Do you ever text your tenants? How about your prospects?
SMS texting has a lot of benefits for property managers. For one thing, sending a text is faster than writing an email or placing a call. Texts also have higher open rates than emails. And younger generations increasingly prefer texting over other forms of communication.
But how do you make sure your texts get the message across without annoying the recipients or, worse still, breaking the law? Don’t worry, we’re here to help with six dos and don’ts of texting for property managers.
DO protect your business by complying with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) before communicating with prospects or clients.
DON’T assume you can contact your tenants or prospects just because you have their contact information.
According to CASL, you need to know when and how you can reach out to prospects and tenants after you have gotten the appropriate consent. CASL requires organizations to obtain implied or expressed consent before contacting clients via text, email or social media.
So how do you do get their consent? Well, you can have new prospects and tenants opt-in to texting when they complete their contact information. And you can ask current tenants to sign a waiver the next time you see them to make communication easier. You can also use software that takes care of getting consent for you. Yardi Breeze Premier users can text any prospects or tenants who have opted in through RENTCafé, eliminating the guesswork.
DO alert tenants to special events, scheduled maintenance and lease renewal dates.
DON’T waste time printing out notices and hand delivering them.
Now that you know who you can text, save time and paper by using it to your advantage! Send a text instead of printing notices that you have to hand-deliver (only to have them go unnoticed or end up in the trash). “You have a package at the front desk.” “The water will be shut off for maintenance today between 2-3 p.m.” These are all useful messages that provide value and establish you as the most helpful and proactive property manager around!
DO let recipients know that texting is a two-way street.
DON’T send generic messages that seem like they come from a cold, unfeeling robot.
In any healthy relationship, communication is never one-sided. Close your messages in ways that let the recipient know you are available to answer any questions they might have. “We’re here to help,” “I’m only a text away” and “Don’t hesitate to contact us” are nice ways to humanize this largely technical interaction.
When it comes to emojis, err on the side of caution. If you’re a multifamily property manager, one emoji is probably fine and even borderline cool. But more than that is definitely too much. Remember, you’re their landlord, not their teenage neighbour.
Check out these additional laws if you want to gain an even deeper understanding of Canada’s anti-spam legislation.