Integrate your accounting with an HOA communications solution
When you integrate your accounting platform with an HOA communications solution, you can reduce manual data input and human errors. Automatic sync between your accounting platform and Pilera ensures you have the most accurate resident contact data. Pilera has a two-way integration with most accounting partners.
Tip #2: Keep your recipient list up to date
Through Pilera’s distribution groups, you can segment your list by any combination of location and residents to send a message. One of the most important aspects of Pilera’s distribution group is that it is self-maintaining. That means, the list cleans itself as residents move in and move out of a community. That means you’re not sending messages to a resident who has moved out, thereby reducing your community’s liability to lawsuits.
5) Improve transparency and visibility
Transparency in your communication strategy is key to staying organized, keeping your staff in the loop, and helping new or substitute staff get up to speed. In our client survey, managers expressed they were able to improve visibility into their operations by communicating through Pilera.
Pilera Quick Tips:
Tip #1: Measure your communication efforts
The Message Center in Pilera gives your team visibility into the communications that have been sent out, when, and by whom. You can also view the delivery statistics of your messages in real-time, including which residents:
- Clicked on an email or replied
- Opened a text message
- Picked up a live call or were sent a voicemail
- Have a PDF letter generated for them.
Pilera also sends out a monthly communications usage report straight to your inbox detailing how many communication credits each community used. With this information, you can better understand current communication usage and forecast future needs.
Tip #2: Keep your staff in the loop
If certain staff members or board members need to receive a copy of the messages you send out in Pilera, you can set the Message or Announcement Monitor role for them. They will automatically start to receive messages anytime you communicate with the community.
“People like having the ability to send notices themselves if they would like, so Board members like that they can be added as “managers” so that they can send announcements themselves if it is after hours for us.”Peyton Tinder, Sentry Management
Conclusion: Level up your HOA messaging with Pilera
With communication being a vital part of your community operations, it’s important that your technology enables you to keep residents informed while increasing staff efficiency and reducing overall costs. Our management company and community clients save time and money with Pilera’s Communications, empowering them to focus on what matters. Here’s a recap of the 5 ways our clients improved their communications efforts with Pilera:
- Multi-Channel Communications – Reach a wider demographic and empower residents to choose how they want to hear from management.
- Fast & Reliable Communications – Communicate with residents instantly during an emergency with a Reverse911 functionality that overrides resident preference and sends phone, email, and text.
- Save Time & Increase Productivity – Automate many time-consuming tasks with templates and message scheduling so you can have more time in the day for essential tasks.
- Reduce Hidden Expenses – Reduce the cost of manual data entry and potential liability by having the most accurate contact information with accounting integration and self-maintaining distribution groups.
- Improve Transparency and Visibility – Keep your entire organization in the loop with access to message history and delivery analytics so that your team knows what was done.
“We’ve taken on a number of properties that complained that their previous management company handled communication poorly. They have all been very impressed by howe well we are able to communicate with Pilera.”Bob Keegan, Dirigo Management Company
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Pilera Software is the premier community and property management software that has helped thousands of community managers and back-office personnel enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations. To learn how Pilera Communications can help to improve your staff efficiency and reduce costs, book a personalized demo or you can also write to us at [email protected]. Or, if you are a customer, write to us at [email protected] with any questions about implementing these steps for your community today.