A few years back, any mention of senior living online reputation management would be met with a chuckle. The senior living audience isn’t online, right? Why dedicate any resources to addressing senior living reviews that no prospect will ever read?
My, how times have changed.
Today’s senior living marketers don’t just know that their prospects are online. They also know online reviews heavily influence the decisions made by their prospects.
According to Senior Housing Business, retirement communities with online reviews can get up to 14 times more inquiries than those without reviews. Furthermore, communities with coveted five-star status receive over 100 percent more move-ins than those without reviews. At this point, the debate about reputation management for senior living is pretty much settled.
And with that in mind, we put together this list of review sources every senior living community should monitor in order to protect their reputations.
General Review Websites
These are the sites that every company in the United States should be monitoring, regardless of industry. Yelp is the most prominent general review site that shows up in consumer research, so you should definitely add it to your list of monitored sites. It’s worth mentioning that Yelp has come under fire in recent years for “pay-to-play” business practices, but it’s still a trusted source of reviews for many consumers.
Commonly overlooked, Google My Business reviews are actually a huge, huge deal. A vast majority of senior living research begins with a simple search. And if that search contains a branded keyword (your community’s name), you can bet that Google will display GMB reviews at the very top of the SERP (Search-Engine-Results-Pages) in what’s known as a “local pack.”
Social Media Reviews
Marketers are slowly beginning to realize the importance of social media for senior living communities. What they may not realize is that providing a public forum where residents can voice their compliments and concerns is one of the most important functions of senior living social media strategies. Add Facebook to your list of monitored review sites and get in on the conversation.
Industry Specific Reviews
Senior living fits within the realm of multifamily, so you should definitely pay attention to sites like rentersvoice.com and apartmentratings.com. But on top of those, you should also monitor hospitality related sites like aplaceformom.com, senioradvisor.com and caring.com. A significant amount of senior housing research is conducted by the children of your prospects, and they’ll want to make sure they’re placing their parents in good hands.
Your Own Reviews
If you don’t have a page on your community’s website that’s solely dedicated to reviews, stop reading this article and add one right now. Adding a review page doesn’t only give you full control over one specific set of reviews. It can also look pretty good in the SERPs if your SEO game is on point. We recommend placing your reviews in a page simply titled “Reviews,” with a YourCommunityName.com/reviews URL structure. This optimizes your chances of that page showing up at the top of the SERPs for any branded review query.
Bonus Tip: Talk to your web developer about adding schema markup so that you can add star widgets.
How to Monitor Your Reviews
Staying on top of all these review sites takes a lot of time. The average property manager spends roughly three hours each week monitoring and responding to reviews. So if that property manager is in charge of ten communities, review response is practically a full time job.
Fortunately, there are several ways to automate the monitoring process. Google alerts, for example, can be setup to notify you about any mentions of your brand online. And of course, Respage has its own line of senior living online reputation management products and services that can be used to not only monitor reviews, but to also respond to them as well.