Under New (Reputation) Management

Apartment communities change owners
and management companies frequently. Among the list of challenges we often face
in a management change, the online reputation that is inherited can be one of
the most difficult. Historically, review sites have not accounted for a change
in management in the overall score of the property. This can be costly as many
people will focus on the score or star ratings rather than spending time
reading the actual reviews and discovering that there has been a management
change. There are several ways to overcome this both online and off. 

The short term solutions are fairly
straightforward. Notify prospective residents on your website, social
media, signage, brochures and email blasts that a new company has taken over
management and is making a commitment to a better reputation. Just be
transparent and be sure to do what you say you are going to do. If there are
capital improvements coming, be sure to mention them and provide a realistic
timeframe. 

The long term solutions are a bit
more complicated since you actually have to get positive reviews. Directly
soliciting positive reviews all at once is not recommended. Instead, you have
to create a culture that promotes feedback from your current residents. Here
are ways to do that:

1. Leave a card for your residents
after service has been completed in their unit that invites them to share their
experience with you and create an incentive for them to return it. If you get a
glowing review from a resident, reach out to them and ask them to write a
review online. 

2. Move-in is a great time to get
feedback. Follow up with all move ins and ask how their move in could have been
better? You’d be surprised how many people will appreciate it. Invite your new
residents to write a review as well, especially if they gave all or mostly
positive feedback.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0t0ucUOkuCj4yoU76iu4l9lt6cmAYwEXXVZ0OwH9BvCEKYio0mQ

3. Seek out your long term
residents. You know, the ones who keep renewing their leases no questions
asked. They are staying for a reason. Find out what it is and if they are
willing to share. They probably don’t even know these websites exist because
they haven’t needed to search for an apartment.

The
bottom line is, you will need positive reviews to improve your reputation
online. You know you provide good service, so now all you have to do is
ask.