Reviews can make or break your multifamily community. According to a study, 70% of prospective residents will consult with a community’s reviews while conducting their apartment search. That means if your community has a number of unfavorable reviews it could greatly impact a prospective resident’s decision-making process. The simple solution to this problem is to receive more positive reviews but it’s easier said than done, especially in a world where individuals tend to leave reviews more often when they have negative experiences as opposed to positive ones. So how do you get more reviews for your multifamily community?
In order to receive more positive reviews, your onsite property management team has to start with the basics — which means becoming masters in customer service. This includes the staff in the leasing office, as well as your maintenance staff. Instilling the importance of quality customer service skills throughout recruitment, training and ongoing training will ensure the overall success of your onsite property management team. Employees that can go above and beyond with customer service will make a lasting positive impression in the eyes of your residents and prospective residents that come into contact with them.
Proper customer service can mean being responsive to residents’ questions, giving quality tours of the community, being available to deal with any potential issues and being reliable overall. All of this will boost your community’s overall chances of receiving more positive reviews. Once your employees have mastered their customer service skills then you can train them on how to ask people to leave a review.
In order to get more reviews, your onsite property management team has to be comfortable with asking for them. More often than not, we are too afraid to ask out of the fear of seeming rude or taking up someone else’s time. However, it is important to remember that the worst someone can say is “no.” Train your employees to be able to build, maintain and recognize good relationships with residents. Once they can recognize a good relationship, they can feel comfortable asking that individual if they would be willing to leave a review.
When is the best time to ask people to leave a review? Oftentimes, the optimal time to ask a resident if they would be willing to leave a review is right after an onsite team member has helped them and provided them with a service. For example, after a successful move-in of a resident, we recommend you follow up within a few days of the move-in to check-in. At that time, you can also ask for a review! Another great time to request a review from a resident is after they thank a leasing consultant for their great service whether it be problem-solving for the resident, going above and beyond to help someone, or simply giving advice or recommendations.
At P.B. Bell, we take it one step further. We’ve had a lot of success getting positive reviews from residents by creating review cards with a QR code. We hand these out at functions like resident events and chat with residents directly about their experience and if they’ve had a positive one, we’ll ask them if they’re willing to write us a review about that experience. If they say yes, we’ll hand them a review card. We also leave review cards on the counter in a resident’s apartment after completing a work order or our maintenance team will give it to the resident directly if they’re in the unit at the time of the service.
That’s not all though. It’s really easy to say “oh sure, I’d love to write a review” when you see someone in person or you chat with them on the phone. However, it’s also really easy to forget to actually go and write that review. We get busy and as humans, we’re always on to the next thing.
To overcome this, we go one step further when asking for reviews. We’ll send an email or text follow up the following day thanking the resident for being so willing to write a review, and if they haven’t taken the time to write one yet, we send them a link directly to the review site we’re hoping they’ll review us on to make it super easy for them to just click the link, write a quick review, and move on with their day.
After your team gains confidence in asking people to leave reviews and your community starts receiving more of them, it’s important that your team is responsive and addresses them whether they are positive or negative. This should be done within 48 hours of someone leaving a review or sooner. It’s possible for leasing teams to do this on their own, or you can consider hiring a 3rd party vendor to assist to make sure that responses are consistent and timely. This also allows for us to take a step back and take the emotion out of review responses. No matter what kind of review you receive, be sure to thank the resident or prospective resident for taking the time to leave a review. If it’s positive, this is a great time to reach out personally to that resident and thank them. You can consider asking if they would be comfortable with you utilizing the review for your community’s website or social media as well.
If the review is negative, be sure to let the individual know that you want to make the situation right. Leave a phone number and email address that the resident or prospective resident can reach out to in order to resolve the issue. In this case, you should also reach out to the resident and this gives you a chance to rectify the situation and even potentially get the negative review removed.
It’s important to remember that just like having amazing customer service and always building on that, asking for reviews isn’t a one-and-done situation. It’s an ongoing conversation all the time with new residents and new situations. It should become the norm for leasing and maintenance teams to ask for feedback publicly on sites such as Google and Facebook. It’s a team effort and making it a priority will pay off. More prospects will turn into residents and more residents will stay longer at your communities.
When you mix being confident asking for reviews with consistent and quality customer service and review responsiveness online, you’ll see positive outcomes at your communities including an increased ROI. This will benefit your community in the long run and will boost your chances of being a top choice for prospective residents looking for their next place to call home.
If you are looking to hire an experienced property management team to oversee your community, as well as bring in more reviews and manage your community’s reviews, be sure to check out our services and give us a call at (480) 951-2222.