How much time do you spend dealing with negative reviews? As a property manager, reputation management can eat up all your time if you don’t get out in front of the sentiment surrounding your community.
Since you’ll be analyzing reviews that feature common complaints, you can address issues with your community before they turn disastrous. This proactive approach to reputation management can save you time by cutting down on the number of negative reviews, but you’ll still have to react quickly to the negative reviews that do appear. Below, we’ll talk about how you can use a proactive approach, combined with an appropriate response strategy, to enhance your community’s reputation.
When people do leave negative reviews, they expect a response
Reviews reflect and affect public perception. Thanks to Google, reviews are the first thing people see when searching for your property. Look at your Google My Business (GMB) page, and you’ll see ratings from Apartments.com, Facebook and Apartment Ratings beneath your community name. Google aggregates reviews from across the internet for your GMB profile.
If your property does have a bad review, it is better for that review to be accompanied by a response from your team than for it to sit out there with no response at all. Reviews affect the public perception of your property, but so does the way you respond.
According to a research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, 80 percent of reviewers expect a timely response to an online review or comment. That report also shows that 89 percent of consumers are willing to change a negative review based on how the business responds.
Staying on top of these reviews is a business challenge all on its own. If you’re dealing with multiple properties on a local level, you could have hundreds of reviews to deal with on any given day. You can get ahead of these reviews — and cut down on your workload — by looking at your bank of reviews and identifying trends. That’s where the proactive approach comes in.
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A proactive approach starts with a competitive analysis
Your competitive analysis should provide you with more information than which properties have the most reviews or the best ratings; it should specifically identify where your property is winning and where it’s losing ground to the other properties in the same local market.
You can take advantage of a competitor’s negative reviews. For example, you might find that a competitor frequently receives negative reviews about their small fitness center. That’s an opportunity to promote your larger fitness center as a local competitive advantage.
In the property management world, there are a few common topics that come up in reviews — safety, location, cleanliness, community amenities, maintenance issues and the general demeanor of the property staff. Which of these categories are your competitors experiencing negative sentiment in, and which topics are they not receiving any attention in altogether? These are the areas you should focus on when analyzing the reputation management opportunities in your market.
Analyze the reviews and adjusting accordingly
If your property is dealing with negative reviews, it’s likely because there’s some issue that keeps popping up. Maybe you frequently see negative reviews about your property’s cleanliness. That’s an opportunity to address an issue in your community, correct the problem, and potentially eliminate the negative reviews altogether.
As a property manager, it’s important to read the reviews, identify problem areas and address the situation to curb the negative sentiment. In 2019, your goal should be to proactively address the root cause of negative reviews and take advantage of the sentiment behind your positive reviews.
With technology like SOCi, you’ll be able to see where your negative reviews are coming from, respond quickly and identify trends in public sentiment.
You can start taking a more proactive approach to reputation management right now by claiming all your profiles and pages on local review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and Apartments.com. Make sure you’re alerted when comments and reviews are coming in and invest in a technology solution that helps you consolidate reviews and identify trends.