According to J. Turner Research, over 80% of renters have used online ratings and reviews in their apartment search. The top two most influential aspects of these online reviews are star ratings and the content of the review itself. Of this group of apartment seekers, 70% of them chose to visit the property that had a better online reputation.
These statistics show that if you are not developing a positive online presence, you are behind in the game. Gone are the days where leads just go with gut instincts, curb appeal, and word of mouth. The internet has opened a whole new world of transparency that enables any previous or current resident to state their likes or dislikes about your community on popular review sites like Yelp.com. This can work to your advantage if you have a satisfactory quantity of good reviews, but it can be to your detriment if you have no reviews or bad reviews.
According to a recent survey by Microsoft, online users need to have their attention grabbed in less than 8 seconds — one second less than the attention span of a goldfish — or they are moving on. Therefore, having attractive images, the right buzzwords, amenities, and of course great reviews, is key to hooking them right away before they are gone.
Let’s pretend you are on a dating site like Tinder and you are presented with a set of profiles of potential dates. Will you tap on a person who has a disgruntled appearance, whose description says that they hate the world? How about a profile that is missing a picture and lacks vital information like age and location? We would imagine that you’d swipe on to see who’s next.
The same principle can apply to apartment seekers when they see a bad review or no information at all. Users will be interested in an attractive multifamily community with photos, fleshed out descriptions of amenities, and with verified feedback in the form of online reviews.
Absolutely! It is never too late to make a change. You can start providing more amenities that residents crave, like kitchen upgrades or updated floors. When you do everything you can to make sure your community is a desirable place to live, residents will notice. When the time is right, invite current and past residents to review your community.
When you collect more positive reviews and your star ratings increase, older negative reviews from the past can be canceled out or reduced in potency. With this strategy, communities with no reviews can finally make a footprint in the digital landscape and build a good online reputation.
If you are attentive to your residents and stay on top of your community’s upgrades and amenities, your properties will rank well online, giving your multifamily community the positive visibility it needs to attract leads.