Effective communication is the foundation of any good relationship. We cannot only think of the message we are trying to send, but also: Who is our audience? What is the channel of communication that we should use? How will the recipient receive the message? How will the recipient decode that message? Finally, do they have the knowledge to decode the message we are attempting to communicate? Or, do we simply assume that they do? The same is true for the communication between property management and residents. Here are a few simple “Dos and Don’ts” of effective communication.
Do think of the demographic you are trying to reach. Don’t use the same form of communication for every resident. If you are trying to reach millennials, e-mail, text, and most social media platforms are the most effective.
Don’t make your own flyers or visual aids for communication, unless you have the expertise to do so. This will most likely result in sloppy and unprofessional looking material. This isn’t how you want to your work or property to be perceived. Do ask for help from someone who has had been educated in design, or utilize websites like Canva that have premade templates and graphics to generate anything from flyers to brochures.
Don’t assume residents know everything about your property, even if he or she has been a resident for a long length of time. Instead over-communicate; what you may think is “preconceived information” could be brand new knowledge for someone else. A simple example may be: telling a resident the property’s website and login information before stating, “all maintenance requests may be completed online”.
Finally, the most overlooked yet simplest mistake: Don’t send out any information prior to proofreading it. Use spell check, have someone double check your grammar; or even better, have someone other than the staff read your message. You might be using jargon only those in your field can understand, without even realizing it. All these are just a few simple ways to improve your communication skills; and in turn improve your relationship with residents.