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Apartment Ratings - How to respond to negative reviews


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Produced by Multifamily Insiders:

Every single apartment community has experienced a negative review on, on Yelp, or even on their own Fan Page. This webinar explains how to properly react to negative posts to diffuse the situation, show prospects you care about your residents, and to use that feedback to improve your business.

Published in: Real Estate, Technology, Business
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Apartment Ratings - How to respond to negative reviews

  1. 1. They Slammed Me On What Should I Do? Presented by Brent WilliamsProudly sponsored by:
  2. 2. Twitter Hashtag #MFIwebinarIf you use Twitter, add this to the end of your tweets to be included in the discussion of the webinar!
  3. 3. Does your hatred of make it difficult to use it effectively?• We hate ApartmentRatings, so we won’t be using it• Knee-jerk reaction: ApartmentRatings is unfair so we ignore all reviews on it If youre having problems with your ratings, then theres something wrong with your product. Behind the vicious rants are some underlying themes that represent problems you can fix: "People often speed through the property." "People are always hanging around outside drinking." "The office staff is mean.“ These are the things companies find it hard to face. The truth. - A quote from Bill Szczytko’s blog:
  4. 4. SatisFacts National Study Takeaways: “Getting Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter”• “Getting Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter”: National study completed by SatisFacts July 2011; the study included residents from twenty diverse management companies from across the nation.• When shopping for an apartment, a whopping 51.6% reported they would use a ratings/review site.• When asked how important ratings/reviews would be, this source earned a strong 4.27/5.00 rating.• The impact on rental decisions of a community’s ratings/reviews earned a strong 4.13/5.00 rating, ranking sixth among 45 topics rated.• Management company brand “impact” 2.79/5.00 score shows it has less-than-more impact. However, building awareness is valuable if the reputation is positive (driven by performance not taglines).• One-third cited they had recommended a management company, showing the importance of positive brand perceptions, which is driven by ratings/reviews.• Two-thirds stated that if asked they would post a positive comment on a ratings site, but only 8% have been asked.• As it relates to a property’s “online reputation,” note that the most powerful way to positively impact it is to reduce dissatisfaction, which is accomplished by focusing on what residents said matter most to them. Managing a property’s online reputation begins with managing the resident experience. Take the Guesswork Out of Retention™ ©SatisFacts Research: Atlanta/Baltimore/Chicago/Los Angeles Toll Free: 866.655.1490 Web: Email: 4
  5. 5. SatisFacts National Study Takeaways: “Getting Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter”• You do not manage your online reputation…you manage the resident experience which impacts your reputation. • One large Midwest client saw the ratio of negative-to-positive ratings on go from 2:1 to 1:2 in just a year by managing the resident experience.• Due to the Internet and rating sites you no longer control your brand…your customer does.• Per the SatisFacts Index, rated as a top ten media source.• One may say is a complaint site or it’s not like TripAdvisor, but the bottom line is your property’s page will show up at the top of a prospect’s Google search.• has the highest closing ratio…so turn it into a powerful marketing tool.• Contract for Manager Center so you can engage with upset residents, take the conversation offline, and resolve the issue.• E-Book: Get on the waiting list at (findings by age, rent; Who’s Who list of contributors including Lisa Trosien, Dennis Smillie, Sue Weston, and others). Take the Guesswork Out of Retention™ ©SatisFacts Research: Atlanta/Baltimore/Chicago/Los Angeles Toll Free: 866.655.1490 Web: Email: 5
  6. 6. Reputation Management Cycle Provide Great Service Proactively Learn From Seek Out Reviews Issues Respond To Find Negative Negative Reviews Reviews
  7. 7. Proactively Seek Out Issues• Call every resident per month?• On every piece of correspondence, ask if they have a maintenance request• Every time they stop in the office, ask them if they have issues• Provide your own feedback system, like UserVoice
  8. 8. Find Negative ReviewsTools to be shared after the webinar!
  9. 9. POLL TIME! Who at your companyhandles negative reviews?
  10. 10. Responding to Negative Reviews• Who responds? – Regional/Corporate • Pros: Not emotionally tied to the situation, more experience • Cons/Challenges: – Must obtain all information from on-site team before responding – Must stand behind the on-site team, if possible – Property Manager • Pros: Knows all the details and backstory • Cons: Too emotionally invested, especially if he/she is the target of the review Are you strong enough to write a positive response when a resident has lied in a review about you?
  11. 11. Improving Relationships, Your Online Reputation and NOI Insite™ 365 Day/Year Feedback and Annual Survey Performance Monitoring plus Support Programs Positively Impacts the Resident Experience and Your Online Reputation, Reduces Turnover, and Takes the Guesswork Out of Retention™…From $1.00 Unit/Year Experience – Multifamily Background Leverage Data into Performance: Clients Report 17 Point Lower Turnover vs. NAA Average Promote Scores with Exclusive Agreements: TurnSocial, PropertySolutions, ApartmentGrade SatisFacts Philosophy & Unique Position in Marketplace Comprehensive Suite of Services & Support Resident Programs Annual Resident Satisfaction Surveys: The Planning Tool Insite™ Touchpoint Feedback: 365 Day/Yr Customer Service Safety Net and Monitoring Takeover Surveys: The missing piece to Due Diligence Associate Programs (Employee Satisfaction, Education Programs) Fee Management - Client Satisfaction Custom Studies (Resident Preference, Client Preference, Strategic-Planning Support) Consulting & Process Evaluation (Work-Time Analysis, Process and Retention Planning) E-Book: Getting Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter (Conducted June-July 2011) $599 (written by Mike Whaling/30Lines: results by age, rent, Who’s Who list of contributors). Sign up for the waiting list: ©SatisFacts Research: Atlanta/Baltimore/Chicago/Los Angeles Toll Free: 866.655.1490 Web:
