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How to Improve Your Apartment Reputation Management

apartment reputation management  These circumstances have you questioning the importance of online reputation. Does it really influence your prospects? And should you be concerned with negative reviews?  These are legit questions, and they are all going to be answered in this post.  How Much Do People Trust Online Reviews? Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is still one of the best forms of advertising. People will believe in a recommendation over any kind of advertising.  The internet opened the doors to a new method of WOMM, online reviews. Recent research suggests that when family or friends recommend a business, prospects will still take it to the internet and read the reviews.  When it comes to apartment living, a survey conducted by Apartments.com showed that 98 percent of respondents read the property’s reviews either always or sometimes. The number is an indication that renters want an insight into your community before signing in the dotted line.  But it doesn’t stop there. Eighty-four percent trust online reviews as much as word of mouth. And 68 percent will form an opinion after reading them.  These statistics show that apartment reputation management is an essential skill. But what if your community has no reviews? How Do Reviews Affect Your Community If your community has no reviews is not good. Based on the Apartments.com survey, 94 percent are likely to rent from a place that has reviews. A community with positive online reviews will attract a lot more prospects than one with no reviews. On a similar trend, 82 percent of consumers are likely to avo......
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Elements of a Rock Star Review Response

  Responding well to an online review is more involved than you might think at first glance. There’s a lot of customer service and public relations theory working in the background that has to be incorporated into a few short sentences. And it’s happening while you’re trying to hold back the emotion from being skewered online. If you can find a way to tame the angry beast inside and remember the following five elements, you can become a response rock star. Authenticity This isn’t a statement to the media or a legal letter. It’s a response to an upset resident with hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective renters watching. If your response reads like you outsourced it to your legal team, it’s not going to sound natural and prospects are going to know it isn’t genuine. Be natural, be authentic and prospects will believe you truly care about your residents. Honesty The worst thing you can do is lie. Saying your service manager was at the community at 9 a.m., when they didn’t show up until 3 p.m. might seem like a good idea because prospects will believe you arrived on time. But the truth always comes out and it’s more believable when it comes from a resident. The resident will call you out on a follow-up post and other residents might post their own negative reviews about late service just out of principle. Always tell the truth, even when responding to a review. Friendly It’s hard to be friendly to someone who just ......
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EQ Meets Reputation Management

There’s only one thing worse than getting berated by a resident on site – getting berated on a review site.  When words are put on paper, they’re much more powerful than when they’re said to us in the heat of the moment. That’s because we can say something we don’t mean much more easily than we can write. When we write it, we probably mean it.  That’s what makes multifamily reputation management so hard for anybody who works for an organization they love and believe in. The moment you read a negative review from an angry resident, you feel it to your core, whether you were involved in the situation or not. You might feel angry, annoyed, hurt, sad, confused or any other negative emotion for that matter.  But that emotion won’t serve you well when you sit down to write a response to that review. That’s why we recommend hiring a third-party to respond to reviews. However, if you are tasked with writing the response yourself, you’ll need some strategies to manage your emotions. Here are a few I’ve seen work: Give it a few hours. Don’t just jump into your response right away. Let yourself work through the emotions before hitting the keyboard. It often takes time to work through the initial emotion and start viewing the situation rationally. Those first feelings are often irrational because expressing them to the resident won’t fix the problem. They will only escalate the negativity. Vent to a trusted coworker. You’re going to want to do this in privat......
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The One Customer Service Question You Need to Ask Yourself!

