Have you ever Googled yourself or your business?
Chances are, if you are the manager of a multifamily facility, people are talking about you or your business online, even if you aren’t actively looking at what they are saying.
But you don’t see customers on a daily basis, so you shouldn’t be worried about online reviews or what people are saying, right?
Consider this: According to Apartments.com, 98% of survey responders (4,000 surveyed) said that they read property reviews before they consider looking at a place to live.
In order to compete successfully in today’s multifamily market, owners and property managers must have a reputation management strategy. One good way to start is by paying attention to what people are saying about you online.
This means you need to pay attention to what people are saying about you, even if it is temporarily painful. The good news is even if you see negative feedback on your profile, things don’t have to stay this way.
We’ll cover how to Google yourself (paying attention to the right things) and what you need to do to improve negative content online about your multifamily unit.
How to Google Yourself: Look at Your Google My Business Account
Now that you understand the value of Googling yourself, it’s time to take the plunge. There are a couple of important things to pay attention to when you Google your business.
First, you will want to make sure you own your Google My Business listing. This is your central hub to be able to see what people are saying about your business on Google as well as enhance your search results. You can learn more about your Google My Business listing here.
The next thing you will want to check is if the information about your multifamily unit is correct, including:
- Website URL
Adding this information to your listings and keeping it up to date ensures that customers who are interested in contacting you are able to do so without confusion or friction. Chances are if this information is incorrect, your reviews aren’t going to be overly positive because expectations aren’t being met.
If You See Negative Reviews or Comments, What Should You Do?
If you notice a bunch of negative reviews or pages with negative content about your facility, the first thing you have to do is not panic or fire off a response. The last thing you want to do is lash out at people. It never ends well.
Instead, look critically at what they are saying. Almost all of the reviews online are left by real people, not robots or fake reviews meant to discredit your business. Are they all saying similar things? What connections, if any, are there?
Looking at reviews objectively can help you identify pain points your renters have and better understand how you can do a better job of meeting their expectations and improving your renter experience. If you are able to do that, you will not only be able to satisfy current renters but also attract new ones due to improved online reviews.
Since you now have a Google my business account, you have the ability to respond to negative and positive reviews.
When responding to an online review from a renter:
- Apologize and thank them for bringing up a problem (even if you think you are in the right)
- Promise to resolve the issue
- Keep your response brief and neutral
- Provide contact information if they would like to discuss their issue with you directly
Online Reputation Management is about the Good and the Bad Reviews
It’s important to build trust with your current and prospective renters. Service recovery for residents that have a negative experience is essential to keeping your brand in a good light online.
Did you know that reviews account for almost 15% of Google’s ranking algorithm? Like most businesses, you probably didn’t. We’re seeing year-over-year that this number is actually growing, showing that Google is giving priority to multifamily businesses that have positive reviews.
Another estimated 10% of local search rankings are based on activity on your Google My Business account. These are things like click-through rates or mobile click to calls and click for directions.
In addition to responding to negative reviews, we also recommend asking your current renters for feedback. You want to make sure that you’re casting a wide net in terms of asking residents for reviews, so get creative and don’t just ask the tenants you have the best relationship with. You want honest feedback.
An example of this in action is to use what’s called a personal invite, a text message system asking tenants for an online review. You may not be ready for that kind of technology at your specific facility, but you can use email or other methods to ask for a review.
The key here is Google wants to see the quality and quantity of your reviews. If you are able to get quality reviews and a greater quantity of reviews, chances are you will see an increase in positive things being said online about your business.
Interested in learning more? Check out these similar topics:
- How to Get Executive Buy-In for a Reputation Management Program
- Ask an Expert: How Can Property Managers Best Utilize Reputation Management Strategies?
- 3 Essential Things Brand Managers Need to Know
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