In his latest book, comedian Aziz Ansari discusses the ways that texting (and our general obsession with our phones) has transformed the way that humans fall in love. If the ability to send text messages can influence something as important as our love lives, we think it’s pretty important for you to have the ability to text your tenants and association owners directly from your Buildium account.
It also helps that text messaging was our #4 most requested feature with hundreds of property managers backing the idea. And rightfully so. Text messages (also known as SMS messages), have an average open rate of 98%. Emails, on the other hand, only get opened 22% of the time on average. When you need to get in touch with your tenants quickly, sending an SMS message is the way to go. And Buildium’s new SMS messaging capabilities make it easy for you to do just that.
1. Setting Up
Before you can send text messages to your tenants, you’ll have to make sure they’ve agreed to receive SMS messages from you. The best way to do this is to include it in your lease, but if that’s not possible, you can easily invite tenants to opt-in with an email that is sent directly from Buildium.
Why is opt-in so important? Property management can be a litigious industry and we know that an abundance of caution is the best rule of thumb. Security deposits, Fair housing, trust accounting requirements, and HOA CC&R enforcements can all cause lots of trouble with the courts. Proper SMS use is a source of controversy in the courts today.
There’s no case law about how SMS applies to property management yet, and hopefully there never will be. We’re thinking ahead just in case, and track when your tenants say it’s OK to send them a message, and when they change their mind.
2. Managing Your Tenants and Association Owners
The SMS accounts dashboard allows you to view the status of folks who’ve been invited to opt in. Was the request sent successfully? Have they confirmed their phone number and agreed to receive text messages from you? You can also send an SMS message and invite new residents to opt-in from this page.
3. Sending Messages
You can send and receive text messages without ever leaving your Buildium account. Initiate a text message from the SMS accounts page, or directly from the Tenant page (or Association owner page).
SMS live in your account today. To get started, log into your Buildium account and click Communication > SMS Accounts. While this feature is free for you, standard text messaging rates may apply for those tenants and association owners who’ve opted in to this service. For more information, view our help article or give us a call at 888-414-1988.