How do you feel when you get a bad online review? Angry? Surprised? Defeated? These reactions are normal, but negative reviews are not necessarily a bad thing. They let you know which areas of your business can be improved, and they give you a second chance to win over upset customers.
All reviews, good or bad, can impact your business. You can’t control what any one person says, but you can manage your online reputation, which includes reviews. With that in mind, let’s explore how to get positive property reviews.
Understand the effect of online reviews
67% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. To earn and maintain a healthy positive-to-negative review ratio, you need to achieve two goals:
- Collect as many positive reviews as you can.
- Respond to all reviews in a professional manner.
You may have noticed that negative property reviews can be very long and detailed. All those specific details can paint your business in a bad light.
Positive reviews, on the other hand, are often short or say nothing at all—the reviewer just gives you five stars. It’s possible that some readers will skim over these brief reviews and linger on the longer negative ones.
To make the good ones stand out, you need to acquire many more positive reviews than negative. Even if the good reviews are short, as long as they are in the majority, your property or business will look good. When you do get a long positive review, treat it like it’s a big deal. Be sure to show public online appreciation for this reviewer.
Ask your tenants for property reviews
People deserve to know that you work hard to provide great customer service. When you close a deal with a tenant, don’t let it stop there: Ask them to review their experience. If you’re thinking, “That would never work,” consider that 80% of renters say they will post positive reviews if asked.
That means it’s up to you to ask for good reviews. Your residents are less likely to leave one on their own. Plus, a good review is free marketing and exposure.
Yardi Breeze makes it easy to get reviews
Email tools are built right into your Yardi Breeze tenant portals to help you contact residents. These are great tools, but it’s important to know when you should email your tenants. If you have property news, tips and tricks or other benefits, it’s always a good idea to send an email. This way, you’re offering your residents something valuable to them.
When are some other good times to ask tenants for a review? Move-ins, move-outs and maintenance requests. For example, if your team handled a maintenance request promptly and fixed the situation, use your follow-up email to ask the tenant to review the experience online.
When it comes to asking for reviews, don’t send requests by email too often. They’ll just be ignored. It’s also wise to keep all email communications positive. If you have bad news, don’t send it through email. Pick up the phone! Keeping your emails positive will increase your chances of getting a good review when you ask.
Respond to negative reviews
It’s always easier to talk to people who like you. It’s more challenging, but just as important, to interact with someone who is upset on Yelp, ApartmentRatings, Apartmentguide, Facebook, etc. Responding to negative reviews can be tricky, so here are some tips on how to do it.
Thank negative reviewers for reaching out and always show empathy. You might say, “That sounds frustrating. We’d be upset too if that happened to us.”
Bring the conversation to a private place
Nothing looks worse for a brand than a heated back-and-forth with a customer. Let everyone see that you reached out to fix the issue. After expressing empathy, request to continue the conversation one-on-one. Even if they don’t message you back, the public will only see your professional response as the final word. This shows you care and increases the chance that others write about their positive experiences.
Ignore light swearing if you can
Sometimes, swearing does not violate a site’s terms of service. If you can tolerate a few bad words from a reviewer, respond to the review in a professional manner. In many cases, they will alter their angry tone to match your professional one. If you can win them back, that’s one more positive property review for you.
Bad reviews can often be changed to good reviews, as long as you fixed the problem in a timely manner. Simply ask the tenant if they don’t mind updating their review.
Bad reviews happen to good people
Your renters want good experiences, but they really want to avoid bad ones. When people have a bad experience, they’re more likely to talk about it in person and post a bad review. There’s not much you can do to stop this from happening, especially as your business grows and your overall review numbers increase. But that doesn’t mean you have to let it hurt your business.
If you handle negative reviews appropriately and encourage people who had positive experiences to leave reviews, you will wind up with more positive property reviews.