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Reputation Management – Taking Conversations Offline

If you search on ApartmentRatings.com enough, you will see several attempts to “take the conversation offline”, a strategy which was echoed at this year’s NMHC OpTech.  I can understand the desire to take a potentially uncomfortable conversation into private, as nobody wants to show their dirty laundry in public, but I want to throw out two reasons that potentially make this a bad idea, or at least presents challenges that you should understand: 1) Your dirty laundry is already in public. The moment that negative review gets posted on the site, it has become a public discussion.  So even if you are able to move the conversation offline, that will likely not remove the original post.  So from a prospect’s point of view, they saw an angry tirade, they saw the response to try to talk about it behind closed doors, but they didn’t see any resolution.  Even if you made things all great with the original person, that doesn’t mean you have rectified the situation with all the on-lookers.  It actually reminds me of when a couple who breaks up gets back together.  They may have resolved things between themselves, but all the friends and family who heard the horrible stories of the breakup have had no resolution themselves, so they continue to feel mistrust about the relationship. Not only do the prospects not often get closure with the dispute, but it oftentimes looks extremely shady in their point of view.  The original angry resident was more than transparent, but to the pros......
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