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When Managers Can't Respond

When Managers Can't Respond

It’s understandable that property management companies choose to respond to online reviews from a central location.  One person in particular may be designated to create responses for all of the communities within the portfolio.  One person…one tone…one message.  It makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Where this practice seems very practical, it may cripple the onsite teams in a variety of ways.  Oftentimes, residents air their grievances online after numerous attempts to settle their issues in-house.  If managers have not been trained in handling these interactions, a small issue could escalate into something more complicated, and more costly to resolve.

The basics of reputation management are very similar to conflict resolution.  How to handle a situation as it is presented can determine what will ultimately be expressed in an online review.  Communities across the country are met with reviews about unresponsive management, lack of trust, and indifferent service.  I say this time and time again; what happens onsite will often end up online.

Even if onsite teams are not tasked with responding to online reviews, it’s important that they have been trained in reputation management.  Where they may not be responsible for addressing resident concerns online, they are responsible for doing so onsite.  Learning to address resident concerns head-on with honesty, empathy and professionalism goes a long way to ensure resident satisfaction.

Do you consider conflict resolution and reputation management skills one in the same?

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If a company decides to handle negative reviews/etc centrally, I think they need to have a reputation management system that can handle that appropriately. Ideally, each issue would be logged almost like an online ticketing system, where notes can be added and the final resolution noted. Also, it could bring in all the relevant parties, such as the property manager at the property and the specific employee the review is directed at, if applicable. I would assume current reputation management tools handle this?

  Brent Williams

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