Modern business is undeniably digital. If you’re looking to meet the expectations and challenges of digital rental management, you can’t ignore your reputation and presentation online.
As a rental business owner, you will likely receive plenty of positive and negative reviews about your properties. You should welcome any feedback. Positive reviews are great for publicity, while constructive criticism helps you determine what needs work.
If you want to keep tabs on your online reputation, you need to know the conventions of posting and responding to reviews online.
You should also develop some skills for navigating interactions with tenants online as opposed to in-person communication.
Here are a few tips for managing and monitoring your online tenant reviews.
Know the sites your tenants are posting on.
Before you can read any reviews, you need to know which sites to investigate.
Popular rental listings sites like Zillow and Apartments.com allow tenants to leave reviews. Others include Trulia, Realtor.com, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. If your properties are listed on these sites, they might be a good place to start.
Your tenants may post feedback on their social media accounts as well. While you can’t force tenants to friend or follow you, you can monitor your pages for activity related to your properties.
Track your ratings over time.
Once you’ve located sites likely to have reviews, spend some time tracking how your ratings evolve over time.
Be sure to factor in the total number of reviews. If your rental business is relatively new, you might only have a handful of reviews. One poor review could tank your average and lead to a misleading representation. To solve this problem, you simply need to wait for more reviews.
Record the information you learn from ratings and reviews over time. This will help you analyze trends in tenant likes, dislikes, complaints, and general satisfaction.
Watch for and respond to negative reviews.
If you spot a negative review, don’t panic. Responding to this review directly and professionally is the best way to handle the situation.
First, carefully read the review to determine the nature of the reviewer’s grievance and tone. Is the problem something you knew about, or is it surprising to you?
You should respond to the post as quickly as possible after seeing it. First, thank the tenant for their honest feedback and assure them that you value their opinions. Apologize for the tenant’s poor experience, no matter if you believe you were at fault. Instead of denying or arguing with the reviewer, acknowledge the problem and how it affected the tenant. Finally, be sure to offer a specific solution or the next steps you’ll take to find one.
Contact reviewers privately.
If the few sentences of the post above aren’t enough to address all the feedback, reach out to the reviewer privately. For example, you could invite the tenant to chat in person, send them a chat on your property management software account, or give them a call.
While it’s important to publicly respond to the initial negative review, further communication should be private. This way, you and the tenant can openly discuss other concerns and resolve them out of the eyes of public scrutiny.
Offer incentives for feedback and reviews.
Managing your online reputation isn’t all about settling negative reviews. Positive reviews are excellent for your image online and an effective way to accumulate new applicants and fill vacancies.
One way to encourage positive reviews is by offering incentives to tenants for leaving feedback. For example, you could send email reminders offering entry into a gift card raffle for tenants who follow a link and post a review.
Incentives are a guaranteed way to build a bank of positive reviews in no time.
Link your social media to your website and software.
Finally, consider linking your social media to your company website and property management software account. This way, you can promote and highlight your best reviews across all your marketing assets.
Boosting Your Online Rental Reputation
Tenant feedback is the understated key to success in rental management. If you know what your tenants like and dislike, you can limit turnover, increase renewals, fill units faster, and attract a larger applicant pool from the start. By following the above tips, you can build a strong and reputable presence for your rental business online.