You are a community manager. You know where your renters reside, right? You know their unit number and their building. You, of all people, are “in the know” when it comes to someone’s location.
But if this is true, then why is it so hard to reach them? You have mailings, flyers, bulletins, Happy Hours and pool parties. And yet, your renters are uninformed. They didn’t know the parking lot was being re-painted. They didn’t know the gym was closed for equipment repairs. And they certainly didn’t know that they could pay their rent online. How is that possible?
Because while you know where they reside, you may not know where they live. And where do they live? On their devices. If your renters are typical Americans, they have a smart phone attached to them around the clock. They may not know where their children are, but they are within 3 feet of their cell phone at all times.
Can you use this technological appendage to your advantage? Absolutely. Make gathering email addresses part of your resident routine. Then you have one more way to reach them – in addition to (or replacing) the mailings and flyers and bulletins…you can send emails about cool events or property news. And you can send rent reminders directly to the device that they will not leave home without.
Here are the best ways to collect resident email addresses:
- On the rental application. Clearly there is an expectation that you are gathering information and an email address is just another piece of data that they are typically willing to volunteer at this stage in the relationship.
- Contests. As you strive for community engagement, hosting contests and give-aways are a common way to connect. Make an email address required for entry into the contest.
- News they can use. If you share meaningful information like rent reminders, the value of this communication will be evident. Word will spread from neighbor to neighbor about the quality of the email information, which will entice more residents to share their email address.
Once the email address is acquired, you can use it to further your electronic relationship with your resident. You want to connect with them and you want them to enjoy living at your property. But let’s face it – you also want them to be good renters and part of that equation is paying their rent on time. By establishing a robust online payment engine AND using their email address to send rent reminders and confirmations, you are helping them and helping yourself at the same time. It’s all about reaching them where they live, in addition to where they reside.