Tenant Newsletters are a great way to keep your renters informed, and remind them of the routine maintenance tasks for which they’re responsible.
Yet, year after year, many of us either crank out well-worn repeats of earlier newsletters, or worse, ‘stock’ newsletters written by an outside organization. And, some of us simply postpone the task until it’s a moot point. In talking with property managers all over the country, I hear more and more frequently their frustration over tenants not reading the newsletter, when it finally does reach their in-box.
How can we better communicate these important messages?
Marketing experts will tell you, in order to increase the odds your communication will be read, it must be relevant to the time/place for which it is written. Stock newsletters scream impersonal. Your newsletter must be written for your geographical area, the type/s of property you manage, and be written on the day (or close to the day) it goes out.
Visuals help, too. A photo or illustration for each tip you provide helps to draw the reader’s eye to that bit of information. We like to include video links in our newsletters. That way, if a tenant is unsure how to change a filter or smoke detector battery, they can watch a YouTube video before attempting the task.
Why reinvent the wheel?
I’m sharing our spring/summer newsletter below, which you’re welcome to ‘borrow,’ amend, and/or use as you like. It’s written for the Reno/Sparks, Nevada area, and since we only manage single family homes, it pertains to that type of rental property. I hope it inspires you to craft your own newsletter that will have the desired effect – tenant action and understanding! Here you go:
Finally, we’re due to see the “real” summer weather kick in. Are you ready? Please follow these important tips for living comfortably in your home, and attending to maintenance items that are your responsibility.
- It’s time to change smoke detector batteries. Even if your smoke detectors are “hard-wired” in the home, there is a backup battery in each unit. Here’s a helpful video to guide you through the process.
- It’s also time to change the return air filters in your heating and cooling system(s). Return air filters are very important for efficient operation of both the furnace and central air conditioning. Changing these filters frequently really cuts down on the wear and tear of the systems, reduces your utility costs, and will help keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Please be sure you use the right size filters! Any local hardware store can help you with that. Here’s a video on changing filters.
- Speaking of air conditioning systems… last year, a few of you experienced freezing of the AC unit from overuse. When the unit freezes, the air will blow, but it’s no longer cold. The system is actually overheating from working too hard. This not only costs money in high utility bills, but it creates undue stress on the AC unit. These units are not designed to run ‘full blast’ for extended periods of time. Manufacturers and repair companies advise you to set a single constant temperature, and maintain that temperature, both night and day, varying by only a few degrees, if at all. The recommended ‘set point’ is typically about 74 degrees.
- Landscape irrigation is another area of concern this year. As you know, we are being asked to reduce water use, due to the extended drought conditions the Reno/Sparks area. Truckee Meadows Water Authority has some good tips for reducing outdoor irrigation, while keeping your landscaping healthy.
- We’re already seeing wasps and hornets around some of our homes, which is typical for this time of year. Please remember that pest control is your responsibility. A Google or Yelp search will help you find the right company for your needs. Any time you see an increase in pest activity, it’s always best to address it quickly, before it becomes a bigger problem.
We’re looking forward to this enjoyable season of outdoor activity and sunny skies. Please remember that Sarah and I are always here for you, any time you have a maintenance need or question. Requests are best submitted through your Tenant Portal, so that they reach both of us in a timely manner.
Thanks so much, and best wishes for a wonderful summer!
Judy Cook and Sarah Berry
What else do you include in your Tenant Newsletters? Please share your tips by commenting on this post. Thanks for reading!