by Tara Armbruster –
Property managers have had a long time to figure out how to keep tenants happy. But with the advent of online reviews, it’s now necessary to make sure that tenants aren’t just happy, but that they share their enthusiasm for a particular apartment complex online.
Ask For The Review
Most online reviews come from people who are upset with some characteristic of their apartment or the complex they live in. That’s because there are very few reviewers who make a habit of reviewing everything they experience; rather, most people only think of reviews when they’re upset.
Just by asking for your tenants, past and current, to review the apartment complex online can get you several reviews. At a basic level, it’s a question of getting tenants to think of leaving a review in the first place. Sending out an email to tenants or putting up a sign in the property management office can be enough to get the ball rolling.
You do want to make leaving a review a simple matter: specify one site you’d like a review on, rather than trying to get tenants to post everywhere or leaving the decision up to them.
Send Timely Reminders
Getting more reviews is a matter of following up. You need to keep reminding those tenants who haven’t posted a review of the complex online that it would be nice to do so. Adding such suggestions to your newsletters or other information you send out can help. Consider the timing of any such reminders you send out, though: it’s best to send such requests when you expect tenants to be in a good mood. It’s not a good idea to ask for a review when you’re about to ask for an increase in rent or announce routine pest control.
You may be tempted to offer a reward to tenants who leave reviews (particularly positive ones). Be aware that prizes and payments for reviews, even if they are negative, are sometimes against the terms of service for ratings sites — if a company finds out that your offering such a reward, all of your reviews may be removed.
Understanding The Risks
By pushing for tenants to reviews your complex online, you may get more negative reviews, as well as positive recommendations. You may be surprised at who isn’t entirely happy with their experiences on your property. It may even be due to a situation not under your control, like noisy construction near by or a difficult commute. The only way to handle these sorts of negative reviews is to encourage even more reviews to drown them out.
If you see an issue you can resolve in a review, particularly if it’s from a current tenant who you recognize, it’s worth doing so. Once the problem is solved, you can encourage the tenant to update his review.
Having just a few positive reviews online can help to boost your online reputation and increase your rental rates.