Resident communication

How to make good and high-quality resident communication?



This is an issue that comes up in the discussions of more and more landlords, developers or housing association boards. Today, more and more housing companies want to invest in resident communications and the comfort and safety of their residents. There are many ways to manage resident communications, but what should one invest in while seeking to achieve  good and effective resident communications? What does good resident communication consist of and what does it require to offer effective resident communication?

The path of resident communication is easiest to outline by settling in the position of the resident himself. What information does the resident need, how does he get the information and how could the process be streamlined?

Good, high-quality resident communications meet the following requirements:

1. Good resident communication reaches the resident.

2. Good resident communication conveys the necessary information.

3. Good resident communication is timely and clear.

4. Good resident communication increases the safety and quality of housing.

5. Good resident communication allows for meaningful dialogue.

It doesn’t have to be complete and accessible at once, but it’s worth investing in and constantly developing resident communications.

Where to start when you want to provide residents with good and high-quality resident communication?

All information up to date, easy and accessible

The basics must be in order already in the stairwell. Are the names of the residents up to date? Is the visual appearance clear and are the contact details of the necessary parties easy and accessible to find? The use of a digital stair display is a modern and real-time way to communicate with residents. With the digital stair display or digital notice board resident information is clear and easy to find. Important announcements and contact information can be shared easily. The features of the digital notice board include more, but for simple and easy-to-manage resident communications, these are the most essential elements. The residents find the information they need and because the information is easily updatable, it is also more likely to be correct. The manually calculated interface and font size magnification help ensure that the information is accessible. This is a significant improvement over a standard bulletin board or information board, the contents of which must be manually updated. If you still have regular boards in your stairwell, you should keep their content as clear and simple as possible and pay special attention to the fact that the boards have only topical issues.

Easy to contact all parties – resident or administrator

Resident communication is often thought of only in terms of communication aimed at residents, even though it is a two-way path. From the resident’s point of view, it is absolutely essential that, in addition to the necessary information, it is possible for him or her to contact the various parties in the housing association as easily as possible. Traditionally, a sticker or paper has been glued to the staircase, which contains the contact details of the property manager, maintenance and perhaps also the board. Unfortunately, that information is not updated when there are changes to your contacts. Often, contact information also only works during designated office hours, which today does not serve all residents. On the digital notice board and in the PNTmobile resident application, it is easy to keep the contact information of different parties up to date and the resident can send his or her targeted message directly from the application.

Repetition is key for understanding

When a property manager or maintenance company can easily communicate with residents via either a digital notice board or a resident application, the amount of communication and information shared by residents also increases. In resident communications, as in all other communications, repetition is important. Residents also need reminders of familiar things like testing fire alarms or checking for leaks. Repeating the residents’ communication thus also increases housing safety. Sharing information about housing company matters is easy when sharing information is smooth and all the information is displayed in one place. Use the timer function when you need to be reminded of recurring current issues, whether it is a monthly fire alarm test or a weekly jogging sauna.

If you do not have a resident application, you should offer several different contact options and actively follow incoming messages, as well as reply to messages. Likewise, if you can’t schedule messages, you should at least schedule them on your own calendar to be sure you communicate them on time.

Message received and information transmitted

When there is a lot of important information to share, it is good to know whether the resident has received the information or not. Through the PNTmobile resident application, a resident can mark a message with a read receipt, so it is easy to see if residents have read the message. Especially for maintenance work or various service interruptions, it is important to know whether the message has been received or not.

Residents have the opportunity to make a difference

Housing is a personal matter for everyone and must be able to be influenced. Therefore, it is good to gather the opinions of the residents on common issues and to give the residents the floor and the opportunity to participate in the outcome. The PNTmobile resident application makes it easy to create an electronic resident survey, making it easy for residents to gather opinions about a suitable help day or even a rack model for a bicycle storage.

Up-to-date, always available information

It is difficult to keep home folders and instructions up to date, because in a changing world, instructions, contact information and operating methods change. One important aspect of quality resident communication is easily accessible and accurate information. When the necessary information and materials are in an electronic folder and easily accessible, it is easy to update them or, if necessary, replace obsolete information with new material. When all aspects of resident communication can be found under the same service, it also makes everyday life easier for the resident.

For example, logging in to housing service bookings with an electronic booking calendar brings great relief to a resident’s daily life when there is no need to contact a separately limited time to book a particular service, or not have to read though a confusing paper booking calendar. Good resident communication offers simple ways to streamline living, a resident’s daily life, and offer high standard of living.

Clearly, in the rhythm of the resident on the terms of the resident

The best way to receive information is in peace, not in a hurry. When a resident is free to choose where and when he or she reads and accesses information and materials related to housing, he or she is more likely to be satisfied with resident communication. Not everyone has the same rhythm of the day, and when a resident knows they can communicate things in the resident application according to their own schedule, it also reduces stress and increases living comfort. 

As resident communications become more electronic and always available, it is very important to consider accessibility. The service must be accessible to all and so easy to use that everyone can access and interact.

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Henry Hietavala, sales