It’s no secret that prospects are turning to online reviews when shopping for a new apartment. These reviews have a huge impact on whether a prospect decides to rent at that community or not. According to JTurner Research, the effect of online reviews on students’ decision to visit a property is rated at 6.26, while in conventional housing it is rated relatively higher at 7.33.
At Cardinal, we take reputation management very seriously as we have set monthly review goals for each community. The goal is to obtain a monthly goal of 2% of residents leaving new reviews. But some of you may wonder what is the best practice in terms of asking for reviews? And what is the best way to generate positive reviews?
Obviously, they key to generating positive reviews is by providing the best customer service to residents. The next best way is to ask for them! However, we know asking for reviews can sometimes feel like a daunting task. So we’ve put together some ideas and practices for bringing in those reviews and helping you hit your monthly goals!
- Asking a resident for a review in person is definitely the preferred method. Personal connections matter. Therefore, is so important to build rapport with residents before asking for a review. The best way to build rapport with residents is at events, when they pick up packages, etc. Asking happy residents for reviews always gets us the best reviews! But it is also important to get feedback from residents who may not be happy, learn why, and address those concerns.
- Have an internal competition with your teams. While this is not the most encouraged method, due to review sites strictly prohibiting against this, this is an option to use every now and then to bring in reviews. Use a cash prize or gift card for the winner as an extra incentive to get participation.
- Send out Jturner collateral! Not only does JTurner send out monthly surveys to residents they also send out to prospects upon completion of a tour. Use JTurner to you advantage, they are here to help! Remind TMs to ask for those reviews AND let residents/prospects know that surveys are in their inbox. Also utilize the simple survey links (your PSM has these). It is also important to review trends (keywords) in Ratings Tracker and JTurner Dashboard and if possible make the changes reviewers are referring to. Once the change is made, email residents letting them know we listened and made the changes they asked for.
- Leave maintenance cards in unit after service request is completed to satisfaction. Utilize FIFTY3 to get these made. Maintenance does a lot for the community! There is nothing better than to bring in some reviews for the maintenance team members and all the hard work they put into the community.
- Find which reputation sites are lacking in reviews and focus on asking for reviews for that site. This is an important one! The review sites with the least amount of reviews will have the most impact on your ORA score. Bring in a lot of 5 star reviews to a review site with very few reviews and see your ORA score boost!
- Have a monitor or screen set up just for reviews. Setup in leasing office so happy residents, prospects or event “goers” can leave a reviews while in the office.