Did you know that a majority of renters check landlord reviews before making their final decision to sign a lease agreement? Reputation management is not just good for hotels, restaurants, and hair salons but also for real estate.
You read it correctly; as many as 80% of renters actually look at landlord reviews during their research process. At this point, no reviews are just as bad as negative reviews and will be a red flag for anyone looking to rent a property.
Certain apartment searching platforms allow tenants to leave reviews, and that’s great! This article will offer some insights into why you should have a strong reputation management strategy to encourage potential tenants to rent from you and how to successfully develop such a strategy.
Benefits of Highly Reviewed Landlords
Signing a lease is not like buying a sandwich; it’s a huge commitment. Renters leave no stone unturned while looking for their dream place. This research is not limited to the view and neighborhood of the places they look at but also involves making sure their landlord is trustworthy and helpful.
Other important things renters will look at are how well the community/building is maintained, rules and regulations, neighbor complaints, and other potential issues.
Let’s say that a renter is looking at two different places with the same square footage, in the same area, with the same rent, and is hesitant about which one to pick.
They decide to dig a little deeper into the reviews of the landlords for apartments A and B and realize that apartment A’s landlord has five stars and apartment B has no reviews whatsoever. Which apartment do you think they will go for?
It will probably be apartment A, and that’s totally understandable. So imagine how many opportunities you are missing out on not having a platform for your tenants to leave landlord reviews.
Where to Gather Reviews
Certain apartment searching platforms already make it possible for tenants to leave landlord reviews, and that’s great. But you may want to have a venue of your own you can have more control over. A popular choice is to simply use google business pages.
Having your own business page will help you gather landlord reviews from your tenants, get notified of new reviews, and respond to them in a timely manner. When renters look you up, this will encourage them to make their decision.
You could break down reviews into different categories to make them more attractive for renters who are looking for specifics. For example, “landlord responsiveness,” “building maintenance,” and “nuisance” are hugely popular search terms.
This approach will allow you to get constant feedback from your tenants and make appropriate changes to the way you manage your property. Fixing problems and complaints that arise frequently may even encourage your current tenants to renew their leases more often!
How to Encourage Tenants to Leave Reviews
First and foremost, nobody wants to go too much out of their way to leave feedback. So you need to ensure that the review process is as easy as possible for your tenants. Even just a star rating goes a long way on a review site. But if you can get them to write a note as well, even better!
Make sure to let all of your tenants know about your review platform. Let them know by email, text, and whenever you see them. The best time to ask for a review is when you receive good feedback from one of your tenants and when they thank you for your service.
Simply respond with a link to your review page and kindly ask them to write a note about their experience with you.
Most importantly, good reviews don’t come out of nowhere. Make sure to treat your tenants with respect, offer good, consistent service, and respond to complaints in a timely manner.
What About Bad Landlord Reviews?
Bad reviews happen, and as long as they are not overpowering the good reviews, don’t panic. You want to aim for at least a 4-star rating overall. If you ever get a bad review, it is crucial for you to respond to it directly on the platform for everyone to see.
Don’t ever try to argue with the reviewer or say that it’s their fault. Always apologize for the inconvenience or misunderstanding, and respectfully address their concern. Use your review platform as a place to explain how you’re making your service better.