Reviews have become an extremely popular tool for consumers to utilize in their daily purchasing habits—apartments included. They have become so important that an Apartments.com survey recently uncovered that 80 percent of renters actually use these reviews during their apartment search process, and more than three quarters of renters consider reviews and recommendations to be “extremely” or “very helpful” when scoping for new multifamily residences.
Prior to investing in a product, service or even community, customers need reassurance that they are making the right decision. Seeing positive reviews can provide just the confirmation your target needs to take the big leap—be it visiting a website, completing an application or signing on the dotted line.
Reviews are not only helpful for those looking to purchase, but for businesses too. Properties that actively monitor and respond to customer reviews not only experience positive reactions from their tenants, but search engines as well.
The more businesses begin to understand and appreciate the importance of customer reviews, the more successful they will be.
Online reviews can create big impacts on search engines.
Each year, Moz, a popular SEO consulting company, defines the top local search engine ranking factors across Google. For 2017, review signals accounted for 13% of local pack/finder ranking factors and 7% of localized organic ranking factors. Review signals are classified as the number of reviews a business has, the speed at which reviews accumulate (review velocity), and the diversity of one’s reviews. What has been uncovered is that search engines tend to mimic consumer behavior when it comes to online reviews. Just as a search engine does, reviews also provide the customer with accurate information to ultimately help them make better, informed purchasing decisions. The faster these engines are able to do this, the more often users will turn to them again and again. Additionally, search engines love new, fresh content and reviews provide an ideal form of this relevant, user-generated information.
Get in on some of the SEO action.
To reap the SEO benefits of online reviews, you’ll need to first develop a reputation or review management strategy to determine which sites you will need to focus on first. You can start by conducting a Google search for “apartment community reviews” in your city and view the results. You can also take advantage of Google’s knowledge panel which curates content from various review platforms.
Next, comes securing your reviews. Develop creative ways to encourage your tenants to rate their experiences at your property. This can be done through your website, at social functions, via email campaigns, etc.
The next major step would be crafting a monitoring and response plan for your incoming reviews. Some may find it helpful to invest in an automated review management platform, and others will prefer to keep this process in-house. Whichever method you decide, you’ll want to ensure that you also develop a time response standard for your reviews. The industry standard for response times are 24 to 48 business hours.
Rentbot can help.
Considering that the majority of your prospects will likely read a review of your property prior to visiting your website, you’ll want to ensure that your site provides the optimal user experience and can live up to positive attention. At Rentbot, we’ll make sure that your site is both responsive and mobile-friendly and has all the bells and whistles that your renters love—from online requests, live chat features, high-definition photos and more. Not to mention, Rentbot carefully optimizes your property’s website so that it’s highly searchable and will also rank well in organic search engine results.
Let Rentbot serve as the missing piece in your reputation management strategy and secure more leads while signing more leases in the process.
About the Author
Jonsette Calloway joined the Rentbot team in 2015. With a background in public relations, advertising and copywriting, she has helped a multitude of clients achieve their marketing and communications goals within various fields, but she particularly enjoys working with the apartment industry.