Are Your Units Vacant Because of Bad Reviews

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When searching for an apartment or new place, the most honest and real-time reviews can be found on social media. This presents a new marketing avenue for property management companies to add to their marketing plan. Potential residents are turning to social media to communicate with current renters and analyze your company’s social media presence. The biggest question for many property management companies is whether social media is worth the storm of negative reviews.

 

The Storm of Negative Reviews

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Studies show that people are more likely to write reviews about negative experiences than positive ones. Property management is an industry that is heavily plagued by negative reviews, most of which come from the company just doing their job. The full story is often missing from reviews and posts from residents angry about deposit refunds and late fees. Speaking from the perspective of someone who works for a property management company and who is a member of the oversharing generation, I’ve often conflicted when I encounter negative reviews. A big motivation for negative reviewers is what they can get out of it. Often times, residents will over exaggerate or spam your social media platforms knowing you’ll do whatever you can to protect your online image. Should you feed into their anger or ignore it until it goes away? One way you shouldn’t handle bad reviews is by restricting your residents from writing them. One property management company in Florida made this critical mistake and may find themselves paying for it in court fees.   The worst mistake any company can make is ignoring or trying to hide negative reviews and missing out on the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

 

Negatives to Positives:

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So, how do you handle an angry tweet or lengthy Facebook post? Responding to the post in a well thought out manner should be the first step. Also, remember to only speak truths in your response and follow up on any promises made. A response shows potential residents who may be turned off by the review that your company is actively trying to improve and keep residents happy. If you’re stampeded by negative reviews by multiple residents, give them something positive to talk about can change the tone of the conversation. Buying reviews may not necessarily be the best business practice, but hosting a giveaway or resident appreciation week are great ways to bait customers in and turn the situation around.

 

There is no way to ethically and legally prevent residents from writing bad reviews on social media and various websites. Understanding this and changing your company’s mindset to embrace the reviews could be the difference in you having no vacant units and you have 100 vacant units.

 

References

Custom On It. [graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.customonit.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-negative-feedback/

Mazereeuw, A. (2016, May 16). Understanding Why Clients Post Negative Reviews Online. Retrieved from http://www.lifelearn.com/2016/05/16/understanding-why-clients-post-negative-reviews-online/

Mullin, J. (2015, March 10). One apartment complex’s rule: You write a bad review, we fine you $10k | Ars Technica. Retrieved from http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/one-apartment-complexs-rule-you-write-a-bad-review-we-fine-you-10k/

Residential Property Management Inc. (2015, June 25). Why Do Property Management Companies Have Negative Reviews? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6oMlBUaKL0

Richards, K. (2015, March 18). Why Property Management Companies Have Negative Reviews. Retrieved from http://blog.portolarentals.com/why-property-management-companies-have-negative-reviews/

Steinberg, M. (2015). [graphic]. Retrieved from https://www.checkfront.com/how-to-manage-negative-online-reviews

 

 

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism