Apartment Ratings and Reviews: Not As Scary As You Think

Did you know that over 70% of all apartment ratings and reviews on RentersVoice.com are positive?  70%!  This makes us wonder why so apartment management teams are so nervous about their apartment ratings and reviews.

Of course, we fast recalled how the occasional negative apartment rating or review feels like a real punch in the gut.

feedback is a giftHey, sometimes bad reviews happen and when they do, they make for a great learning experience.  A bad review – like it or not – will make  your positive reviews appear more trustworthy.  No one can be perfect, right?  That’s what customers think and why they trust apartment ratings and reviews that have a mix of positive and negative feedback.

Apartment ratings and reviews sites are not the same as they were in the past. Your rental prospects are increasingly relying on apartment ratings and reviews, and sites like RentersVoice.com are one of the most effective word-of-mouth marketing and reputation tools for your apartment communities.  You can listen and learn from your residents and make strategic decisions for customer support and lead conversions efforts.

So, knowing that a 30% chunk of your apartment ratings and reviews might not be so pretty, it’s time to prepare for the judgment. Keep these things in mind:

Feedback is a gift

Read the review, recover from any negative feedback, and then look for the ‘gold’.  Remember, all feedback is a gift.  It means people are talking, and they are taking the time to leave a review because they want to be heard and they trust you to respond in some manner. They also care enough to want to share their thoughts and knowledge.  Negative apartment ratings and reviews are not necessarily intended to be malicious, though they might sting some.  Looking for the gold in each review is humbling and also fantastic for professional growth.

Don’t forget that 70% of the time you and your teammates can applaud each other because the feedback is generally positive.  So be proud of your accomplishments and the things you are getting ‘right’.  Pay attention to what made the resident’s experience so memorable he noted it in his review of your apartment community.  You may not have had any idea at the time that what you were doing was so impactful to that resident. But thanks to the apartment review, you do!

Immediate engagement

You have a focus group right at your fingertips!  The apartment ratings and reviews you receive are the initial survey.  You get to listen to what people are saying about you (and your competitors).  You can connect with customers and recognize opportunities to improve your community and your service.  Take the opportunity to ask your residents to leave a review online as well.  Current residents are the most likely to give positive apartment ratings and reviews of your community and your staff. Their experience right now is what will be helpful to new prospects who are scanning your apartment reviews and ratings online looking for a new place.

Respond quickly and personallyDirect Feedback

Respond quickly and personally, and most importantly appropriately.  This is key.  Unfortunately, most people stop at responding to the negative apartment ratings and review – forgetting to thank their happy residents when they leave  positive feedback.  Try to connect to ALL residents who leave an apartment rating for you and thank them.  If it was negative, ask how you can make things right.  Establish meaningful dialogue so you have a better grasp of exactly what caused any negative sentiment.   Great examples of communities who do a great job of responding to apartment ratings and reviews are Marquis at Perimeter Center in Atlanta, GA and Marquis at Parkway in Denver, CO.

Find Insider Tips

Don’t forget to read the apartment ratings and reviews of your competition. Rentersvoice.com is a ready resource opinions from many renters.  Their reviews can help you identify your competitive advantage to other communities in your area.  You can potentially learn what prospective renters will want most in their next apartment home and be able to offer something to meet that need.

Now that you have more clear expectations for your apartment ratings and reviews, you can be accountable for sharing it with your team and developing a goal of responding consistently.   Actively participating in the review process is incredibly important. Prospects and residents will appreciate your response, and they will be more likely to trust you.  Remember, when it comes to managing customer reviews and promoting your reputation, the best offense is always a good defense.

What has your experience been with apartment ratings and reviews? We would love to hear your thoughts.

 

-Misty Sanford

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