  12. 12. How to respond?1. Have the right mindset2. Understand your goals and your target audience – You are talking to both the past resident AND all future residents! – Prospects want to feel as though they will be taken care of.
  13. 13. How to respond?3. Responding differently if they have brought the issue to your attention: a) They haven’t said anything – this is new information to the community b) They have made a complaint already, but you are unable/unwilling to give them what they want. c) They have made a complaint already, but your office has dropped the ball
  14. 14. How to respond?4. Put effort into your response – These responses will be seen for literally years. How many other acts that you make have repercussions for years to come? – Review, review, review. Online postings can be taken in ways that are very different than what you intend, especially by those who are already angry! – Simply take the time to read their concerns and respond accordingly.
  15. 15. How to respond?5. Types of responses a) The “no response” response • Those that received a reply to a negative review*: 33% turned around and posted a positive review. 34% deleted their original negative review. Additionally, for those that did not receive a response: 61% of consumers would be shocked if a retailer responded to their negative comment. b) Fake posts * The Retail Consumer Report, commissioned by RightNow (source) – courtesy of Bill Szczytko
  16. 16. How to respond?5. Types of responses (continued) c) The form letter response • Does not give any value to the prospect “audience”, as it does not allay their concerns by addressing the details of the review • Seems evasive to only want to talk privately • The community is asking for the angry person to take action. This is difficult because they are anonymous, but at least say something like, “Or send me your phone number and I’ll call you.” What message does this send if they have already called you and the situation was not resolved?
  17. 17. Form Letter Response
  18. 18. How to respond?5. Types of responses (continued) d) Specifically address the issue
  19. 19. Example – Wording is VitalHe doesn’t feel like he’s had a bad experience,he has had a bad experience.
  20. 20. Example - What if they lie?• What if you had already explained to this person why they got charged? 1) Stay Calm! 2) Stay Positive! 3) “Hello, as we discussed last week in my office, you were charged XYZ amount because of ABC reason. I realize now that I may not have been clear enough, so if you would like to discuss it again, please let me know!”
  21. 21. What Are Other Managers Doing?• View how other managers respond to negative reviews• Type this into Google: "manager response"
  22. 22. Final Notes About Responding• Be a real person – Be professional, but not overly formal, which may be seen as “corporation versus the little guy”• If the reviewer is crazy, it will come across that way• Peer review your responses!• Follow-up – Both residents and prospects want to know how it was resolved. Was the resident taken care of? So provide a follow-up explaining the resolution!
  23. 23. When to respond?• Immediately, after these steps: – Calm down – Gather information – Rough draft – 2nd, 3rd drafts – Peer Review
  24. 24. POLL TIME! Do you pay to use service?
  25. 25. Should you pay for access to• Here is what you get: – Respond to reviews as a verified manager (see image) – Update your community information – Link to your website – Manager images trump user images – Better tools for portfolios, and giving managers right or no right to respond. – Trending scores compared to city averages (coming soon)• $180/year + $100 setup fee
  26. 26. Clearing Up Some Questions About• “Why do I have to pay to respond to a review?” – You don’t! You won’t be shown as the official “manager”, but anyone can respond.• “Why do I have to pay to report a review?” – You don’t! Simply scroll to the bottom and click “Report Abuse”• “Reviews from past management companies are haunting me” – Reviews “age” over a period of 4 years, so that the most recent review is given the most weight.
  27. 27. Driving Positive Reviews• Recommended only for communities with strong maintenance and customer service• Driving all residents – Email signature – All internal marketing materials – Business center computer homepage • Develop a custom page that drives them to review your community when they open up the browser – Mass email touting changes can also ask for reviews
  28. 28. Driving Positive Reviews• Driving just the happy residents – How do you know they are happy? • They just renewed • They just gave positive feedback on a maintenance survey • After they just moved in • They told you in person at the office • Through positive interactions in social media or email • They already posted a positive review of your community elsewhere – Liked you on Yelp? Ask them to share their opinion on! • They just decided to lease at your community. (Only do this if you already have good reviews)
  29. 29. Driving Positive Reviews• Driving just the happy residents (continued) – Your Resident Portal • When they log into the resident portal, present them a simple poll question, “Rate Your Opinion of XYZ Apartments”. – If they answer 4 or 5 stars, ask them to share their thoughts on – If they answer 1 through 3, attempt to find out their issue! • This can also be done for community controlled Internet access where you can dictate the first webpage they see each time they log in.• Making it simple – Have a short URL –
  30. 30. Learn From Your Reviews• Don’t assume that negative reviews are always posted by raving lunatics – Maybe your staff really isn’t getting it done! (or just burned out!
  31. 31. Learn From Your Reviews• Maybe you are not communicating well enough with your residents? – Repaving the parking lot – this is good for the community, but they complain. That could tell you: • You didn’t provide a good enough parking alternative during the process • You didn’t communicate the process well enough
  32. 32. Q&A and FEEDBACK! Have questions? Use the “Chat” portion of the webinar dashboard to send them to us! Also, while we do Q&A, take a moment to tell us what you thought of the webinar:
  33. 33. Thank You! Brent Williams 832.978.3935 Doug Miller 866.655.1490 x100 (