Alert Solutions Blog

Year in Review: Alert Solutions’ Most Read Education Blog Posts of 2016

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 @ 11:12 AM

From being named a Top 100 Product by District Administration Magazine and receiving all three integration badges from PowerSchool to launching our ASI Mobile App, 2016 was a HUGE year for Alert Solutions’ education division.

Our education specialists were also hard at work providing k-12 school administrators with all the hot topics on our blog. Here are the most viewed education blog posts of 2016:

1. Purchasing a New K-12 Notification System in 2016? Read This First
With so many vendors to choose from, it’s an intimidating task to know where to begin your search. This blog post revealed 8 important questions you should ask before you purchase a k-12 school notification system.

2. FCC Update for K-12 Schools – Clarification to TCPA Legislationeducation.jpg
In the summer of 2015, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling and Order (Ruling) related to the TCPA. There was a huge amount of concern about these changes. In response to these concerns, the FCC released a new ruling in the summer of 2016 that granted broad exceptions for many communications to parents. This blog post shared those key points.

3. School Climate Linked to Teacher Retention and Student Achievement
A new report from New York University’s Research Alliance for NYC Schools found that school climate is directly correlated to things like teacher retention rates and student achievement. This blog post shared the responses from over 31,000 teacher surveys.

4. 4 Ways K-12 Schools Can Start Using Social Media
With more than 75% of the US population owning a social media profile, many schools are using Facebook and Twitter to interact with parents, staff, and even students in the classroom! This blog post shared 4 of the top ways school administrators are using social media.

5. School Bullying Incidents Decline Thanks to ESSA Guidelines
According to a Relationship Education (RE) study conducted by Healthy Relationships California , new education legislation called the Every Student Succeeds Act offers a good opportunity for schools to see reduced bullying and violence in relationships. This blog post shared the results of a study that exposed 7,000 students across California to RE.

What was your favorite education blog post from 2016? Let us know!

Check Out More Blog Posts!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, compliance, bullying, cyberbullying, school notifications, school announcement, school safety, power announcement, powerschool, education, social media education, school programs, parent communication

Looking for the Best Tenant Communication Method? Here are 4 Options

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 11:12 AM

Property managers that have effective tenant communication quickly resolve issues and pave the way for higher tenant retention and tenant satisfaction. With all of the communication options available, it’s easier than ever for property managers and renters keep in touch on a regular basis.

Below, we review the plusses and minuses of four tenant communication methods commonly used by property managers and their staff.  Could you communicate better with your own tenants?multichanneloptions.png

1. Email
+ It’s easy to keep a log of dialogue that occurs back and forth, in case any issues come up.
- Email is such a popular tenant communication stream that important messages could get buries in the inbox.

2. Voice
+ A clear and consistent voice message is delivered to tenants each time, and can even be translated into multiple languages.
- If a call is not answered live by the tenant, this could result in a delay of notification if there’s a critical issue.

3. SMS Text Messaging
+ Studies show that 90% of text messages are read within minutes of delivery, ensuring tenants get the message as fast as possible.
- Not all of your tenants may have mobile phones or service plans that allow for unlimited SMS text messaging.

4. Snail Mail
+ This could be preferred for formal documentation such as leases or rent payment, or if tenants do not have mobile phones or internet access.
- Sending mail consumes paper, ink and postage that could otherwise be avoided through other methods of tenant communication. Plus, going paperless could possibly attract more considerate tenants.

Remember:  Regardless of which tenant communication method you prefer, everyone has a different communication preference.  A multi-channel approach with the help of Alert Solutions is the best way to accommodate all of your tenants and communicate effectively.

Downloaded our Property Management brochure to learn more today.

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

How Property Managers Can Meet Expectations of Generation Z Tenants

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 @ 10:11 AM

The next demographic age bracket following Millennials/Generation Y is being referred to as Generation Z.  Now nearing their early twenties, they’re becoming a strong focus for residential property managers who want to be appealing and competitive.

With rising expectations, property managers may need to update their business practices.  We’ve outlined a couple things to think about:GenZ.png

Online Presence is Important – Generation Z is agreeably more consumed by the internet, social media, and their mobile devices than the age groups before them. As such, property managers need to maintain social media accounts, mobile-friendly websites and sharp marketing to catch eyes and stay relevant.  You may even want to consider a mobile application and online rent payment capability.

Tenant Responsiveness is Key Younger renters are said to have an “I want it, and I want it now” mentality.  They expect quick turn-around on maintenance requests and prompt responses to questions and concerns.  This has to be instilled in your property management staff, too.  Property managers are also keeping up with two-way, multi-channel communication to accommodate these expectations.

Bonus Tip!  Keep your property management operations as transparent as possible.  Hidden fees or misleading policies could break the trust of your Generation Z tenants, as well as anyone else.  This makes it harder to retain tenants past their lease terms and maintain a good reputation.

Property management organizations are relying on Alert Solutions to deliver timely and personalized tenant communication.  Click here to learn more about how we can help you.

