Property managers and owners work hard to make their properties attractive to tenants. But can one bad online review undo all of the good you’ve done? Yes, according to digital marketing strategy firm Convince & Convert, which insists that reputation management should be every company’s top marketing priority. The reasoning? Because “what people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s quality, reliability, and skill.” Wondering how you can make reputation management work for instead of against your organization? We’ve got the scoop.
Accept That People Talk
According to the results of Bright Local’s “Local Consumer Review Survey 2016,” seven out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked. A whopping 84 percent of consumers, meanwhile, trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations (and way more than they trust traditional advertising).
There are a couple of important takeaways in these statistics for property managers. The first? Establishing good relationships with your tenants does more than simply make them want to stick around, it also encourages them to want to spread the word on your behalf—particularly if you encourage them to do so.
The second? Not only are prospective tenants reading these reviews, but they’re actively using them to make decisions about housing. If your property is reflected poorly in a review—or doesn’t turn up at all—they’re going to move in a different direction.
Give Them Something to Talk About
Consumers are motivated to leave reviews for one reason above all else, and—you may be surprised to find out—it’s not to rant about bad experiences. According to the website Get Five Stars, “Consumers typically want to reward excellent service. They will call out exceptionally bad service, but very few see that as a primary motivation. The survey results showed that a surprising percentage leave reviews as a help to the community, the business or other consumers.”
Examples of some typical reasons survey respondents provided when asked why they write reviews, according to Get Five Stars?
- “I write a review if they are helpful/friendly. Most especially if they have a family vibe.”
- “After visiting the business, usually because I want local businesses to succeed.”
- “To thank them for a job well done and support local businesses.”
- “They help to promote my community & build relationships.”
In this sense, the typical tenant’s motivations are beautifully aligned with that of the typical property manager. After all, you also want to promote your community, build relationships and, of course, succeed.
One of the simplest ways to inspire residents to feel compelled to share their rental experiences? Rather than adopting a reactive mindset by waiting for poor reviews, acknowledge the importance of communication as a proactive part of your reputation management strategy.