Last week we were fortunate enough to have James Garner from Nabr Network give a webinar about the benefits of mobile communication as part of our CAMfire Sparks series. Turn the Page: Mobilized Communication breaks down the variety of ways that current communication is beginning to fail, and why taking the next step and going mobile is so important. Snail mail, email, and even websites are slowly becoming underutilized by a large amount of people—and that includes homeowners and managers. Garner explains why those are failing, and how to make the changes necessary to revitalize communication in your community.
One of the most important aspects of communication is how communication is received. It isn’t enough to communicate often or across multiple platforms (snail mail, email, websites, etc) if none of those platforms are being received well by the intended audiences. Consumers, homeowners included, are becoming more and more accustomed to instant gratification because of the immediacy that smartphones and mobile devices have provided for them in recent years. Garner says that homeowners now have higher expectations in terms of transparency, immediacy, relevance, and personalization.
It isn’t good enough anymore to send out say a monthly newsletter to every home in the hopes that all of your homeowners will read it cover to cover and notice the important information in the middle that talks about payment due dates changing or association fee changes. Homeowners want the most relevant information as soon as it becomes available without having to hunt for it.
So what exactly is mobile communication?
- SMS Notifications (also known as text messaging)
- Text-based content blasts designed to provide quick information to homeowners, like upcoming bill payment reminders
- In-App notifications
- Notifications directly in a phone app as a pop-up of new or important information
- Notifications sent from the phone app that can have user-specific information, like bill payment reminders or violation/warning notifications
Mobile communication is a step above physical or electronic communication. For a long time now, the big push has been toward digitizing communication. Garner references a study that showed only 22% of emails sent to a group of 1000 participants were opened within 24hrs. However, 98% of text messages were opened, and responded to within the first minute. I’m sure any of us can relate to that. I get around 50 emails per day between all of my email inboxes. I will probably open half of those, and of that half, maybe actually engage with one or two. The point of communication is engagement and information relay, which cannot be realistically expected anymore by only using digital communication.
Garner urges all of us to “turn the page” and continue to move beyond the current page we are all on to keep progress moving. Whether it’s text messages sent to your homeowners or mobile app pop-ups, mobilizing your digital communication is the next step forward in communication. We encourage you to follow the link below and watch the recording of James Garner's webinar.