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After 1.3 Million Pages of (Mostly) Negative Reviews, ApartmentsRatings.com Turns Over a New Leaf

If you haven’t made your rounds in the PR circuit the last couple weeks, you may have missed the announced partnership between ApartmentRatings.com [AR] and RentAdvisor [RA]. Unfortunately, the details surrounding the new found friendship are a bit lacking. Based on the [search result-dominating] press release issued by the pair, AR and RA are teaming up in an effort to improve our communities’ online image by soliciting positive online reviews from our residents. Their respective roles are succinctly outlined by Wade Hewitt, VP of ApartmentRatings.com: “Our new partnership with RentAdvisor works in conjunction with our Verified Resident Program and offers properties multiple solutions to solicit solid ratings and reviews, which in turn will be displayed on ApartmentRatings.com.” I was a bit taken back by how a single sentence could pack my mind with so many questions and red flags. Let’s start with the most obvious, shall we? Either the copy writer needs a copy writer or I just read a published work with the words “Verified Resident” and “ApartmentRatings.com” working together to complete a sentence. Can we be honest for a second? AR doesn't care about validity. It cares about exploiting free content. This is the site that takes any mixture of letters, numbers, and punctuation, as long as it means it can create another page to shove a dozen text ads into. I mean, can I get a little website with my AdSense? Geez. More on that in a bit. The second and, maybe most audacious of my observations surrounding this pitbull-in-a-chihuahua’s-body of a......
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