Tenants are Texters: Keeping Up with Your Prospective Renters

Did you ever think email would be old school? Well, believe it or not, email is no longer the mainstream method of type-communication. We’re not saying email will be obsolete any time soon, but almost all generations now prefer instant messaging over other forms of communication, with over 77% of Americans now owning a smartphone. And it’s not only teens and young adults that are now tapping, scrolling, and emoji-ing; every demographic has adopted the use of smartphones for day-to-day personal and business communication. As a property manager, it is vital that an option for text messaging as a means of communication is available for your prospective tenants.

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Why provide text messaging capabilities at your property?

  1. Text messaging has become a go-to method of communication that has changed the entire dynamic of daily discourse. To implement it into your sales initiatives with your prospective renters is to honour what is already second nature to your future residents.

  2. Texts are instant, which is not only appreciated by your busy prospective tenants, but will benefit your team and their time, as well. While emails typically require more lengthy responses, text messages only require a few words, which saves time and converts leads quicker. 

  3. Text-messaging is seamless for semi-formal communication. Have you ever sent an excessive amount of emails back and forth with a prospect or customer, wondering whether to formally address the message each time? SMS messaging is the perfect solution for communicating details to a prospect, without stressing about a message that is potentially too short or missing proper salutations.

  4. With text messaging comes a sense of urgency. When prospects are expecting a reply to their inquiry in less than a day, a text message feels like the fastest way to receive a response.

  5. American adults spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes per day on their mobile device. These numbers are consistently increasing each year. Of course, more time staring at the phone - an average of nearly 25% of one’s hours spent awake - means easy access to sending and receiving texts.

The appropriate technology for implementing SMS text messaging is readily available for residential property management companies in order to send instant messages to prospective renters, simply given that the prospect has opted in to receiving them. This kind of automatic, instant communication leads to more leads and bookings. Before setting up this communication feature though, ensure that you and your leasing team are set up for success.

 

Steps for SMS leasing success

  1. It is important that leasing teams are replying to SMS inquiries as quickly as possible. Text messaging is meant for quick, instant, and more informal communication, and your prospects will not only respect, but expect this if your company has advertised text messaging as an option for communication.

  2. Provide prospective renters the opportunity to text to set up an appointment, or to speak to an agent. Advertise an SMS friendly number on your advertising sources. Given what we know about tendency toward automation, this is a preferred method of communication for both site managers as well as prospective renters.

  3. Ensure that both your online listings and signage clearly state that the phone number advertised receives calls and texts. Making the texting capabilities obvious simply helps avoid any potential blunders in communication while allowing the prospect to choose their preferred way of inquiring, with the result of increased lead generation.

  4. Speed up the leasing process for prospective renters by sending an automated response to their SMS messages. There are lead management tools available that cater specifically to property management companies, which automatically convert leads to appointments by providing an automated response to SMS inquiries.

  5. It is still important to provide multiple channels for prospect communication, such as phone, email or chat. Evaluate the contact information your team is currently using and determine whether your tracking phone numbers can be easily enabled for text messaging, allowing for all calls and texts to be tracked.

  6. Evaluate your property’s leasing workflow before implementing SMS. Some leasing teams may be stronger over email than text messaging and have better access to email. Check to make sure your SMS enabled phone numbers are capable of sending “text-to-email” for optimal back and forth communication between your prospects and properties.

 

LeadManaging data has shown up to a 50% conversion rate when implementing text messaging into the rental sales flow. In today’s world, where efficiency is valued more than ever, prospects want to communicate through instant messaging and may choose not to communicate at all if not given this opportunity. By implementing already-available technology, your team can achieve SMS implementation smoothly and professionally-- even if your team still cherishes the traditional email and phone call.

 

Originally published in FE Magazine - FRPO’s Fair Exchange of Rental Industry News, written by Darren Henry