Overall, property reviews across the country have declined. This is likely due to limited interactions with staff, less move-ins/out, and overall greater tolerance for issues due to a heightened understanding of the circumstances. Google has even temporarily delayed its online review publishing due to limited staffing from COVID. But, one thing this pandemic has magnified is the usefulness and relevance of social media. Throughout the quarantine period, many have relied on this tool to remain informed, communicate with loved ones, and stay connected with brands in real-time. When utilized prudently and strategically, social media can be leveraged as a great mechanism to inform and influence both prospects and renters alike, particularly when it comes to property reviews.
Despite some of these challenges, you can use this quarantine opportunity to foster additional reviews as well as gain a deeper understanding of the existing climate within your property straight from the residents’ mouths (or, fingers, in this case). So, if you’re ready to grab your reputation by the horns, here are some tips that will help with an effective social media review response process during these unique times.
Know what you’re dealing with.
This may be a known fact for many, but it’s important to reiterate–whether you’re a one-stop-shop or multi-person leasing team, when it comes to managing your social media reviews and reputation, you have to remain diligent. This holds especially true nowadays, as there may very well be a few COVID-related complaints to arise across your platforms. Now, this feedback could come in the form of an official review or a reply to a recent post. Regardless, you’ll want to actively monitor all posts so that you can work with your team to craft an action plan for resolution or response.
Go all in.
Once you solicit reviews–be it following maintenance fulfillments, employee interactions, email, etc.–you’re making the commitment to actively engage with your customers. A huge part of this responsibility entails being open, transparent, and avoiding the urge to post your typical generic responses. Having a more personalized approach allows the resident to know that you truly feel their concern, which is also guaranteed to catch the attention of your prospects. By establishing that unique emotional connection through your review responses, you’ll be more inclined to distinguish yourself from other competitors that are on their list, while increasing your existing resident satisfaction.
Respond like the future of your community depended on it.
In addition to responding to all reviews, you’ll want to also be mindful of the tone of your response. Having a well-crafted, empathetic response is key. As you begin your draft the reply, keep in mind that existing residents as well as all future prospects have an equal opportunity to view your response and can potentially form their perception around your property based on the post. So, you’re not just responding to one resident–rather, your current and future ones too. Responding with this perspective in mind helps you to better shape your messaging while understanding the major marketing opportunity you have in front of you. Provide a level of reassurance that your property is making a dedicated effort to resolve their concern(s), and/or is adhering to all government regulations. In those instances of negative feedback, incorporate facts into your response, and, if needed, you can always refer them to more legitimate authority.
Share your positive reviews.
When you receive that award-winning review, share it! Repost it on your social media pages and thank your residents for their feedback. You should always show your appreciation for their time and willingness to review their experience at your property. Even though the average “thank you” following a response likely won’t spark an added train of positive reviews, it will still set the precedent for the overall feedback/review process for your organization.
Be open, and trust the process.
Understand that the review process isn’t always a bed of roses, but it’s essential to elevating your brand reputation and engaging with your renters. It is important to remain open to the process and not let your discouragement disrupt your efforts. After all, almost every one of your renters will read the property reviews to gain insight into the overall community, its management, and resident lifestyle. And while they may notice a few negative posts, their focus will mainly be on gathering trending, timely, and relevant concerns, which is why you’ll always need a consistent cycle of reviews.
Rentbot can help.
As is the case in your personal life, your online reputation can make or break you. In addition to maintaining a good batch of reviews, you’ll also want to ensure that your website is up-to-par, too. With a Rentobt website, you’re one step closer to elevating your brand through our mobile-friendly design, built-in SEO package, conversion-optimized layout, and real-time availability. And, through our online features like rent payments maintenance requests, we are guaranteed to convert your leads into leases and retain existing tenants. Now’s the time to maximize your brand potential and accelerate those positive reviews. Here’s how you can try us out for free for 30 days–https://www.rentbot.co/website-design/free-website-trial/.
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.