Reputation management


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Reputation management

  1. 1. BEST PRACTICES INRENTALMARKETING ISSUE 02.07 HOW TO MANAGE YOUR ONLINE RENTAL REAL ESTATE REPUTATION Your reputation is fragile. A positive reputation can business. Renters want trustworthy and honest brokers take months or years to establish, but can be tainted that are looking out for the best interest of the renter. One overnight if you don’t consistently monitor your online negative comment about your services can cost you their presences and the buzz around your name. If you’re not business. careful, a negative reputation can cause you to lose You can lose thousands of dollars. A poor thousands of dollars. reputation can cause you to lose thousands of dollars in Reputations directly affect a professional’s success. It commissions. Let’s assume an agent gains $800 in could be the single factor that determines whether or not a commission per lease. Deterring one renter per month for renter signs a lease. You need to be concerned about how a year could cost you up to $9,600 dollars in lost you’re portrayed in the online rental community because your reputation is permanent, encourages renters to work with you, and lets you learn what you need to improve on. However, your reputation isn’t only under your control; it’s also in the hands of renters. Renters are talking about your business, sharing experiences, and influencing other renters both online and offline. While negative criticism Your can’t be erased, you can still salvage your image and convey a respectable, considerate professional. Renters are looking to work with the most honest and Reputation credible people in the rental industry. In this guide, you’ll learn how to build, protect, maintain, and monitor your reputation. A poor reputation can make or break your career, so it’s worth every ounce of your effort. What is your reputation worth? A reputation is more than how you’re recognized and judged by renters – it’s your crux to receiving more Photo: GuySie (Flickr) [1]
  2. 2. business. Unless you’re willing to risk thousands inpotential profit, reputation management is a must. Renters want honest brokers. Renters don’t want “When working with ato give their business to dishonest rental professionals.According to a RentJuice study of renter preferences, rental professional, the40 percent of renters said that honesty is the most trait I value most is their...”important quality they look for in a rental professional.This means that if a prospective renter feels any level ofdishonesty with a rental professional, they’ll move on tofind someone they will trust. Honesty 40% A trusting renter is worth a future sale. Renters Access To Apartments 19.2%who work with you could also be your next home sale.“Over 90 percent of my sales come from rentals,” said Local Knowledge 10%Robert Scott, a Boston real estate broker. “If you Inventory Knowledge 14.2%nurture that client, they’re going to come back to youand keep coming back. They’ll look to a realtor to guide Commission 16.7%them when they need to eventually buy a house.” Atrusting renter will have confidence in you managingtheir future housing transactions. Letting your Research conducted by RentJuice, 2011.reputation fall by the wayside could risk you losing afuture sale. professional one if you want to generate business. Jumpstarting your reputation. LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals. If renters try to find you on LinkedIn and you’re not there, they may question your credibility. Add authority to your Whatever your reputation may be, it’s never too late to profile by including your company, associations, and workgive your image a boost. Use the internet to start a experience. This will qualify you as an authoritative sourcepositive buzz or conversation around your name. “Word- when renters seek a professional with expertise andof-mouth is now a public conversation, carried experience in rentals.on in blog comments and customer Start a Yelp business account. Renters arereviews,” said Chris Anderson, editor-in- If you nurture influenced by the experiences their peers hadchief of Wired magazine. To get that client, they’re with rental professionals. Yelp is a great placeconversation started about you, become going to come back for consumers to read reviews to help makeactive in the online rental community. to you and keep decisions on where to give their business. Start Launch a blog. A blog establishes coming back. or “claim” your business Yelp account to monitoryou as an experienced professional in what people are saying. Once launched, directrentals and real estate. Posting frequently adds renters to the page to share their positive experiencesto your personality, making you personable and relatable. with you.Your blog will not only make you a thought leader in the Be part of the community. Be a helpful local rentalindustry, but it will also move your blog up in page rank in professional. Offer your advice to renters asking questionsGoogle’s search results, increasing the chances of a renter about rentals on websites, public forums, and socialfinding your business in their online search. media. Responding to people in your local community Create your LinkedIn profile. If you’re going to start about rentals will boost your credibility and portray you asany social media presence online, it better be a [2]
  3. 3. a good, helpful rental professional. Prospective renters rentals and the local community on the website,who see your responses will feel that you’re a trustworthy, establishing yourself as a credible resource for renters.knowledgeable professional. Shape how you want renters to see you by creating an “about” page on your business, including your qualifications and experience. Renter testimonials on your Protect your reputation. website also serves as social proof that renters enjoy working with you. Your successful rental website will rank Not all renters will have glowing comments and high, causing any negative information to appear lower inreviews about you. Don’t worry, all isn’t lost. While your Google’s search results.first inclination is to try to remove their comments from the Positively respond to negative reviews. Use publicinternet, chances are, you’re not going to be able to. You relations to repair a tainted image. When you find negativecan, however, make these reviews less likely to be seen by online reviews on a place like Yelp or a message thread,future renters. respond to it. Building a positive reputation must be Push down negative information. The