What is Digital Curb Appeal?
The concept of “curb appeal” has been a fundamental part of real estate marketing for decades. Curb appeal is simply a way of judging how attractive a home or apartment property looks to the prospective resident driving by.
The “digital” part is because most consumers looking for an apartment – 72% according to research by Rentec – begin their search online.
How Do I Improve My Property’s Digital Curb Appeal?
Real estate professionals know that appealing images and descriptions are important for your property’s website, and for your Facebook, Instagram and other social media pages. Online ratings and reviews of your company and its properties are tremendously important too.
How Do Online Reviews Impact Curb Appeal?
Turner Research reports that 75% of consumers look at reviews and ratings multiple times in their apartment search, and 70% choose to visit a property with a better online reputation. Research by BrightLocal says that 68% of consumers feel positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, and 40% say reading negative reviews makes them not want to use a local business.
Five Tips for Improving Your Property’s Online Reputation
Understand where people search, and where they post reviews. Binary Fountain’s survey of more than 41,000 reviews reveals that in the past year, Google is the top review site for multifamily residential properties, with 50% of all reviews. The top five sites also include Apartment Ratings (18.4%), Facebook (13.4%), Yelp (13.3%) and Apartments.com (3.2%). One feature that makes Google valuable to prospective residents is that they can filter the star ratings to show them the highest-rated results.
Here are five things you can do to make sure that reputation is helping to boost your digital curb appeal:
- Google your property – try an “apartments for rent near me” search, and see how your property compares with others for star ranking, accurate information, images, and so on. Do the same thing with the other rating and review sites that your search returns, to figure out where to concentrate your efforts.
- Monitor your ratings and reviews as they’re posted. Reputation management solutions can make this much simpler, with alerts on review postings, sorting and filtering options, and a dashboard that makes it simple to keep track and respond to reviews without spending time you don’t have. Of course, we recommend Binary Fountain’s Social Compass solution, which adds efficiency, and a wide array of tools for keeping track of reviews, responding in a timely manner, and tracking the results of your reputation management program. Even before you begin responding to them, share reviews with staff and management. Celebrate the positive reviews, and commit to improving areas that negative reviews indicate are in need of attention.
- Devise a consistent voice, and a rapid response program for responding to every review, positive or negative. Remember to thank everyone, positive or negative, for taking the time to post their thoughts. Your reputation improves when online visitors understand that you are paying attention to reviews, and working to improve resident service.
- Ask residents to post their reviews right after interactions that please them: After they renew their lease; when a maintenance request is handled promptly; when they refer a friend to the property; or when they stop by the office to pick up a package. Our experience shows that sending a text or email asking for a review, with a link, is a way to increase the number of posted reviews, and the percentage of positive ones.
- Monitor and communicate your performance with regular progress reports and staff communications.
Learn More About Building Digital Curb Appeal
Here are two resources to help you improve your property’s digital curb appeal:
Listen to our webinar How to Build Your Property’s Digital Curb Appeal, moderated by Paul Rosta, Executive Editor at Multi-Housing News, with expert panelists Emma Cook, Senior Digital Media Specialist at Gene B. Glick Company, and our own Senior Sales Director, George LaDue.
Download our case study showing how Gene B. Glick Company increased reviews, improved overall experience scores and boosted response rates.
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