Marketing to Yo-Pros (young professionals) is no picnic these days. Their rental path is splintered with different touch points and self-qualifying moments before they even consider your apartment as a potential next home. Reviews have historically been thought of as dangerous territory since you can’t control what is said, but prospects read them, and the sentiments of those reviews often weigh heavily in their decision process. Gathering and managing property reviews can be challenging, but done right, your efforts typically are rewarded. Existing and prospective residents will realize that you sincerely care about your property and the people that live there = better acquisition and retention.
Asking for reviews is a valuable practice to gather meaningful testimony from people about your property. Incentivizing may seem logical, but property reviews become manipulated when they are tied to a monetary reward (discounted rent, gift card, concert tickets, etc). Not only are they tainted, but there are FTC guidelines against it that could translate into a fine up to $16,000.
You can and should request reviews, but avoid cajoling your residents or influencing them with incentives. It will only promote dishonest feedback about your property. Also, today’s online user (especially, millennials) can sniff out false or spammy reviews much easier than in years past, which makes positive, authentic submissions all the more powerful.
Make It Easy
Intercepting renters at the right moment can make a huge difference in building your reviews. Traditional methods like flyers or postcards are adequate, but require extra steps compared with more immediate and efficient opportunities available online. A couple of easy steps you can take would be adding links to the property’s website or requesting reviews via email. If you’re looking for more ideas visit our most recent blog.
Casually asking for a review after a good interaction like a completed work order, a quick move-in, or after a fun community event are all smart ways that you can help facilitate great talking points for online reviews.
A Human Response
Reviews, for better or worse, can really help tell the story of your property and community to prospects online. It’s one of the best ways to respond directly to residents, and occasionally turn a difficult situation or negative sentiment into a positive outcome with a simple conversation starter. You can think about this in two ways:
A good review: Hey, you did it! Your resident loves where they live, and appreciates the daily effort your property puts forward. Be sure to thank them online and tell them how happy you are that they enjoy their home!
A bad review: Consider the entire story, and keep your response professional. Don’t list anything personal in your reply (such as, “you only requested that once and told us your dog wouldn’t be home, but our workers didn’t want to work in your home with your dog”), and be empathetic. Apologize about the situation, and show some understanding for their situation/frustration. Give them a direct point of contact and a phone number (or email) to resolve things, and hold yourself accountable to follow up with them.
A human touch is sometimes all that is needed to make it right, and a helping hand showing you care can go a long way in your reviews.
Need some advice on how to acquire reviews? Contact us today!