The One Customer Service Question You Need to Ask Yourself!
As a corporate speaker and strategist one of my most requested topics to speak on is customer service. I imagine you are not surprised by this … I’m not. After all-all businesses require customers to succeed and customers expect some level of customer service every time they choose to do business with someone. Therefore we can all agree that customer service is crucial-that customer service is important, right? I think we can also agree that most companies have some sort of customer service mantra that they proclaim to the world. Macy’s: “Macy’s, Inc. clearly recognizes that the customer is paramount and that all its actions and omnichannel strategies must be directed toward providing a personalized merchandise offering and shopping experience…” State Farm Insurance: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There Nationwide Insurance: “Nationwide is on your side.” (Is it just me or do you hear Peyton Manning humming the Nationwide theme right now?) So, here is my question. If everyone can agree that customer service is important, why do we keep having bad customer service experiences?  Remember this epic rant of a Starbucks barista caught on video? In case you were not sure of what happened-from what I understand (and I might be wrong) the barista accused the customer of trying to steal an edible straw worth about 99 cents. (And yes, the barista no longer works there. Some reports say she was fired, the barista herself says she quit, I’ll leave it to you to decide what is true.) So, I’ll repeat my question again-why do we keep ha......
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IDEAS FOR RENT - Developing a Reputation Management Plan

IDEAS FOR RENT - Developing a Reputation Management Plan
Let's be honest. Very few in our industry like online review websites. They are a constant struggle. Very rarely do they provide a sound mechanism to generate leads and more often than not, they lead to bad reputations, decreased lead generation, and fewer renewals. However, we still need to deal with them. Online review sites are here to stay and should not be ignored. Hoping they go away won't solve the problem. However, if you have the right plan, you can make sure you are setup for success. Reputation Management Plan It's essential, if not vital that every community today develops a plan on how to deal with online reviews. The goal of any good Reputation Management plan is to minimize the impact of adverse reviews while improving the number of positive reviews left by renters and tenants. STEP #1 - Respond to Negative Reviews A Reputation Management plan starts with responding to reviews in a timely, understanding and mature manner.   React Quickly and Politely - Not responding to negative reviews can be the worst thing a community can do. Ignoring it doesn't make it better. Respond to every review quickly and politely. Address Criticism - When responding to a review, acknowledge the criticism if it is valid. You must address the issue "head-on." Making excuses or passing-the-buck can only lead to more criticism and worse reviews. Empathize with Complaints - What would you write if you had the same experience? Empathizing with a renter or tenant about their issues shows you......
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Top 6 Resident Complaints That Will Damage Your Reputation

Author John Green’s book title “The Fault in our Stars” seems fitting to describe the significance of star ratings for prospects scouting the Internet to search for apartments. We know that residents are flocking online to voice their disappointments or favorable experiences at their apartment homes. Research proves that these online conversations affect prospect traffic to your doorstep.   A nationwide survey by J Turner Research involving more than 25,000 residents indicates that 62 percent refer to online ratings and reviews at the beginning of their apartment search. According to a 2016 study, the two most influential aspects of reviews in a prospect’s decision making are star ratings and the relevancy of reviews to their likes and dislikes – relevancy refers to content of the reviews. The number of reviews is a close third.   Are you monitoring the content of your online reviews? Do you know the top complaints echoed by residents on online review sites and ILSs?  In analyzing hundreds of online reviews, below are some key pain points that annoy residents the most.   1.  Racial discrimination – The rhetoric of racial discrimination can damage a business severely. Residents feel victimized due to “perceived” racial discrimination by a specific staff member. Residents also notice how staff members deal with a diverse resident body. If the interaction is not respectful by their standards, the resident may misconstrue it as an act of racial discrimination.   2. Eviction letters/notices - Residents view eviction letters as humiliating and threatening. Sticking eviction letters on thei......
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Google Places For Business: A Good Start For Reputation Management

Rating and review sites give everyone a megaphone. Justified or not, complaints about a business are instantly available to customers around the world.

Praise happens, of course. But dissatisfied customers have incentive to speak up, while happy ones are likely to keep quiet. This makes proactive reputation management essential.

Google Places For Business is a brand-new basic reputation management tool, allowing you to monitor and respond to social media mentions. It's a simple add-on to Google search, and most features are free. But you can't track reviews for multiple sites in one login, which makes the feature best for small businesses with limited online presence.

Specialized reputation management platforms save you time, money, and headaches, integrating your mentions on one screen and ensuring your customers get a quick response.

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