People trust the opinions of their friends. Several studies have quantified that fact. Regardless of the sample size, location or scope of the question, the results indicate a resounding yes.
But there is something people trust as much as the opinions of their friends and family – online reviews.
According to a study by Vendasta, 74 percent of renters say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Apartment operators have come to realize the significance of online reviews in the past few years, but they should pay attention on a deeper level.
Review sites are available in every industry, and people post reviews more often than ever. Even if prospective renters don’t believe every review about your communities, they’ll get a general idea based on the overall tone of the reviews. And make no mistake: they are reading. According to the Vendasta study, 88 percent of people have read online reviews about local businesses, 39 percent read reviews regularly and only 12 percent don’t read them at all.
A review serves as the equivalent of a friend’s recommendation for roughly three-quarters of prospects. Regardless of whether they actually are, prospective renters think they are trustworthy, and they are reading them.
Knowing the sway that online reviews have with prospects, here are some key takeaways for apartment operators:
Reviews are an essential component of a community’s online reputation. And knowing that prospective renters trust them as much as their friends’ opinions heightens their importance even further.