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

Consistent Tenant Communication - Are You Sending Mixed Messages?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 13:08 PM

Tenant communication is very important for property managers.  When handled effectively, it improves satisfaction, retention and ultimately the bottom line. 

One of the most important aspects of effective tenant communication is diversification – reaching tenants through as many methods as possible.  But despite the benefits, property managers can risk a communication breakdown with multiple dialogues going on. 

We’ve put together a few questions for property managers to evaluate, as well as some best practices to avoid mixing-up messages:

Are All Messages Consistent?

  • Keep in mind: Although tenants have different communication styles and preferences, your message should be clear and consistent regardless of the way it’s sent. This avoids confusion and misinformation.  propmanagement.jpg

Do You Match Message Content to Channel?

  • If ‘no’: Consider separating informational notices from critical ones and communicate them in different formats. For example, SMS text messaging is better for urgent matters because the message is more likely to be read within minutes.  Newsletters and general memos are better suited for email, when tenants can catch-up at their own convenience.

Do You Keep Records of All Dialogue?

  • Why it’s important: Maintaining a record of all tenant communication helps protect both parties and establishes accountability. This includes written or photographic documents with date and time stamps.  Consider the use of a multi-channel notification system to help keep track of all communication - including when the message was received.

Looking for more tenant communication tips and tricks?  Download the Alert Solutions Tenant Communication Best Practice Guide.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

Multi-Channel Marketing Works! Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 @ 10:07 AM

Multi-channel marketing helps businesses interact with their audiences through a variety of different communication channels.  These can be direct methods such as email and SMS text messaging, or indirect like tradeshow exhibits and blog articles.

Although it can be challenging to manage, as well as more time consuming & costly, multi-channel marketing helps organizations deliver consistent branding across a much wider range all at once.

Here are three reasons why multi-channel marketing just works:

Reason #1: Your Target Audience Expects It
Google and IPSOS reported that 90% of consumers surveyed toggle between different communication channels on the same day – such as computers, smartphones and TV.  This fact means your target audience is more receptive to multi-channel marketing, as well as reaching them where they are at any particular time.

Reason #2: Tmultichannelmarketing.pnghere’s an Increase in Relevance
The beauty of multi-channel marketing is that it helps organizations to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.  This relevance factor drives more engagement, improved response rates and more conversions.

Reason #3: Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
According to SAS, multi-channel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do. Why is this?  Multi-channel marketing produces results.  With timely, consistent and relevant marketing content, you give your audience more options to do business with you.

To learn even more, download our Multi-Channel Marketing Best Practice Guide.

Want to Do More with Less? Learn How Here

Topics: multi-channel messaging, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends

Property Managers:  How Do You Attract the Next Generation of Renters?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 11:04 AM

Last year we revealed the rental wants and needs of the “baby boomer” generation. 

To recap, 63% of baby boomers surveyed said they cared about online reviews of a potential rental property or property management company.  They also do not choose social media as a preferred form of communication.youngrenter.png

So how about baby boomers’ children, and even their grandchildren?  It’s a bit different!

Property managers should pay careful attention to how they market and communicate with prospective renters, especially millennials and Generation Z (those born between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s). 

Here are some great points from propertymanager.com:

Participate in Social MediaCompared to their parents and grandparents, the youngest generation of renters is consumed by social media. Property managers should maintain an active presence on sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and use them to communicate with current and prospective renters.  Be sure to post regularly and respond to questions and comments in a timely manner.

Add Videos to your Marketing PortfolioWho doesn’t like videos? According to propertymanager.com, research has shown that YouTube plays a large role with younger renters when looking for a new home.  Videos are also a great way to preview the best amenities of your property.

Accept Security Deposits and Rent ElectronicallyBy and large, the next generation of renters prefer direct-deposit and wire transfers over checks, envelopes and postage stamps. Offer electronic rent and security deposit payment options to your prospective renters and stay ahead of the curve!

Expand Tenant Communication Methods – You’ll need to communicate in the most ways possible to reach all of your tenants, especially millennials and Generation Z. Many property managers have turned to a multi-channel messaging approach, such as email, voice and SMS text messaging.  Your younger renters are likely to subscribe to Voice and SMS text if it’s not too frequent or intrusive.

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

There’s a lot you can do as a property manager to appeal to the next generation of renters. 

Check out more great advice here and don’t forget our blog for all trends property management!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

Use Multi-Channel Marketing Effectively – 3 Tips for Businesses

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

Even though your target audience prefers different ways to communicate, multi-channel marketing is still intimidating to some businesses. 

Some of the reasons organizations hold-off on multi-channel marketing include:

  • It’s challenging to manage from a technical standpoint.
  • There’s preference to one channel over another.
  • Customer preferences may become harder to track.

Despite these challenges, multi-channel marketing can still help organizations send the right content, to the right person, at the right time. Here are a few tips to get started:

1. Define different ways to communicate.multichannel.png
Through which marketing channels do you want to communicate with your prospects and customers?  Getting this defined will help to properly plan future campaigns.  Some examples include: email marketing, voice broadcasting, fax broadcasting, SMS text messaging and sponsored social media postings.

