6 Rules for Text Messaging Your Residents
Many Americans send text messages as a form of communication. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & Life Project, “some 73% of adult cell owners use the text messaging function on their phone at least occasionally.” However, when it comes to texting your residents, you have to be careful of your communication because you need to keep it limited and professional.
Is it even okay to text your residents? The answer is: it depends. Residents should be informed that you send occasional text messages, or you should request that they opt in to receiving them. If residents expect text messages, they’ll less likely find it rude or distracting.
If your property management business uses text messaging to communicate with your residents, use the following rules for texting etiquette, also known as “textiquette”:
Rule no. 1: Let resident know or allow them to opt in.
The most annoying text message is the one that’s unsolicited. Sending unexpected text messages could quickly lead up to unhappy residents. So that you don’t catch anyone off guard, make it clear to your residents that you send text messages (and give them an option to opt out) or allow them to specifically opt in to your texting program.
Rule no. 2: Don’t use slang or abbreviations.
You might use “U” instead of “You” or “LOL” in the text messages you have with your friends, but don’t use it with residents. Keep it professional, and write in full and complete words and sentences.
Rule no. 3: Text only valuable information.
Your text messages need boundaries. Send text messages only when absolutely necessary. Some suggestions include: emergencies, reminders for rent payments, social event invites, or status on maintenance work orders.
Rule no. 4: Don’t promote yourself.
A text message isn’t the right place for you to toot your own horn. There’s no faster way to annoy a resident by sending them a text that’s a borderline advertisement. Stick to text messages that abide by rule number three.
Rule no. 5: Don’t send legal stuff.
Text messages are not legal documents. Therefore, don’t send legal documents via text message. Additionally, text messages can easily become lost or missing and are difficult to document. Save legal documents for more traditional forms of communication like paper or e-mail attachments.
Rule no 6: Don’t send emotional messages.
To remain professional, avoid sending emotional text messages. For instance, if you’re arguing with a resident, don’t argue via text message. It’s best to leave conversations regarding difficult situations to in-person or phone conversations.