Apartment complexes should use close consumer connection to attract new residents
As an apartment complex manager, your consumers don’t simply judge your business based on their experiences in your leasing office. They’re judging you the entire time they rent space from you. They will consider the following:
- How thorough and engaging the tour of the complex is the first day.
- How responsive you are to maintenance requests.
- How often prices increase.
- How friendly the staff is.
In searching for an apartment, prospects will look online for reviews and ratings from previous renters. It’s crucial your company has a positive online reputation. Since most people are usually only motivated to review businesses when they’re unhappy, there are measures you can take to make the most of your residents’ positive feedback and boost your online reputation.
We listed our top three reasons why, as an apartment manager, you need to focus on your online reviews just as much as your residents’ day-to-day experiences.
- Apartments aren’t like any other consumer good or service.
For many consumers, choosing an apartment to live in is a different experience from choosing where to shop or eat. It’s a bigger commitment, so people are likely to do extensive research. This is one reason reviews matter more to apartment complexes. Leases can last from a few months to a few years, and your prospective consumers want to make sure previous tenants were happy with your company the whole time. Google and Facebook reviews are bound to pop up in their research for the best complex, and if you have no reviews or several negative reviews, prospective renters will immediately disregard your business. Most cities have many apartment options; the way to stand out is by asking for positive online reviews from your current tenants.
- No reviews or bad reviews bring down your credibility.
There are many factors that go into where someone decides to live. Beyond the features you advertise, prospective residents want to know how other people like living there. Was the staff cordial? Did maintenance fix issues in a timely manner? If you don’t have any reviews, prospects will feel like signing a lease with you is a risky shot in the dark. Even worse, if only dissatisfied consumers leave reviews, prospective residents will assume your business is bad. You need to make sure as many of your residents as possible are sharing their honest opinions of your complex. One way to encourage feedback is through referral bonuses on rent – if tenants like where they live, why not encourage them to tell others about their experience?
- Different tenants have different experiences.
A review for an apartment complex could be from someone who lived there a few months or a few years. The experiences of short-term tenants versus long-term tenants factors into how they review you. Maybe someone lived at your complex in the midst of loud renovations and never got to enjoy the benefits from the remodel. This tenant wouldn’t have as favorable an opinion as someone who was able to use all those new amenities and perks. Ask reviewers to specify how long they lived at your complex and what was going on while they were there, so people reading the reviews have a better understanding of the situation. Remember to share positive reviews on Facebook and include a testimonial stream on your website for prospective residents to check out.
Tip: Ask your residents to review you BEFORE move-out time.
Moving out of an apartment is a busy and stressful time, so if you try to get your residents to review your complex while they’re moving out, you won’t get the results you want. Instead, promote reviews around calmer times – maybe a month or two before you expect someone to move out. Or, if someone is re-signing a lease with you, ask for feedback then. If tenants found reasons to stay with you longer, they’re more likely to have some good things to say online.
In the apartment complex industry, you have a closer connection to your consumers than most businesses. Often, a complex manager may not realize residents have an issue until they blast the complex in an online review or on social media. Using a tool like ReviewMaxer makes promoting reviews and resolving issues easy and efficient so potential tenants can get a clear picture of your property, and you can improve your online reputation.
Photo credit: Pablo
Written by: Macey Wilson