In this day and age, most people look to online reviews before making purchasing decisions. Renting is no different. In fact, more than 60% of renters referenced apartment opinion sites in their most recent apartment search, according to the 2017 NMHC/Kingsley Renter Preferences Report.
There are tons of sites out there that allow tenants to rate their living experience such as Yelp, Google Maps Reviews, ApartmentRatings.com and more. Manage the conversation around your properties by being proactive and following the five online reputation management tips below.
Don’t ignore reviews
Use this as an opportunity to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. Many review websites will allow you to claim your company page and comment on consumer posts. Ignoring reviews can look like you have something to hide but replying regularly exhibits professionalism and attention to your tenant’s needs.
Think of it this way: review sites that list your business are going to show up in search results no matter what. Wouldn’t you prefer to be part of the conversation?
Always respond to negative reviews
It’s best practice to respond to negative reviews, even if you have already spoken to the tenant about the issues at hand. Thank the person for their feedback, apologize for the experience they had and promise to deliver in the future.
If you haven’t been in touch with the tenant before this review, make sure to follow up privately after if this is the first time you’re being made aware of their issue. The tenant may be more likely to remove the review if the problem is resolved.
Flag false reviews
If you believe the review contains false or malicious information, you can flag the post for evaluation. Sites like Google and Yelp will review the posting and remove it if they believe it contains dishonest information.
Position replies as a marketing opportunity
All reviews, both positive and negative, present an opportunity to market your community. Replies can serve as means to highlight specific property amenities and services that your community provides. For example, capitalize on a review that mentions your gym by highlighting other amenities you might have like a sauna, spa or yoga classes.
Ask for reviews
No reviews at all? Encourage your tenants to review your properties. You can do this by sending an email, posting links on your social media channels or leaving flyers around your properties. Having an online presence will attract prospective tenants to your properties, especially if the reviews are good!
We’re all for maintaining our reputation online too! If you’re a Yardi Breeze client, will you do us a favor and leave a review of Yardi Breeze here?
By Laura Kelly, marketing specialist and guest contributor to The Breezeway
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