A good apartment review is a good apartment review, so the platform doesn’t matter, right?
Wrong. There are many sites where renters can leave apartment reviews, including Multifamily-specific platforms, but the one that carries the most weight is Google.
Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business, is a free, easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google — the search engine giant is taking over local marketing.
The days of doing a great job with your apartment SEO and achieving the top apartment ranking in Google are gone. This is because the top three or four positions are now reserved for apartment Google ads and the following three go to apartment GBP listings.
So, you can see why these listings, and the reviews found on them, can make such a big difference to your apartment reputation and the success of your community.
Read on for five more reasons why Google reviews are so important in Multifamily.
1. Positive apartment reviews can help you achieve higher organic rankings
Google takes apartment reviews into account when considering the placement of local organic search results. This means communities with great apartment reviews get ranking preference over ones with poor reviews. The number of apartment reviews is another factor Google looks at, and it rewards ones with the most reviews by boosting their apartment rankings.
Also, timing is everything. Studies have shown that consumers think that reviews written more than three months ago are no longer relevant. By consistently pulling in positive apartment reviews, you can build trust with prospects and grow your apartment online reputation.
2. Users are searching for “apartment name + reviews”
Local business reviews are now so ingrained in the online search process that people are using specific search strings, like “local business name + reviews.” These types of searches will produce a Google Maps list of local businesses in just about every case. Included prominently in the listings are the average star rating of your apartment community, derived from your apartment Google reviews.
If that prospect doesn’t see a high rating (at least 4 out of 5 stars) and good apartment reviews, they’re likely to move onto the next listing.
3. More people are contacting businesses through GBP listings
Are websites going out of style? Of course not, but marketers are noticing that people are increasingly bypassing business websites and getting the information they’re seeking directly from GBP listings. Not only that, marketers are reporting that more and more customers are using the “call” button that’s included in GBP listings.
This apparent change in how users are interacting with local businesses online further proves how important apartment Google listings and apartment reviews truly are. It also presents an excellent opportunity for savvy apartment communities to outshine the community down the street with stellar apartment reviews and an optimized apartment listing.
4. Google lets you request apartment reviews
Some review sites, including Yelp, have policies against asking customers to review their businesses because doing so could be viewed as unfairly skewing the results in their favor. Google isn’t as strict — as an apartment marketer, you’re allowed to reach out to residents or prospects right after you’ve done business with them and ask them to leave you an apartment review on Google.
You could get flagged if the reviews come in waves, but requesting apartment reviews on a regular basis is acceptable and a great way for you to build your apartment community’s reputation.
5. Google shares reviews from around the web
GBP listings pull in reviews from other sites, too, like Facebook and Yelp. So, prospects might not even bother going to another review site if everything they need is included in the Google apartment listing. You’ll want to ensure that your apartment reviews elsewhere on the web are just as good as the ones on Google, but spending time getting your apartment GBP listing optimized with frequent updates, new photos and excellent apartment reviews will give you the biggest payoff.
6. Most people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family
Once upon a time, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family were the most effective kind of referral. But now, perusing online reviews before making a purchasing decision is a step that the vast majority of consumers make. In fact, research shows that 88% of US adults say they trust online reviews written by strangers online as much as personal recommendations from people they know.
Prospects look to reviews to learn more about an apartment community based on residents’ actual experience, and reviews give insight into how your community serves the people who live there. So, don’t overlook the importance of accumulating positive Google reviews. They’re critical to your bottom line.
7. Quality and quantity count in order to stand out over competition
When it comes to Google reviews, quality is just as important as quantity. As we mentioned earlier, apartment communities that have ratings of 4 out of 5 or above will have the most success.
There are two pitfalls you want to avoid in the review game. First, if you have many negative reviews, you won’t be contacted nearly as much as better rated communities. Second, if you have significantly fewer reviews than your competitors, prospects are more likely to trust them over you.
It's free and powerful!
If your apartment GBP listing isn’t optimized or being managed on a regular basis by creating new posts, adding photos and responding to apartment reviews, then you’re missing out on one of the most powerful (and free!) apartment marketing tools available to your apartment community.
If you need help with your apartment listing or your apartment reputation, Respage can help! Respage Review Booster is an A.I. powered solution that gives you a quick and easy way to boost your apartment Google score. Click the link below to learn more.