The next time you think about ignoring that online property review–think again. Turns out, online reviews actually do help improve local search rankings with the added potential of elevating your visibility —actually, so much so that online reviews are estimated to make up about 10% of how Google decides to rank web search results. Not to mention, online reviews encourage click-throughs, site visits and phone calls. According to a 2018 consumer review survey, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses and 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So, to sum it all up, online reviews are pretty important to the success of your property, which is all the more reason why you need to have a strong reputation management strategy in place.
How reviews impact your ratings
Google places a good majority of its trust in the consumer, which means it will only recommend what it believes are the most trusted, credible sites to users first. Additionally, Google rewards customer interactions. So, when you respond to those online reviews, Google touts these interactions as trustworthy; thus, giving your site more authority and greater credibility.
Here are some key ideas to keep in mind when developing your strategy:
1. Determine your review channels.
In addition to your Google My Business page, you’ll need to do a quick search of your property to determine which specific sites are publishing your reviews. While Google should be a primary focus, if your resources are scarce, you’ll want to carefully select the review sites that create the most impact for your brand and begin to tackle those first. These sites also create signals and links that confirm the relevancy of your site to Google. Establish a timeline to respond to each review and develop a mechanism to track the various review sites so that your team is not left wondering who to respond to next.
2. Leverage the power of a bad review
While we’d love to be able to catch all complaints before they transcend into virtual “negative Nancys,” unfortunately, this is not realistic. Negative reviews are never the most encouraging to read, but, oftentimes, are inevitable yet necessary feedback to receive. When you come across these problems, ensure that your response is timely, genuine and helpful. Your tenant just likely wants to be heard and for their issue to be resolved. In your response, be sure to validate the customer’s concerns, ask questions to gain a complete understanding of the issue at hand, and work to develop an effective solution to the problem given the information you secured. Once the problem has been solved, you can then begin to kindly ask the tenant to edit his/her review to reflect the positive resolution.
3. Encourage your tenants to leave reviews
Yes, I said it. This one might be a tad scary to envision, but, trust me, it will produce great results for your property in the long term. You need to ultimately build a community around your reviews, which is only possible if you have someone to engage with. Think of creative ways to secure additional reviews, like adding verbiage to completed maintenance requests or even hosting drawings for tenants who do leave a review.
Rentbot can help.
Over 90% of people don’t go past the first page of search results. Your online reputation matters. And it starts and ends with a great website. At Rentbot, we design websites for your multifamily properties that attract, convert and retain tenants. We’re trained by leading SEO firms and have over a decade of experience improving clients’ apartment SEO-driven traffic. And because Rentbot specializes only in multifamily clients, we know the industry like the back of our hand. Elevate your online reputation with a budget-friendly, conversion-optimized Rentbot website and boost your online reputation and leads at the same time.
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.