It’s no secret that having a good online reputation means you’re doing something right at your community. And what comes along with that is renewals! I mean if they love living there and are posting about it online, why wouldn’t they renew?
But have you ever really thought about what their attitude actually may be when it comes to us asking them for reviews and if they want to renew? Probably not. JTurner recently released a study giving us all that info and more!
The entire study is linked if you would like to read further in depth, but I summarized some key takeaways and answers to some important questions below!
We all know renewal season can be a stressful time. But we also know that resident satisfaction is the core driving force behind renewals. Therefore, you want to take the best approach when it comes to contacting residents to renew and making sure they are satisfied in their current lease term. Through JTurner’s research, they have given us some tips on when the best time to renew is, what form of communication residents prefer, and the correlations between resident satisfaction and the desire to renew.
When is the best time to ask residents to renew?
The majority of residents look for management to contact them 3-5 months prior to their lease expiration. JTurner also stated that the good majority of residents, 57%, start to consider renewing their lease 1-3 months before expiration.
What is the best form of communication when it comes to renewals?
Email hands down. I think it is pretty common for most of our communities to lean more towards phone calls. While that is a good approach, and definitely something we don’t want to eliminate entirely, let’s start to focus on emails because that’s what they want!
Online Reputation: Our Responses, Facebook, and Getting Reviews
Online reputation is so incredibly important in today’s housing industry. It has even become a deal breaker for prospects when searching for apartments online. Say you have one of the most gorgeous properties with the best amenity offerings in your market but have a bad online reputation. This can definitely deter your prospects before you’ve even said one word to them.
How are our responses to reviews influencing resident perceptions?
They are influencing them a lot! While we have templates in Ratings Tracker as guidance, I always encourage personalizing each response and staying away from cookie-cutter responses! Residents and prospects are paying attention to our responses. That is why it is important to show that we value what they have said, and have taken the time to address or respond appropriately. According to JTurner, our responses can significantly improve residents perception on the community. So much so that this influence rated a high 8.12 on a 10 point scale.
Facebook: Is it really that important in the housing industry?
Yes! Facebook is a platform that provides a lot of services and information. Not only can people write reviews, but they can get a first-hand look at the community through pictures, events, etc. JTurner found that Facebook is increasing in popularity as a search medium. However, it is mainly for students. They are looking at your reviews and also your pictures. It is a good idea for all of us to take a look at our community’s page and make sure our pictures are in tip-top shape.
Getting Reviews: What’s the Best Way to go About It?
Taking a proactive approach is best! Cardinal Group has always encouraged this and why we have our monthly review goals for each community. J Turner found that most residents are more likely to write a review upon being asked. Almost half of residents who posted a review indicated that they were asked.
Incentivizing reviews is not something we discourage at Cardinal. However, we do not ALWAYS want to rely on this method. Why? (And I think all you know the answer)… It’s because the trust level of reviews that appear to be incentivized is very very low. So next time we offer an incentive, let’s just make sure that’s not the only method we are relying on. We want to be strategic when it comes to asking for reviews because we want the most authentic and also the best reviews!