only way to earned and is dependent on how you engage with renters’remove negative online information is to create more feedback Chris Anderson argued. “It’s the way your valuespositive online content to overtake it. Use your blog and are transmitted,” he said. Responding to a renter’swebsite frequently, and generate new content on a regular criticism well presents you as a positive and personablebasis. For example, writing on your blog everyday will professional. Respond to negative comments by usingcause your posts to appear higher in search engine results four essential components: listen, empathy, resolution, andover time. Consistently publishing new content online will an open line of communication.make it more difficult for your negative content to rank in Listen to your renters. You can’t properly address aonline search results. renter’s problem or situation if you don’t hear out their Start a rental website. Owning a website with lots of concerns. You’d never know if more than one renter couldtraffic gives you an authoritative, professional image and feel the same way about you. Listening to renter’sappears higher in search results. Share your expertise in How to Respond to Negative Criticism from Renters Step 1: Listen to your renters. Step 2: Show empathy. Step 3: Offer a resolution. Step 4: Open up communication lines. Graphic by: secretlondon [3]
  4. 4. concerns will help you better assess your business and with previously by e-mail. Ask them how their move-in washow to resolve issues with frustrated renters. and how they’re enjoying their new apartment. A couple of Show empathy. Frustrated renters don’t want to be months before the lease ends, ask them if you could helpargued with. Your perspective doesn’t matter as much as them find a new property. In fact, according to our study offrustrations. Renters posting negative comments online renters, 55.8 percent want rental professionals to check upabout you are looking to vent and share their issues. on them when the lease expires. This method shows youEmpathize by showing them understanding. Tell them, “I care about their well-being and keeps renters working withunderstand why you would be upset with this issue, you.because if I were in your shoes, I would, Ask for referrals. Positive referrals from previoustoo.” This shows you see their side, and renters are great for creating a positive buzz aroundyou understand their pains. your name. Dr. Vince Nowinski, researcher and When customer Offer a resolution. It’s expert in customer satisfaction and loyalty at experiences areimportant to let renters know you eBay, said, “When customer experiences are positive - and loyalty ishear their problems, value their high - we expect customers positive—and loyalty is high—we expectinput, and are proactive in to spend more on average customers to spend more on average and toresolving the issues. Offer and to generate new generate new business via positive word-of-frustrated renters a solution or business via positive mouth.” Encourage renters who had a greatcompensation for their troubles. For word-of mouth. experience with you to share your informationexample, offer a discount on your with friends and family. If renters have good thingsbroker fees the next time the renter is to say about you, you’re more likely to generate moreapartment searching. Renters will appreciate the gesture business from their network.and will remember you on a warmer note. Open up communication lines. Sometimes, you haveto leave the door open for someone to approach you.Clearly state that you’re open to talk about the matter, andtackle any more unresolved issues. For instance, you can “After I move into my newsay, “I’m more than happy to talk about this and resolve it apartment, Id like myas soon as possible. I truly value your opinion and alwayswelcome feedback. E-mail me at” rental professionalEncouraging them to talk to you shows you’re proactive in to check up on me...”renter satisfaction. Maintain your positive image. Every Month 1.7% Once your reputation takes the high road, continually Every 3 Months 13.3%work to keep it positive. The stronger your presence is, the Every 6 Months 29.2%harder it is to take down. When working with renters, maketheir renting experience less daunting, and they’ll be sure When Lease Expires 55.8%to spread the word on who’s the best to work with inrentals. Check in on your renters. Renters know you’re only Research conducted by RentJuice, 2011.getting them to sign a lease for their money if they neverhear from you again. Follow up with renters you worked [4]
  5. 5. from having to manually search your name regularly. Search for positive and negative words. To find out what renters are saying about you, Google positive and negative words with your name. For example, search for “Daniel Matthews at Amazing Realty sucks” and “Daniel Matthews at Amazing Realty rocks.” If the search results show favor to one attitude over the other, you’ll know how most renters feel about you. Analyze the sentiments of your company. Your company’s reputation is just as important as yours. Renters won’t only be searching for information on you, but they’re also looking for information about your company. Renters that come across unflattering information about your company won’t work with you based on association. If this is the case, your company needs to take the time to repair its image just as you’ve taken the time to monitor your own online reputation. Screenshot taken from Monitor what people are saying. Get your rental marketing One negative comment online could influence up to speed.hundreds of potential renters, so you need to keepreputation on your radar. Constantly track of what people • Start using social media in 4-weeks.are saying about you so that you can quickly stop anynegative perceptions of you from spreading. • Launch a successful rental division in 7 steps. Set up Google Alerts. Google Alerts allow you to • Learn what’s most important to renters.receive e-mails every time there’s new content on a topic. • Gain more leads from your online listings.Create a Google Alert for your full name and company,and choose how frequently you want to be sent e-mails. Get these free guides and more at:Any new information on you that’s published on the will go straight to your inbox, saving you time About RentJuice RentJuice is a platform that helps you market and lease your rental availabilities. Thousands of leasing agents use RentJuice daily to track and market their vacancies to 130 Battery St. - 6th Floor prospective tenants. San Francisco, CA 94111 (877) 21-JUICE [5]