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Subject: SMS Group Text for HOA Communication to Owners
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Author Messages
RobertT17
(Florida)

Posts:2


04/28/2021 2:12 PM  
I have been trying to research utilizing SMS text messaging for an additional form of communication, especially when it needs to be conducted quickly, to our owners (we have 527 doors, so the number of opt-ins could be as high as 1,000). However, it appears that all the services are very expensive. Has anybody had any luck finding something for their community at a low, or even no, cost?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/28/2021 2:24 PM  
Send an email as a text:

See: this link (scroll down the page a bit to How to Send a Text Message (SMS or MMS) via Email)

we would do this all the time to notify owners about snow removal.

Remember to send the group message as a blind carbon copy (BCC) this keeps you from giving everyone phone numbers to everyone else.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/28/2021 2:26 PM  
BTW - cost is zero.

You will need to know the phone number and the carrier service (att, tmobile, verizon, etc.) that their cell phone uses.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1160


04/28/2021 3:39 PM  
I would not want my personal phone number broadcast to anyone. You risk a privacy issue with mass SMS texting.
RobertT17
(Florida)

Posts:2


04/29/2021 4:58 AM  
Tim: Excellent suggestion! What a great piece of advice!

I have also found these 2 articles that really help with the process:

https://20somethingfinance.com/how-to-send-text-messages-sms-via-email-for-free/
https://avtech.com/articles/138/list-of-email-to-sms-addresses/

I have tested it and it does not show other people's information in the text received (just the sender's information, which we will use a generic email like [email protected]).

Also, I recommend that the Secretary (or whoever) maintains a spreadsheet with first name, last name, neighborhood association (if applicable) and other categories you may want to filter and send texts to selective groups, cell number and cell carrier. That way, when sending a message, you can just filter for the names you want and then copy paste the addresses in to the "to" section of the email you are going to send.

It's a down and dirty system (not all the bells and whistles from the many group texting businesses), but it will get the job done and IT'S FREE! Great for a non-profit organization like a homeowners association!

Thanks again!
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1881


04/29/2021 5:35 AM  
Things to think about:

* How do you reach the folks without mobile phones? (There are still a few out there, believe it or not.)

* Some people use a Google Voice phone number for privacy reasons, and there are issues with texting to that number (ie, the text message will not be forwarded to their linked phone). Google sez: "In light of spam causing potential issues with SMS forwarding, text message forwarding to linked numbers will end in July 2021."

* Depending on the nature of the message, text may not be a valid communication method for HOAs/COAs. There are also potential issues with preserving messages as part of the association's records. Ditto if, heaven help you, these records should ever be subpoenaed - retrieving emails is pretty easy, texts maybe not.

* You'll need to be vigilant with the anti-malware on your end lest you spam/phish/smish the entire community.

* Whatever method you use, you need to consider the capabilities of future board members or PMs.

* You get what you pay for.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > SMS Group Text for HOA Communication to Owners



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