HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND STARTING LOVING ONLINE REVIEWS

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My presentation from the 2010 Apartment Internet Marketing Conference. Online Reviews are here to stay. Embrace them.

My presentation from the 2010 Apartment Internet Marketing Conference. Online Reviews are here to stay. Embrace them.

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  • Awesome... everyone wins when they embrace the conversation. Thanks Mark!
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  • What’s our perception of reviews been, and what’s driving change? Perception is everything – Economics can skew our perception unfortunately, and it also can do the same to our customers. At it’s core, however, service has always been what really makes a multifamily community run at its best. Everything else around it is just a bonus or a band aid. We all don’t run A+ communities, and over time those get older and rely more and more on service to sustain. Ratings were a nuisance before when times were good, but now we need them more than ever so that the best companies can really differentiate themselves and get the premium they deserve. Why change? – Word of mouth/mouse is bigger than ever. Information (not brochure info and bullet points), but real info is available and people want it more than they want your bullet points. What drives change? – It really has always been about word of mouth, but people were willing to take some risks before. People are less risky now. Economics have forced people into getting a second opinion and taking their time. And now more opinions are easily available. Why did we view it differently before? – Because we forgot what got us here in the first place. We took on a “build it and they will come mentality” and we tried to disguise our service shortfalls with amenities, bells, and whistles. We kept trying to build a bigger, better, badder brochure, but didn’t realize that no one really cares about your brochure.
  • So what’s our strategy at J.C. Hart? More surveys – We’re taking every opportunity we can get and making it as real time as possible. No longer is an annual survey good enough. You miss too much. Choose your important touch points and make it happen. Any sample size is better than no sample size. Much easier to react to online reviews if you already know where your problems are. Or, you’re able to fix your issues before someone even thinks of giving a bad rating. Listening is going to be huge. More interaction – When Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart) started his business he would go to the stores, interact with the customers, and interact with his employees. As companies grow, we forget why that is so important. Our focus at JCH is to give more of that interaction with the front line and our customers. We lost sight a bit, but we’re headed back in the right direction. More human – There needs to be a face with the voice of the company. As companies grow we try to “can” too much. It’s still about being human, and having someone real that really cares. We can’t lose the human voice, and the face that is behind it. More people – Along the lines of being human, we must embrace people and our differences. We may not love everyone and we all have the resident that drives us crazy, but they just want to connect with someone. People want to work with other people. It’s not about building a better machine, it’s about being better people and connecting better with others. Less fear – Stop being scared of the unknown and embrace the fact that you are not perfect. Battle through those fears vs. turning your head from them.
  • Everything can be reviewed online – Just about anything and everything has a comment space on it now. Don’t believe me, check out the next slide.
  • Everything can be reviewed online – While sidewiki hasn’t really taken off, just about every website has comment areas or share buttons. It’s only a matter of time before your ILS listings include them. The customer is going to demand it, and they will seek out another site (like apartmentratings.com) if they don’t find it. Even if the ILS’s don’t create it, someone will create a button or a platform to do it anyway. What comes back in search? – If apartmentratings, or whatever is coming back in search near the top of the organic results, what are you doing about it, how are you responding to those reviews, and what other content online to you have that surrounds it? Leading your online assets? - How much online real estate do you own? With all the options out there, you have a huge opportunity to own so much with just a little sweat equity. Take the lead before a disgruntled customer does. Do you own your ‘managmentcompany’sucks.com URL? Should you? Building a better online brand – With those online assets comes the opportunity to build a better online brand. More opportunities to have positive feedback. More opportunities to listen to your customers. And more opportunities to be found online. Isn’t it about being found? The question is, when they search for you what do they find?
  • We’re part of a beta test with Rentwiki asking our residents to review our communities. This is a different strategy for collecting reviews and could be just one piece to embracing online reviews. Of these reviews only 3 were below a 3 star review. That even said, not all comments were perfect, but they tell a much better story about the property, and they give us an opportunity to respond and make changes where necessary.
  • Everything can be reviewed online – While sidewiki hasn’t really taken off, just about every website has comment areas or share buttons. It’s only a matter of time before your ILS listings include them. The customer is going to demand it, and they will seek out another site (like apartmentratings.com) if they don’t find it. Even if the ILS’s don’t create it, someone will create a button or a platform to do it anyway. What comes back in search? – If apartmentratings, or whatever is coming back in search near the top of the organic results, what are you doing about it, how are you responding to those reviews, and what other content online to you have that surrounds it? Leading your online assets? - How much online real estate do you own? With all the options out there, you have a huge opportunity to own so much with just a little sweat equity. Take the lead before a disgruntled customer does. Do you own your ‘managmentcompany’sucks.com URL? Should you? Building a better online brand – With those online assets comes the opportunity to build a better online brand. More opportunities to have positive feedback. More opportunities to listen to your customers. And more opportunities to be found online. Isn’t it about being found? The question is, when they search for you what do they find?

Transcript

  • 1. AIM 2010
    • HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND STARTING LOVING ONLINE REVIEWS
    • Mark Juleen – J.C. Hart Company
  • 2.  
  • 3. Perception and Change
    • Perception is everything
    • Why change?
    • What drives change?
    • Why did we view it differently before?
  • 4. Strategy…
    • More surveys
    • More interaction
    • More human
    • More people
    • Less Fear
  • 5. Opportunities/Leverage
    • Everything can be reviewed online
    • What comes back in search?
    • Leading your online assets
    • Building a better online brand
  • 6. Google Sidewiki
  • 7. Opportunities/Leverage
    • Everything can be reviewed online
    • What comes back in search?
    • Leading your online assets
    • Building a better online brand
  • 8. What else is exciting?
    • 2380 emails sent
    • 333 opened
    • 170 clicked
    • 26 total reviews
    • 15% of clicks turned into reviews
  • 9. 5 Summary Points
    • Embrace the change and monitor review platforms and anything online
    • Respond honestly and don’t take it personal. Apologize even if you don’t believe you’re wrong.
    • Survey internally. Know where you stand before you are surprised.
    • Use it as an opportunity to grow your online brand. Believe it or not, more comments are better for you.
    • Ask for the reviews. Put links on your websites and remind people in your messages to them.
  • 10. Where you can find me …
    • MarkJuleen.com
    • facebook.markjuleen.com
    • @mbj and @theaptnerd
    • mjuleen
    • homeisjchart.com
    • facebook.homeisjchart.com
    • @homeisjchart
    • MultifamilyInsiders.com
    • theresidentconnection.com