Optimize Your Apartment Marketing: Online Reputation Management Tools Partnered With Automatic Property Ratings
January 14, 2020
The struggle is real. Generating new, fair online reviews for your multifamily community can be one of the most challenging aspects of apartment marketing and effective online reputation management for multifamily professionals.
According to a study completed by J Turner Research, residents pay a lot of attention to apartment ratings when they are researching new communities. Here are a few stats:
- 62% stated apartment ratings are a high priority when making lease decisions
- 72% said apartment reviews stopped them from visiting a community
- 70% chose to visit a property with a better online reputation
This would be less of a concern if the majority of the residents at a community were leaving unbiased online reviews of their rental experience. Unfortunately, they are not.
This situation can lead to an unfair representation of a property online. As well, this leaves it up to the property manager to beg and cajole happy residents to leave positive apartment reviews and to quickly and thoroughly respond to any critical reviews.
As a property manager or owner, you don’t have to wholly rely on resident reviews to paint a picture of your property. You have options.
Below, we outline how important online reputation management tools are for property managers specifically in regards to manage apartment reviews and how the addition of an automatic apartment ratings tool can improve your apartment marketing strategy.
The Efficiency of Online Reputation Management Tools
The main benefit of online reputation management (ORM) tools and software is the ability to automate and simplify tasks (tracking ratings) that would otherwise be tedious and time-consuming.
Without online reputation management software, property management must constantly monitor every online review platform to see when residents post reviews and respond accordingly.
Once a review is left, the property manager must manually log in to that platform and submit a response.
ORM platforms provide a central hub that aggregates all of the review information into one place. Instead of checking a half dozen different platforms, property managers can log into one unified dashboard that notifies the account owner when a new online review is published to the property.
In addition, the same software can automatically reach out to residents with a request to leave a review. This increases the overall percentage of residents who leave reviews and should provide a better balance between positive and negative ratings.
The Best Online Reputation Management Software for Multifamily
For your reference and research, here are the top 2020 ORM tools specifically geared for review management:
The multifamily industry demands proactive apartment management.
To get out in front of the infinite review/respond cycle, additional apartment marketing tools are required.
Social Media for Multifamily Review Management
There are several benefits to using social media as part of your overall online reputation management strategy:
- It allows you to have conversations
- It humanizes the property staff
- It increases resident engagement and connection
- It draws potential customers to your property
While online reputation management software can help property managers ask for reviews and respond to reviews, it doesn’t really represent a two-way conversation. The majority of the time there is one review and one response – very similar to having a discussion with a surly teenager.
Social media is different because it encourages discussion.
Property managers can post news, share information on special events and even ask questions of their residents on social media platforms. Through likes and comments, property managers can begin to get a better picture of what their residents like and dislike at each community. This is an invaluable insight. At times, how a resident interacts with a property’s social media tells you more than the actual online review.
In addition, posts on social media can be more informal than a corporate-approved response to a negative resident review. Instead of sounding robotic (i.e. we apologize for your bad experience, please contact our leasing office at…), social media posts can reflect more personality of the property and the staff.
The important takeaway here is that – unlike traditional online reputation management software – social media allows you to proactively engage with your residents, so that you can establish a relationship with them long before they go online and leave a review.
However, the drawback is that there is no direct relationship between an active presence on social media and plentiful resident reviews. Residents who enjoy chatting with you on Facebook might still not take the time to review and rate the community.
The Whole Picture on Apartment Ratings
Both online reputation management software and social media are valuable tools in a property professional’s arsenal for good apartment marketing and a positive online reputation.
However, both also have limitations:
- Online reputation management software is reactive rather than proactive
- Good social media communication and interaction doesn’t necessarily translate into an increased number of reviews and ratings
To paint a comprehensive and accurate picture of a community’s reputation, multifamily businesses now need a reliable way to automatically generate unbiased ratings on a regular basis.
With the OpenProperty online reputation management tool for ratings, communities can now expand their number of online ratings with no additional effort. With less pressure to constantly get more apartment ratings property managers and their staff can focus on other tasks.
The struggle of a busy workday will still be real, but with property professionals using a combination of ORM tools and social media to help boost the community’s online reputation, it will be easier.
As well, when everyone goes home, OpenProperty will continue working all through the night – and even on weekends – to collect ratings for the community.
The Dream Team for Apartment SEO
The combination of apartment review management software and the OpenProperty tool is great for improving apartment SEO. The more online reviews your property has, the more you're telling Google that your property is thriving and your apartment website is one renters will want to see during their search.