Last modified on June 24th, 2020

Property and community association managers are used to engaging with their residents in-person on a regular basis — and social distancing has made this increasingly difficult. Without face-to-face communication, some residents may feel out of the loop or isolated, which is why it’s important to use mobile tools to facilitate communications and drive engagement. Here are 3 ways you can leverage technology to communicate with your residents during social distancing:

1.) Use Personalized, Yet Scalable Bulk Messaging

 In times like these, using cloud-based property management software with communication features can help you stay connected to your residents. For instance, AppFolio’s property management tools centralize all information, so it’s quick and easy to send bulk text messages and emails to all residents at once — perfect for sharing updates on your safety or maintenance policies. You also can create customized communications, like a weekly newsletter or personalized note about an upcoming renewal. Here’s a quick video that shows how you can use AppFolio Property Manager to effectively communicate with your residents: 

2.) Move Routine Processes Online

 Make life easier on your residents by enabling them to carry out routine processes, like rent payments, maintenance requests, and renewals online. AppFolio’s comprehensive, all-in-one technology allows residents to do all of this and more — from anywhere. Not only is it safer for both parties, it also increases transparency, customer satisfaction, and saves your residents (and team) time. For example, since using AppFolio, Skyline Property Management has seen a 69% increase in online payments and has been able to streamline processes to provide faster and better customer service. 

 3.) Socialize Virtually

 With many of the communal spaces on your property closed, residents may miss socializing with others in the community. Find ways to keep your residents engaged through virtual get togethers, contests, and classes. With AppFolio Property Manager, you can easily let people know about these activities and distribute helpful resources through the online portal. Here are a few ideas you could implement across your properties:

    • Invite residents to attend a virtual dinner party via video conference 
    • Host a virtual book club 
    • Build a weekly newsletter featuring photos and stories submitted by residents
    • Create an online community cookbook
    • Play multiplayer games as a group through apps like Words With Friends
    • Share helpful online resources for exercising and working remotely
    • Start a virtual fundraiser for a local organization in your community

In times of disruption communication is key. With the help of digital technology you can continue to engage with your residents — and do so safely. Be sure to provide plenty of resources and to stay in touch virtually, so they know you’re in this together. For ideas on how to support your residents, while strengthening your retention strategy, take a look at this article: Renewal Strategies for Revenue Management During COVID-19.


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