We’re all familiar with apartment ratings and review sites enough to know they often bring about negative feelings of anger or frustration. Not just for you but for your potential renters as well. It doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, apartment ratings and reviews are one of the best marketing tools in your arsenal today – as word of mouth is highly trusted by customers, 12x more so than any advertising you can do. Ratings and reviews are here to stay. So let’s talk about how you can embrace and effectively manage apartment ratings and reviews as well as your online reputation, and can leverage reviews as a major conversion and customer service tool.
Understand the distinction between a rating and a review.
First, you should understand that ratings and reviews are two different things: A rating is a value, typically represented by stars. A review is the written opinion of the user. Your star-rating is what will catch the customer’s attention at first, but its glamour will soon fade without the substance provided by the actual review. And glowing written reviews may come with a star-rating that isn’t so shiny. Ask residents to leave a review for you as opposed to merely a rating.
Know your options.
With so many review sites to out there, you don’t have time for all of them. You have to determine which site is best for you and find non-intrusive ways to guide residents and prospects to that apartment ratings and reviews site. The site should have balanced feedback and tell the story of your community by leveraging data from several sources. It should provide ways for you to engage with, respond to, and drive more apartment ratings and reviews.
Accept the gift of feedback.
Sure, it might require a little humility if the review is negative, but on the plus side it’s an opportunity like we’ve never had before to get honest feedback immediately and consistently. There is a gift for you in every review, even if the wrapping is ugly.
Maximize your benefits from apartment ratings and reviews.
Check your reviews for accuracy. Resolve any blatant discrepancies with the site provider. Keep your community photos and contact information up to date. Learn your way around the site and get a feel for the tone/mood created by the types of posts they allow – remember customers prefer sites that have a good mix of positive and negative feedback such as Renter’s Voice because they feel like they can trust the information.
Read the reviews for understanding. Find out what people are saying about you (and about your competitors). Learn from these insights what is important to your customers and potential renters. Use the feedback to hone your sales pitch! Keep asking for reviews – you’ll balance out the historically negative apartment ratings with fresh, objective content.
Thank the customer for their review. This might seem like a very obvious statement, but people often forget to express their appreciation on the internet. Everyone who leaves a review – good or bad – took time out of their day to help you. Yes, I said help. Make an impression on every customer who reads your reviews by posting a word of thanks (and if the review wasn’t outstanding by asking what you can do to improve).
We would love to hear about your experience with apartment ratings and reviews.
Renter’s Voice Social Insight Thought Leader