Nowadays, every business needs their business online. It’s imperative! Recent studies show that the majority of renters sift through online reviews before booking a visit. For this reason, property owners and managers can’t ignore the online reputation of a rental property.
On the flip side, by establishing a good online reputation, landlords can attract the most desirable tenants. This is why residents and potential renters who post their grievances on the internet can quickly affect a rental unit’s rate of occupancy.
Importance of Online Reputation for Rental Businesses
Research suggests that at least 87% of all online consumers read product reviews on the internet. In other words, very few potential renters will call landlords thanks to word-of-mouth or other means. Basically, 93% of all purchase and renting decisions are made by people checking out online listings/ratings.
With that in mind, investment property owners need to understand these four factors that could potentially damage the online reputation of a rental property.
1. Hit All the Directories
It is very crucial for rental units to be listed in online directories (like Craigslist and Zillow). This ensures that all local renters can find your listing based on relevant searches. Don’t ignore this step! If you do you’ll only attract low-quality renters and nobody wants that.
2. Absence from Social Media
Listing your property on online directories may be important, but absence from social media may directly influence most consumers’ renting decisions. It works to your advantage to stay active on social media websites like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. All of these social media websites are frequented by interested renters.
Running a holistic online campaign is the right approach to producing a consistent message across various platforms. Having a consistent message works to your advantage by enhancing your brand and engaging your reviewers.
3. Negative Reviews
Speaking of reviewers and the internet, there are always going to be bad reviews to deal with. You might think the best way to deal with these reviews is to ignore them entirely. Wrong. Instead, respond with a factual, but a well-meaning response.
It takes years to produce a good online reputation, and a single bad review can ruin this. This is why we recommend landlords deal with negative reviews by posting professional responses. Follow these tips in your responses, and your future renters will overlook your negative reviews:
- Ask the reviewers to follow up with you on a personal platform.
- Proactively offer a solution
- Take responsibility for mistakes
- Respond as quickly as possible
- Mention that you’re keen on listening to your customers’ complaints.
4. Ineffective Property Management
It is part of a property management team’s job to inspect a property for compliance issues and to check whether they are adhering to relevant legislation. The property management sector has always been bound by a long list of rule and regulations and ineffective property management can lead to:
- Compliance issues
- Lack of communication between tenants and landlords
- No follow-through
- Poor or no maintenance
- Late reports
If you’re having trouble managing your online reputation or have partnered with an unprofessional property manager, you need to rethink your management strategy. Experienced property managers also make use of online tools like Google Alerts to manage your property’s online reputation while continuously monitoring engagement.
Still undecided? How about you delegate the responsibility to your property manager. They’ll make the best decision for your rental unit based on your preferences, will manage your online reputation, and will help manage communication between you and your tenants.