Is social media a rich vein of sincere personal referrals, or a sea of complaints and misinformation? If you answered the latter, it’s time to get a handle on your online reputation. Three out of four consumers report that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, as reported in the Consumer Review Survey. More than half also said that positive reviews make them more likely to commit to a purchase. To put this powerful tool to work for your apartment communities, find out what is being said first.
Applications like Hootsuite and Social Mention bring together mentions of your company across social media channels. At minimum, you need to find out what your reputation looks like on:
- Apartment Ratings
Once you know where you stand, there are two aspects to managing your reviews: a) encourage positive reviews and b) respond to bad reviews in a way that improves your reputation.
Encouraging the Positive
Don’t shy away from thanking positive reviewers publicly. It shows that you are paying attention and you value their opinions. Engaging with these customers also drives up the relevancy of their posts. However, you must be cautious not to create the impression that you reward reviewers. The implication of exchange can ruin the creditability of the resident and the apartment complex. And don’t forget, you need to make it easy for tenants to leave reviews! Include links to your preferred review sites on your home page, as well as in emails.
Responding to the Negative
Apartment owners and management companies see more than their fair share of complaints and rants from disgruntled tenants. Sometimes rival businesses send proxies online to trash the competition, or even do it themselves under a pseudonym – as was the case in the famous Whole Foods trash-blogging case a few years ago. But negative reviews don’t have to ruin your online reputation.
Start with understanding. If the review contains constructive criticism, remember that these writers are upset and frequently turn into your strongest ally when you treat them with respect. Even if it is only their opinion, apologize and thank them for their sincere concern in making your company better. On the other hand, if the review is full of insults, offensive statements or outright lies, you are dealing with a cyberbully. Your best option is to ignore these reviews and focus on the people you can help. Engaging with them only fuels their rage and raises their visibility.
You Win Either Way
Remember that the ultimate goal of social media interactions is to be found by new prospects. Every mention on a review site improves your relevancy in search results, so take the bad with the good and make sure your responses are intelligent and responsible.
Rentlytics provides deep analytics for apartment property owners and managers. Through Rentlytics, stakeholders can view and analyze their property operational and financial metrics more effectively and identify issues more quickly through our Apartment Intelligence platform, resulting in increased revenue and reduced expenses at each property across your entire portfolio. Connect with us in our LinkedIn Group Multifamily Data Experts or firstname.lastname@example.org for a demo.
Categories: Apartment Intelligence