Why a CRM isn’t enough when it comes to resident texting

Properties need more than simple CRM systems to boost the residence experience


Cathryn Mulso


August 1, 2022

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “We have resident texting—it’s part of our CRM.” Although most residential property management systems do offer limited resident messaging capabilities, the issue with this thought process is that resident messaging is much more complicated (and valuable) than what is offered in surface level features in a bigger system.

Sure, a CRM can send a text and receive a text. But does it really have all the capabilities needed to support a robust and rich resident engagement experience? Here are a couple aspects of resident messaging property managers should consider when evaluating whether your current solution meets the mark.

Message Alerts and Escalation

One of the great characteristics of texting we all enjoy is that you can have a conversation with someone while in the midst of other tasks. You can take a minute (or five) to respond and the person on the other side of the phone thinks nothing of the delay, unlike a phone call or in-person interaction. 

However, if a response takes 15 or 20 minutes or even an hour to come back, the person on the other side might feel like you are not paying attention, especially in a professional situation. To prevent a delay in service and leaving bad taste in a resident or prospective resident’s mouth, a resident messaging solution should offer a multitude of ways to inform a team member of incoming messages to ensure a response comes quickly: mobile push notifications, email alerts, desktop notifications, and more. Similarly, the system should offer a way to automatically escalate messages that have not received a response in over 10 minutes to ensure another team member or manager can jump in and run backup.


Resident messaging offers rich information on resident sentiment, NPS, and insights into property assets and sore spots. Imagine being able to export every resident conversation that mentions an issue with the brand new refrigerators you’ve just installed and taking those conversations to the manufacturer to prove there is an issue. 

Or, maybe you noticed six residents have mentioned how much they love the new gym equipment in the last few months—knowing this is a great selling point to prospective residents! With resident messaging, you can collect and analyze resident conversations to help make decisions for the property at the aggregate level as well as at the individual resident level—as long as your messaging provider gives you insights and analytics on the conversations your team is having.

Hours of Operation Management

Your residents might be night owls, but your team needs to sleep. They need their holidays to themselves and their days off, well… off. Resident messaging might be available around the clock, but a great resident messaging system will have systems in place to help manage expectations when the team is off, like sending “Out of Office” messages when your team is unavailable without making residents feel as though they are talking to a robot.  Robust resident messaging solutions will ensure messages are easy to set up, editable for managers, and personal for residents. 

More than ever, residents are expecting to be able to communicate via text message and other mobile channels. Email is saturated and no one answers their phone for an unknown number. Texting and digital messaging is the future of resident communication, engagement, and retention. Is your messaging solution ready?

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