Bonus Tip! Do your research before sending commercial messages through certain channels.  You want to be compliant with applicable rules and regulations.

2. Consolidate your marketing lists.
Think about all of the places you have contact information for your audience: your customer support tool, your customer relationship management (CRM) software, maybe even your website forms?  A good first step is to consolidate all of this information into one central repository so that you can build contact methods for each member of your audience.

3. Evaluate on-going campaign performance.
Which marketing channels are more effective than others?  Evaluating your campaigns will ensure that you’re communicating through only the most relevant channels.  Some things to check are response rates and open rates.

With a clear focus, it’s possible to execute multi-channel marketing campaigns effectively.

For more multi-channel messaging tips and tricks, download Alert Solutions’’ Guide to Multi-Channel Trigger Campaigns today!

Download Now!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, personalization, marketing relevance

Purchasing a New K-12 School Notification System in 2016? Read This First.

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

A fight erupts in the high school gym. A storm knocks out electricity, forcing a middle school to cancel classes unexpectedly. Or in more extreme cases, a suspicious individual is reported lurking around school grounds.emergencypreparedness-resized-600.png

Unfortunately, history shows emergencies in k-12 schools can happen at any time. They require immediate action by school administrators to protect students and staff all while keeping parents updated. Every second counts.

Technology can play an important role in these situations. A k-12 school notification system, when incorporated into a comprehensive emergency preparedness strategy, helps connect school administrators to parents instantly.

With so many vendors to choose from, it’s an intimidating task to know where to begin your search. If you’re looking to purchase a k-12 school notification system in 2016, make sure you ask these 8 important questions:

  1. Does your system require hardware or software?
  2. How long does it take to activate the system?
  3. Can you have multiple contact lists?
  4. Does your notification system integrate with our Student Information System?
  5. Does it support multiple forms of communication?
  6. Can different administrators have different user permissions?
  7. How reliable is your network?
  8. How much does your school notification system cost?

For Alert Solutions’ answers to these questions, click here.

To learn more about our K-12 School Notification Systems, check out our website.

Download Alert Solutions'  Emergency Preparedness Guide

Topics: multi-channel messaging, school notifications, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, parent communication

Property Managers Save Money with Digital Tenant Communication

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jun 04, 2015 @ 10:06 AM

As a property manager, you know just how paper-heavy the business can be. Rental applications, lease agreements, credit checks…the list goes on and on. Add to that the amount of ink and postage necessary to send these documents out the door. It all adds up quick!

Now imagine if you could reduce some of that cost while streamlining your operations. This has led many property managers in the direction of digital tenant communication.

In addition to the numerous cost and environmental benefits, property managers also enjoy the following with digital tenant communication.

Faster Message DistributionDigitalTenantCommunication
When time is of the essence, property managers need to be able to reach tenants as quickly as possible. With digital tenant communication, messages can be sent instantly via multiple communication channels such as email, voice, and SMS text messaging.

Greater Content Flexibility
Digital tenant communication isn’t always an anonymous mass message. Property managers have the option to include merge fields into their content to personalize the message to the tenant, helping to make it more relatable and relevant. Also, messages can be translated into the native languages of your tenants.

More Peace of Mind
Property managers get peace of mind in knowing exactly who received a message, and when. Detailed reports are available that outline all of this information. No longer can tenants deny having any knowledge of a matter you know they read about.
 
Keep In Mind: Some even suggest that property managers who digitize tenant communications and ‘go green’ attract more considerate tenants that share the same initiatives!

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications, go green

Patient-Preferred Communication Methods Depend on Message, Says Survey

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Patients today receive several types of reminder messages from their healthcare provider. They are sent for various reasons: upcoming appointments, recall notices, and collection reminders – to name a few.

As part of Meaningful Use Stage 2, “eligible professionals” are required to send these reminder messages as needed.

But did you know that patients prefer different methods of communication for different types of reminders? That’s according to results of a FICO survey administered to over 2,000 patients in 14 countries.

You may be surprised to see what types of communication methods patients prefer for each. Here are the results:

Appointment Reminders:DoctorMobileApp-1
41% - Voice
33% - Email  12% - SMS Text Message 

Recall Reminders:
40% - Email
23% - Voice
13% - Snail Mail
 
Medication Reminders:
54% - No reminder!
18% - Email
15% - Text Message
 
It’s important to remember that not all patients are the same. Yours could be different!
 
Does your medical practice currently send reminder messages using patient-preferred communication methods? If not, here are some tips:

1. Check Your Patient Portal. Some patient portals allow patients to select and update their communication preferences whenever they need to! 

2. Ask Patients Directly. Many medical practices now ask patients on check-in forms during an office visit. This allows the patient to choose the type(s) of messaging that meets their communication needs.
 
Sending reminder messages using patient-preferred communication makes a positive impact on patient satisfaction.
 
For more patient communication tips, download our best practice guide here.

Download the Patient Communication Best Practice Guide!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, appointment reminders, Medical, patient communication

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