Everybody looks at online reviews. Market research in consumer behavior documents 88 percent of individuals will consult a review before making a purchasing decision. And individuals give reviews the same credibility they would if consulting a friend or family member.
In the property management world, businesses are not only being reviewed by the property owners, they’re also being judged by the tenants of those properties. And as many business owners know, people are more likely to leave a review after a negative experience versus a positive one. As a result, reviews can skew towards more complaints versus approvals—which can deter quality tenants from considering a property when a vacancy occurs.
Soliciting reviews in the right way and at the right time can create a more accurate online profile for a business and significantly increase the number of positive reviews as part of that profile. Potential customers pay attention not just to the average star rating, but also to the number and recency of reviews received as well. Many consumers consider any reviews older than three months irrelevant to the current performance of the business.
Property management companies have an advantage over independent landlords. When managed properly they can generate larger numbers of positive and recent reviews because they manage a larger number of properties than independent landlords.
Positive reviews make it easier to attract quality tenants. So here are a few tips to increase good online ratings:
- Proactively ask for reviews after a positive experience. Data indicates 25 percent of those asked will respond.
- Do it quickly after a customer interaction. Timeliness is important. Ask on the same days as the interaction when the experience is still fresh.
- Do it in a text to make it easy to respond. Emails get overlooked or ignored.
- Don’t call it a review, ask for feedback. Calling it a review can put some people off and it feels self-serving. People like to give feedback.
- Make it mobile-friendly, however you decide to ask. Use a platform or tool that makes it easy to respond and that works on their phone. Remove any barriers to responding.
- Thank them for the feedback. The most important words, as our mothers taught us, are “Please” and “Thank you.”
Positive tenant reviews will attract higher quality tenants. Higher quality tenants lower costs and increase profitability. Positive reviews shorten vacancies, which also increases profitability. And what can an independent landlord do to compete? Consider hiring a property management company.
Using these techniques, Real Property Management has gathered nearly 3,700 reviews in the past twelve months, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.