Choosing where to rent is not an easy decision. When renters are looking at a plethora of options, they consider much more than the glitz and glam. They carefully look at what others are saying about your business. In the multifamily industry, renters take your business’ reviews very seriously when searching for the ideal place to call home. When it comes to reputation management, it is essential that your reviews highlight the authenticity of your business. According to the Spiegel Research Center, 95% of consumers read online reviews before even making a purchase.
You can flag and remove Google reviews using the following steps from Google My Business:
Sign into your Google My Business account
Open the location of your choice
Click “Reviews” from the menu
Choose the review that you would like to flag and click on the three-dot menu, then click “Flag as Inappropriate”
Here’s some of the prohibited content that can be flagged for removal from your business’ Google reviews:
Let’s face it. You’ve seen reviews that make you feel skeptical. Whether the reviews were posted multiple times or sound meaningless, there just isn’t something right. We don’t like these types of reviews and neither does Google. Look out for identical reviews from the same or multiple accounts around the same time period. If you spot anything shady, be sure to flag for Google to review. Here’s an example of spammy reviews.
Google will review any content that contains obscene, profane, or offensive language or gestures, which is strictly laid out in their policy. This includes, but is not limited to, illegal content, sexually explicit content, and dangerous content. No one wants to read these types of unpleasant reviews, especially your future renters. Do yourself a favor and flag them for removal.
If you have a review from someone who never visited your business, you can flag their review for removal. This includes reviews that mention friends of friends who have had an issue at your business, as well as reviews that mention facts based solely on your website through external resources. Google only cares about real experiences at your business; not what was heard through the grapevine. Here’s an example:
The multifamily industry is a tight-knit group. This can cause your competitors to leave reviews, as well as current and former employees. Google values honest and unbiased content. According to their policies, Google does not allow reviewing your own business, posting content about a current or former employment experience, or posting content about a competitor to manipulate their ratings. If something doesn’t look right, trust your gut.
If Google will not remove the review you have flagged, it’s important to respond to the review in a timely manner. While responding, be sure to keep things short and sweet, without attacking the reviewer. You can also take the conversation offline to resolve the issue. Not only does responding to reviews look good to future renters, it can also improve your SEO.
Keeping these tips in mind will certainly help in keeping your business’ image positive. While there isn’t much to do to remove real negative reviews (besides practicing A+ customer service by responding with apology for their bad experience that might turn the situation around), you can certainly do some work to fix the fishy and downright-spammy reviews.