It’s no secret that people use online reviews to help them make purchasing decisions. The world of apartment hunting is no different, and property managers need to take action to improve their online reputation.
According to the 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Renter Preferences Report, 72% of renters use apartment opinion sites (e.g., Yelp, Google, Apartment Ratings) to help narrow down their rental options. For context, that’s up 12% from 2017. It’s clear that opinion sites are increasingly popular — and increasingly important to your business. An online presence will help attract prospective tenants to your properties, especially if the reviews are good.
Looking to improve your online reputation and get positive property reviews? Here are some tips you can put into action right away.
1. Survey your tenants
One of the best ways to improve your online reputation is to earn positive online reviews from happy tenants. So how do you keep them happy?
It’s simple: Ask them about their rental experience and take action when necessary!
These are some examples of questions you might ask in an annual tenant satisfaction survey:
- How would you rate the following areas of the property? (Safety features, flooring, windows, amenities, etc.)
- Is there a feature or amenity that would be worth a small increase in rent?
- Are maintenance requests handled to your satisfaction?
- Is it easy to access your tenant portal and pay rent each month?
- Is our staff friendly and accommodating?
Timing is everything
In addition to an annual survey, ask individual tenants for reviews at key moments when they are most likely to respond. Did you just finish a maintenance job? Install or renovate an amenity? Assist a tenant in some other way? These are golden opportunities to ask for reviews.
How to ask for a review
Yardi Breeze makes tenant communication easy. The easiest way to ask for a review is by sending an email via Breeze. You can also post links on your social media channels or leave flyers around your properties.
2. Don’t ignore reviews
Use this as an opportunity to respond to all reviews: positive, negative and everything in between. 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 shows professionalism and attentiveness to your tenants’ needs.
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?
3. Always respond to negative reviews
It’s a 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 their review, make sure to follow up privately. They may even remove the review if the problem is resolved.
4. Flag spam & 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.
5. Look at each tenant response as a marketing opportunity
All reviews, positive or 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, you can capitalize on a review that mentions your gym by highlighting other amenities you might have such as a pool, yoga classes, etc.
Hey, speaking of reviews!
We’re all for maintaining our reputation online too. If you’re already a Breeze user, let us know how we’re doing by leaving a review of Yardi Breeze.
This article was originally published Aug. 9, 2018. It has been updated for relevancy.