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Are Newsletters Outdated?!

I read a post on All Things Property Management blog where Linda Day Harrison looked at the aging properties of newsletters, and if they are becoming "old news" in our current market. Her opening line is "The answer is yes and no." and I completely agree. Newsletters are informative, they are a great way to share ideas with one another, as well as a great way to update our clients on new laws that come up in our industry. But... are they sometimes too much? With technology at the ready, we struggle with the fact that most people nowadays can get their own hands on the same information we're trying to share with our clients--and most people don't want to read an entire newsletter when they can just read headlines on a Google News Feed! Currently, we do send monthly e-newsletters to our owners (we did upgrade from paper-only newsletters back in 2010). This newsletter always offers 1-2 articles about something property management related (typically seasonally-sensitive material) as well as look into our staff, what we've been up to over the month. If we learned something related to the way we manage properties at a convention/ class we've recently attended we like to share that as well. Our tenants only receive a quarterly e-newsletter. We like to reach out to our residents, offering them tools and tricks that we find relevant to them and their properties. But we like to make sure we don't overwhelm them with too many newsletters. We want to inform--not annoy--them. Newsletters are our way of staying in touch with our customers, and having consistent contact really does seem vital. I think that we need to keep our newsletters. Then, that opens another can of technology-related worms. Do we keep paper newsletters, do others switch to e-newsletters as we did? Do we only post messages on our blog, Facebook or Twitter feed? I think Linda was on to something when she wrote that "you can't assume that everyone has high-speed internet, and you can't assume that everyone has a computer either!" The first thing to consider, she goes on to write, is the "customer profile" where you need to give your clients a breakdown of the "profile" they fall into in order to guess what form of communication works best for them. It seems very case-by-case. If some of our clients don't have a computer, then a paper-copy of the newsletter will work for them. If our clients prefer Facebook/Twitter feeds, we could consider staying consistent with that instead of writing a longer newsletter. Sometimes for a larger complex we manage, it might work best to email the clients who have internet access and then post the same message on a communal bulletin board for those without computers. Long story short, technology is changing--and with that change comes a need to be flexible as times offers us new features. We have to bend with the times without fighting them, or we won't succeed. News is valuable. The messages are important to spread, in one way or another. Sometimes that means a physical newsletter, and sometimes that means a different form of communication. For us, we find that our system works best currently for our office--but we're open to suggestions from our tenants and owners, and we plan to change with the times as more options open their door to us! -- Kaylee Carroll, Brand Marketing Specialist