Last modified on May 16th, 2014
By Aimee Miller
To overcome smart and often fierce competition, and capture a bigger piece of the proverbial pie, some growth strategists turn to loyalty campaigns to gather online reviews. Positive online reviews can be incredibly beneficial to a property; attracting, then convincing potential residents your property is superior to any other.
Managing Your Reputation
Before you consider paying for online reviews to build your reputation, take at look at what one well-respected property management firm has to say about increasing resident satisfaction organically — based on resident experience.
Dallas-based LumaCorp has an enviable reputation in the industry. More than 60% of the company’s properties landed on Apartment.com’s list of Top Performing Properties in 2013. Even more impressive, one of LumaCorp’s properties edged out 39,999 other communities to capture the Excellence in Customer Service award for national recognition by J Turner Research.
Company executive VP, Ian Mattingly told Multifamily Executive that his company made a serious judgement in error when they opted to attempt buying their way to an excellent reputation. Mattingly cautions property managers not to incentivize tenants to issue positive reviews. His advice is to work diligently to earn trust and loyalty; then reap the benefits justly and proudly.
In the Beginning. . .
Rather than start at the review process, property managers should begin addressing resident satisfaction early in employee hiring processes.
- Choose high-performance employees to join your property team.
- Utilize personality tests or other metrics to make sure staff members are authentic, engaged and passionate about client services.
- Incorporate training tools to maximize employee motivation.
- Establish pay scales and perks that communicate appreciation for your staff.
- Share your vision throughout the company.
Honesty, authenticity, and sincerity are key “corporate characterisitcs” necessary to drive organic resident satisfaction levels. Customers will quickly spot insincere players on your team. Invest the time and resources to recruit superior talent; train your talent well, and make service a company-wide priority.
Ask for the Endorsement
You may notice that residents naturally praise your well-trained, helpful staff members. When this happens, thank your residents and ask for an endorsement for your team member. Feel free to check the customer experience often, but avoid trying to incentivize or reimburse residents for compliments and positive reviews.
The best time to ask for endorsements are immediately following contact: after a property tour, after lease signing, immediately following a routine inspection or repair, or after an in-person or digital conversation.
Managing your online reputation is one of the most vital components of marketing and brand building in the 21st century. Your collective team actions will earn your property a community reputation — make sure it is a positive one.