Everyone knows that reviews matter, and they’re especially important in the multifamily space. Prospective residents will be spending thousands of dollars and a lot of time in an apartment community, so they’re paying close attention to what’s being said online, both good and bad.
The best practice when receiving a negative review is to respond empathetically and follow through on making things right. But while all apartment communities will get a bad review at one point, prospects will sense a red flag if they become a pattern and they may decide it’s not worth the risk.
So how do ensure that your apartment community has a positive online reputation?
Cast your mind to back before apartment online reputation management became a thing. Before review sites and social media, and even before the internet, apartment communities relied on word of mouth. If you offered a good value, treated residents well and gave them an enjoyable living experience, the word spread organically.
The same approach can be applied now — you build trust by being good to your customers and offering a great product.
But because we can’t go back to the simpler times of the 1980s, we have to build trust with prospects remotely through online reviews. Here’s how to ensure your apartment community’s online reputation is the very best it can be.
- Provide great service. Does your maintenance crew respond quickly to emergencies and fix the problem the first time? Did your property manager hand-deliver a package to a resident who is unable to lift heavy boxes? Do your team members communicate to your residents clearly and respectfully? Residents who are treated well are more likely to share their positive thoughts online.
- Make it easy for happy residents to write positive reviews. A grateful resident might have a positive anecdote to share that would be valuable to your online rep, but actually following through is another story. The Respage Review Bot makes it simple for satisfied residents to review you, without any effort on the part of your team. And when you receive a positive review, make sure to respond to it! Some apartment communities only address negative reviews, but this is a missed opportunity to create a feeling of warmth and keep the positive vibes going.
- Look for patterns. As we said, even the best properties will get negative reviews. The unfortunate truth is that you can’t please all the people all the time. But you can watch for patterns. Do you keep getting reviews complaining about your gate being broken? Or a member of your team who is rude? Or residents who don’t pick up after their pets? These are issues you need to address. Get the gate fixed. Re-train or re-assign the rude employee. Come up with a plan to handle pet waste. Residents will appreciate your efforts and will be more likely to revise or update a negative review.
- Create a positive first impression and make it last. Having an easy-to-navigate apartment website with accurate photos and useful, relevant information about your community is crucial. The Respage Chatbot is an amazing apartment website tool to help you engage with prospects and be available to them 24/7. If a prospect is intrigued enough to come in for a tour, give them the best possible experience by answering questions accurately and being friendly. If that goes well, ensure that the apartment application and move-in process goes smoothly. And when they become residents of your community, make sure this great treatment continues and it wasn’t just to get them to sign a lease.
If you’d like a hand in building a great online reputation, Respage can help!