A few years ago, Multifamily was buzzing about online reputation management. The connection between an apartment community’s reputation and the bottom line became clear as more apartment-specific review platforms emerged.
Today, most apartment communities have a grasp on managing their reputation. It’s standard practice to respond to every apartment review, whether positive or negative. And most apartment operators understand that managing a community’s reputation is more than trying to have negative reviews removed. (That usually doesn’t work, anyway.)
So, what does apartment reputation management look like in 2021 and beyond?
The focus now is on being proactive and growing your apartment community’s reputation rather than simply managing it. To underscore this message, this post will debunk six other common misconceptions around online reputation management for apartments.
Misconception #1: Reputation management is essential to having an excellent online reputation.
Your marketing team may have a reputation management plan in place, but that alone isn’t enough to make your community shine. It’s important to remember that your reputation is a reflection of your residents’ living experience. By delivering great customer service and encouraging happy residents to leave a review, your rep will flourish.
Misconception #2: Prospects are finding your community by driving by rather than searching online.
This might have been true many years ago, but not anymore. The vast majority of apartment prospects conduct careful online research before setting eyes on the community in person. When they come in for a tour, prospects already have a good idea about a community’s drawbacks as well as its positive attributes, and the tour confirms what prospects have read online.
Misconception #3: There is no way to control an apartment community’s online reputation.
You may have more control over your rep than you think. It’s true that you can’t do much about a negative review once it’s been published, but how you react to it can make a world of difference. By responding professionally and kindly and offering solutions, you can mitigate the potential damage of a bad apartment review. Likewise, asking residents to review your community after you provided great customer service can capture some positive sentiment and improve your overall apartment star ratings.
Misconception #4: Negative reviews can be removed, whether they’re accurate or not.
Once they’re published, reviews are very difficult to have removed. Unless it violates the review platform’s policies, it’s likely to remain online for good. When you receive a bad apartment review, the best approach is to reach out to the resident and work to resolve the issue. If you’re able to do so to the resident’s satisfaction, you could request that they update their review to reflect your handling of the situation. (Of course, you should also respond publicly to the resident’s review to show prospects that you address concerns quickly and professionally.)
Misconception #5: A strong social media presence will result in more leases.
When people are searching for apartments, social media typically isn’t a primary source. Facebook, Instagram and other platforms certainly have their roles in an apartment community, but the pool of prospects is not likely to be large enough to make a difference in the number of leases you sign. Instead, social media should be used to engage with current residents.
Misconception #6: It’s a challenge to get people to write reviews.
People are more likely to review a community if they’ve had a negative experience. Others, even if they enjoy living in your community, might need a nudge. Asking residents to review your community immediately after a positive interaction could be all it takes to get more five-star apartment reviews.
Respage’s Review Booster transforms standard apartment reputation management by directly improving your apartment community’s online reputation.
Respage has built a product that gives you a quick and easy way to grow your community’s reputation on Google, the most popular review site for apartments. Technology driven by artificial intelligence interacts with your residents and asks for reviews. If they agree, residents are redirected to Google to take action and write a review. We’ve seen amazing results for the communities we work with.
Standard apartment reputation management is a thing of the past. Included with our Full-Service Social Media & Reputation Management solution, Review Booster ups the game by transforming traditional Reputation Management into Reputation Management & Growth. Talk to us about growing your apartment reputation.