When it comes to managing online reviews for a multi-family property, managers should be sure to take special precautions. The online reputation of any apartment, townhome, or condo is important as it is usually the first thing that prospective renters will encounter.
To ensure that you maintain a good reputation while still handling online reviews effectively, start by adhering to this simple list of dos and don’ts.
Research Your Property - The first step in being able to manage your online reputation is to find out what your online reputation is in the first place. Starting your process by doing some thorough research about your property online is the best course of action.
Read Website Posting Guidelines - Before deciding if/how to respond to reviews, make sure that you read the specific posting guidelines for review websites, as they vary by site and may restrict certain things.
Respond to Reviews - After researching and reading guidelines, take the time to actually respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Doing this will show both current and future tenants that you are interested in playing an active role in the continued development of your property.
Encourage Reviews - Just managing reviews isn’t enough. You also want to encourage current tenants to leave reviews of their own so that you can make sure reviews for your property are always current and reflect the state of the property in the present. Just be careful you do not break any of the review website’s guidelines in the process!
Reach Out Directly - If you have any negative reviews about your property, it’s always a good practice to also reach out to the poster directly if you can. This way, you can help solve their issue while receiving insight on how to proceed in the future.
Be Attentive and Proactive - Don’t wait until you realize that you have a swarm of negative online reviews before doing something about it. Always be attentive to the needs of your residents and be proactive about online reputation management to achieve the best results.
Delete or Edit Reviews - Some review websites may allow you to pay a fee in order to alter or remove reviews. While it may be tempting, doing this will only make you seem untrustworthy to current and potential tenants.
Respond Without Thinking - A lot of people feel the need to dispel rumors in a confrontational way with posters of negative reviews. This is a big no-no when it comes to handling online reviews for a multi-family property because it will only scare away potential renters researching your property.
Pay for Positive Reviews - Going hand in hand with deleting or editing reviews. Paying people (tenants/friends/family/etc) to leave positive reviews of your website only creates a false identity for your property, not to mention, it’s fairly easy to spot paid reviews amongst real ones.
Ignore Online Reviews - Ignoring online reviews is one of the biggest mistakes you could make when it comes to managing your online reputation. We live in a digital world where most people start their buying process online. Ignoring the influence that online reviews can have can cause a negative impact on business overtime.
Be Reactive - Don’t wait until you have a PR nightmare on your hands before you start monitoring your online reviews. Being proactive and not reactive is the best way to make sure that you have a good handle on the status of your online reputation.
When it comes to managing online reviews for your multi-family property, it all boils down to making sure that you stay present and attentive to the renter from the beginning of the renting process until the end. Providing a positive experience for your tenants from day 1 to day 365 is the best way to ensure that your reputation online is just as good as your reputation in person.