According to the US Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, there are more than 18.9 million multifamily households in buildings with 5 or more units. If you include 2 to 4 unit buildings, multifamily households represent 61% of all households in the US.1
In recent years, most multifamily residents have begun viewing recycling programs as an added benefit. According to an article in Propertymanagementinsider.com, in 2015, recycling was among the top five community amenities in the National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences.
This is a pretty significant and welcome change. Historically, resident turnover, space constraints and the inconvenience of storing and sorting recycled materials has made it more challenging to get residents of multifamily units to recycle correctly and consistently compared to single family dwellings. However, thanks to property managers, easily accessible collection points (in some cases on every floor) are now much more common. Availability of colored bins alongside trash dumpsters and easy to understand signage is also more the norm, then the exception.
So, the question becomes, how do you continue to foster participation, while decreasing costs and increasing education? Simple. Frequent and clear communication. Okay, not so simple. However, we know it works. The growing trend in most successful recycling programs is to go to residents directly and on a continuous basis.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to communicate with residents directly on a frequent and continuous basis is through the following three digital marketing methods:
2) social media
3) text messages
All three can be scheduled and automated ahead of time and evaluated in real-time.
According to Forbes.com, the average person checks email 15 times a day and checks texts as they come in, so why make your audience go anywhere else? Simply ask them for their email address and mobile number when they are renewing their lease, paying their rent or even making a complaint.
Next, create a content schedule for the year, then set-up educational emails featuring tips, reminders, important links or videos, to go out to residents twice a month. Email messages that are personalized are typically the most effective. People are more likely to open an email if they see their name in the subject line. Content marketing tools like Hubspot allow you to use personalization tokens throughout your email to personalize messages even further.
Hubspot can also connect to all your social media pages so you can set-up social media posts to be released all at once in just a matter of minutes. Social media is a great way to rally groups of people around a common goal, so make sure to set-up a page for your building on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Which social media outlet you choose really depends on what you plan to say, how you plan to say it (short, long or with images or video) and how often.
Between emails, you may want to text residents, particularly if you need to alert everyone at once about an urgent matter. TextUs.com allows users to send up to 250 text messages at once using their online platform. You can personalize messages, use your work phone number (versus your personal phone) and schedule texts ahead of time.
In conclusion, it’s important that you choose a digital format that is convenient for residents so they get, understand and act on your message. There are many tools that offer automation, scheduling and real-time reports – be sure to use one that makes sense for you and your organization.
Most importantly, you will want to set-up metrics that show how your recycling program has evolved over time. Whether you use recycling rates, trash removal costs or satisfaction surveys as your gauge, it is important to have a way to way to see just how much progress you have made in your recycling program.
Learn How To Get Your Recycling Message Heard