Can numbers tell the story of your property’s online reputation? Reading one review will tell you how one person feels, but the overall sentiment surrounding your community can only be understood by collecting and analyzing results from every review, every day. While most social media platforms provide reporting tools that show your overall engagement numbers and reach, the same cannot be said for the major review platforms.
For in-depth review reporting and reputation insights, property managers have to use reputation management technology. Here are some of the main data points to pay attention to when using reputation management technology, and ideas for how you can improve your overall online reputation across your property’s portfolio.
Total Count of Reviews
According to a research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, consumers need to see at least 10 reviews before they see a business’ star-rating as credible. Additionally, Google requires at least 5 reviews prior to showing them to the public. So, how can you increase your review base? One way is to ask for reviews, but different review platforms have different rules regarding review solicitation. Yelp doesn’t allow businesses to ask for reviews at all. Google prohibits businesses from providing incentives for leaving reviews. Most other major review sites such as Apartments.com are perfectly fine with companies asking for reviews.
Still, our research shows that only one-third of business owners say that they don’t ask their customers for reviews. Best practice is to ask for a review immediately following a lease renewal, in person at community events or right after you complete a resident’s maintenance request. Additionally, be sure to make it easy for residents to leave reviews by including links to your review sites in your emails and prominently displaying the links on your property’s website.
Not only is it important to have a large volume of reviews, but that review base needs to be updated with new reviews nearly every day. Research shows that 85 percent of consumers disregard local reviews that are over 3 months old. On top of that, 40 percent say they only look at reviews that were written within the past two weeks. Whatever strategy you use to grow your base of reviews, make sure it’s designed to continually fill your review base with new reviews.
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Average Response Time
Negative reviews are a detriment to your business, but a strong reputation management strategy can turn negative reviews into a chance to build stronger customer relations. According to the aforementioned research report, 77 percent of consumers leaving critical reviews expect a business to respond. Not only that, but 40 percent expect a response within 24-hours. The best way to ensure you respond to every review in a timely manner is to set up a notification system. Technology solutions like SOCi will alert you when new reviews come in — on any major apartment review site — so your team can respond quickly.
SOCi’s research found that 68 percent of consumers want to see at least 3.5 stars before they’ll consider a business, and 52 percent say they need to see at least 4 stars. The best way to boost your property’s star rating is to address the issues that are mentioned in your negative reviews. Additionally, you can respond to all negative reviews to show your renters that you understand their concerns and sympathize with their negative experience. You may even be able to turn a one-star rating into a five-star rating, as our research revealed that 89 percent of consumers show a willingness to change a negative review depending on how the business responds.
Reputation management technology like SOCi provides property managers with a clear picture of the sentiment surrounding reviews of specific properties. The feature filters through the noise, telling property managers whether reviewers are talking their communities in a positive, negative, or neutral manner over a given timeframe, and what, specifically, they’re mentioning.
Common Keyword Usage
Whether it’s your community’s amenities, the leasing staff or the apartments themselves, there are likely specific aspects of your property that people commonly mention in reviews. The best way to find out what people are talking about is to invest in technology that shows you which keywords appear in your reviews most often. Technology like SOCi will even show you the overall sentiment of the reviews that use these keywords, and dig deeper to show you the top positive and negative adjectives used with specific keywords. Monitoring the sentiment surrounding positive and negative keywords in your reviews empowers property managers to double down on the aspects that residents love about your property, and proactively correct any problems before they become potential issues for gaining new or retaining existing residents.
These are the data points that your property management team can use to track your online reputation. If you want to take it a step further and improve your reputation management, a reporting platform like SOCi can give you the tools you need to make positive changes within your community.