Add A Newsletter To The Communication Toolbox

newsletter

We communicate with our residents through a number of platforms.  Add a newsletter to your communication toolbox, this is an underestimated, easily accessible resource.  A community newsletter is a great way to communicate with your residents.

However, in the busy life for a management team, the idea of a newsletter is yet another task in the unpredictable days that never seem to allow the time necessary for a task that doesn’t rate as urgent or important.

Underestimating the value of a community newsletter could actually cause your team to waste time.  And time is the one resource that’s limited and irreplaceable.

On a regular basis there are announcements that we need to communicate to our residents.

While it seems there isn’t justifiable time to dedicate to a newsletter.   It actually saves time.  We can eliminate multiple individual notices that we have to publish or distribute, during the course of each week.

The newsletter can be a single point of all announcements.

Here are some tips that make a newsletter an effective communication tool

First.  Keep it Simple.

newsletterWe overthink most ideas. We believe a newsletter must be six or eight pages filled with recipes, photostock and advertisements.  Start out, with a simple Word document.  We’re providing one or two announcements.  That’s it.

Graphics are nice but not required.  Punctuation and grammar checks are a must.  Review the upcoming schedule for the community, what items need to be communicated to your residents?

  • Breakfast on the Go
  • Resident Pop Up Social Hour
  • Kids Craft Event
  • Preventive Maintenance HVAC Tune Ups

.  Prepare the copy and you’re ready for distribution.

It is important to balance encouragement and corrections.  If the newsletter only contains corrective advice like the items listed below, it will be ignored like our constant reminder memos.

  • Clean up patios
  • Don’t park in the fire lane
  • Don’t leave clothes in the laundry room.
  • Pay your rent on time

We want to balance good news, social programming and corrective advice.

Think about the notices or blast emails that you send each month.  List all of the items on this flyer..(called Newsletter) and start adding up the time you’ve saved your team.

Distribution Of The Newsletter

The distribution of a newsletter to each and every apartment door in your community requires time.  We create our own overwhelm here.  Time/labor is a property expense, no different that the costs for printing or publishing the copies of a newsletter.  Adding a newsletter to your communication toolbox saves time, and expense.

We have the ability to use email and social media as a vehicle to distribute the newsletter.  Its equally disheartening to publish or print a newsletter, conquer the daunting task of distribution.  The entire team takes time to distribute newsletters to each and every apartment home only to spend the next day, picking up the same newsletters from the hallway floors or on the grounds.  Printed copies are ignored, discarded and start littering hallways, waste both financial and time resources.

Using digital platforms for the newsletter, allows a resident to quickly check an email folder, or the Facebook page to check the Community Calendar for schedules, service  and events.  We have made it simple to reference the newsletter, by attaching it on the community web or Facebook Page.

We can site the objection, not all residents read email.  Counterpoint, not all residents read the newsletter but if we make it more convenient, might it be more useful?.  We can encourage residents to use both methods of communication.

Reward For Reading The Newsletter

The landscape company that services my home “sprinkles” account numbers throughout their newsletter.  If your account number is in the newsletter, and you call the office to confirm you’ve identified your account number, you either win a prize, or go in a drawing for a prize.

We can use a similar practice to reward our residents.  You might start out, with simply a code word.  Call the office, and let us know you read this post with the code word SNOWMAN, you’ll be a winner,, or in a drawing.

Using social media to distribute your newsletter, not only saves time and money for distribution, your residents will know where to find it…its always, right there…saved in their email, or tagged on the Facebook page.  Easy and quick reference to check the date for the monthly happy hour, or the kids corner special.

Basics For A Newsletter

List the critical announcements for the month.

Points of recognition for team member anniversaries.

Short and simple will have more impact than pages of information where the important announcements are overlooked because the advertisements use more of the page space.  Or a commercial provider has prioritized your layout differently than what you were planning.

If you struggle with time lost to create and distribute notices about apartment services and social events, using a monthly newsletter or Community Calendar, that is in turn published to social media, the property webpage and residents email could be an answer for you.

How is the newsletter at your community distributed to your residents?  Are you using a digital format, or using a paper copy for your residents.  Share in the comments how a newsletter is used at your community.

 

Lori Hammond
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