When it comes to negative reviews, teams tend to focus on damage control, leaving responses to positive reviews on the sidelines. After all, how many times has an ecstatic review gone viral?”
Regardless of whether renters are reading a positive or a negative review, manager responses surely have an impact. According to our 2019 Online Renter Study, 34.5% of prospects indicate that communities with review responses have great customer service. Additionally, 30.4% feel communities really care about their residents and 18.3% consider them to be a signal that the management company is trustworthy.
Although a reviewer may not return to read a community’s response, the benefits to responding to reviews is twofold. A thoughtful, engaged, and authentic response will attract new renters as well as boost retention rates, which can have a profound effect on the community’s bottom line.
4 simple steps to a well-rounded response
STEP 1 – Examine
- Read the review in its entirety and alert team members of any possible areas of improvement or opportunities for success.
STEP 2 – Acknowledge
- Pinpoint areas in the review to acknowledge and address the issues specifically – avoid any canned / templated responses.
STEP 3 – Market
- Look for marketing opportunities to reiterate in the review response. Remember people will be reading your responses for year years to come – don’t miss out on a chance to promote your community.
STEP 4 – Respond
- Respond to the review authentically and honestly. Leaving your name and contact information in the response. Not just “Community Manager”. Follow the guidelines for a positive and negative review below.
- Positive Review: 30% acknowledge / 70% market
- Negative Review: 70% acknowledge / 30% market
Responding to reviews in a timely manner is important. It directly reflects a community’s customer service. A response to a residents review demonstrates you value their time and appreciate feedback. Establishing an expectation of response between your team can help create trust with your residents. For example: “All positive reviews must be responded to within 1 day and negative reviews within 2 hours.”
Think about how you would respond in person to a compliment or a complaint. Acting as graciously on review sites as you would face to face builds trust and real relationships, no matter if the review is positive or negative.