Every apartment review, whether it’s positive or negative or somewhere in the middle, deserves a response. And the response should be timely, too, ideally posted within a day or two. Given that some apartment communities can get a half-dozen reviews or more per day, this task can quickly become time-consuming.
So it makes sense that property managers and apartment marketers would rely on a list of templates to use instead of writing a unique response for each apartment review. But while some might view this is a smart way to save time, renters can see through this repetitive and one-size-fits-all approach to apartment online reputation management, and it can make you look like you really don’t care.
Here are seven tips to get beyond those canned responses.
Acknowledge specific details.
Use the review to help you come up with the response. Echo back some of what the reviewer wrote as a way to acknowledge their particular points. For example, if it mentions that they love the community events that are held every month, remind them about the next one and ask for suggestions about future events.
Avoid ambiguous language.
Complaints should be met with empathy and solutions, not marketing lingo. A resident took the time to write a review of your apartment community, so they should get a real response in return that seeks to resolve the resident’s concern rather than a pre-written reply that just sort of fits.
Keep it professional.
Emojis, words in all caps and an overuse of exclamation points are sure to turn people off. While it’s important to express gratitude for your positive apartment reviews, you should do so in a poised manner.
Include contact information.
It’s especially crucial to include a phone number and/or email address in responses to negative apartment reviews, but it’s a good idea to do so when replying to positive reviews, too. It shows that you value the resident’s time and want to make it easy for them to reach you directly.
Remember that you’re a human being communicating with another human being.
Make your reply conversational, helpful, friendly and how humans talk. Nothing will turn off reviewers and prospective renters more than robotic verbiage. Even worse is the same robotic verbiage repeated over and over across multiple reviews.
Put yourself in the reviewer’s shoes.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of responding to apartment reviews without a list of possible replies in front of you, just try to be authentic and imagine what kind of reply you would like to receive if you wrote the review. It’s okay if it lacks polish as long as it makes the reviewer feel heard.
Use a third-party service.
Having an agency like Respage replying on your behalf can free up your time while also giving you control over each review response. Every response is sent to the apartment community to approve or deny before it’s published, giving the community the final word.
Here are some examples of do’s and don’ts when it comes to replying to apartment reviews:
DO: Address specifics.
Review: As a new resident of this community, I am extremely happy with how quiet and clean the environment here is. And I love my spacious apartment! The other residents in my apartment building are so friendly. Makes me feel right at home.
Bad response: Thank you very much for your feedback! We value our residents and take pride in making [community name] a great place to live. Your positive comments mean a great deal to our team. We look to continue to provide great service for our residents. Thank you again!
Better response: Welcome to [community name]! Thank you for your five-star review. We’re thrilled to know that you’re enjoying your spacious apartment as well as our tranquil, well-maintained environment and our friendly vibe. We’re here if you need anything as you continue to settle in. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [phone number and email].
DON’T: Use meaningless language.
Review: Do something about the garbage outside of #74. Just do something.
Bad response: We value our residents and take great pride in providing a beautiful community for them. We are eager to address your your concerns in an effort to improve your living experience. Please contact us at [phone number] or [email]. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Better response: We’re very sorry to hear about this — thank you for bringing it to our attention! We have alerted our maintenance team and this will be taken care of as soon as possible. Please feel free to call us at [phone number] or email us at [email] if you notice anything else that we could be doing better.
Respage offers several online reputation management services for multifamily to help you track and respond to apartment reviews. Improve your apartment reputation and save yourself precious time by learning more about them today!