Last modified on February 12th, 2016
By Rachel Jefferson
When you work in property management, it’s important to know what your current and former renters say about you. Without that knowledge, you may be missing out on critical information that could help you be a more effective manager, keep renters in properties longer, and bring in new residents. Just asking your residents for their feedback isn’t likely to give you the information you really want and need, especially if those tenants have concerns and aren’t comfortable telling you what’s really wrong. Residents who feel strongly about a problem but aren’t willing to go to management about that problem will just move out of the property at the end of their lease, and your management company won’t have any insight into why they left. This is why it’s important to your reputation and success to consistently monitor your online property management reviews.
Awareness Is the First Important Step
Even if a problem is very fixable, you can’t do much with it until it’s brought to your attention and that’s where tenant reviews come in. There are plenty of places online where a current or former tenant can leave a review of a property, such as Yelp or Facebook. By scouting out the most popular review channels and checking them frequently for new reviews, you can learn of problems and praises that might not have ever come your way otherwise. While you aren’t obligated to make any changes, or suggest changes to the owners of any of the properties you manage, you can definitely get good, actionable tips for improvement by looking at the reviews.
What to Look for in Your Online Property Management Reviews
When you go looking for reviews, make sure you’re looking for the right information. What one person is saying, or even two people are saying, may not mean there is a bigger issue at hand. It might be one or two disgruntled renters who love to complain. However, when you start seeing a pattern of comments that are very similar, either good or bad, that pattern is worth investigating. There will always be people who were happy where others were not, or people who were upset about something that others wouldn’t have minded. It’s not going to be possible for you to please everyone. By looking for patterns, you can find the issues that appear to be problems for a lot of current or former tenants, and consider whether those issues should be addressed.
Should Changes Really Be Made?
Whether or not changes should be made depends partially on the seriousness of the comments made. Complaints about safety are among the most important issues to be addressed. If there are actual safety hazards at a property that haven’t been addressed, those should be looked into and corrected. When there is a pattern of complaints about a particular property, making changes can be the way to start getting more people to give positive reviews, and can also mean tenants stay longer and renew their leases.
Is Approaching Residents a Good Idea?
No, it’s not advisable to hunt down former tenants if they’ve left a bad review, and showing up on the doorstep of current residents asking about the review they left can make them feel very uncomfortable. If you want to approach former renters or current residents, the best way to do that is often to comment on the review they have left, and invite them to contact you to discuss any issues or concerns. By being proactive in offering that assistance, you provide your current and former tenants with options to consider and may help them make more positive comments about your property.
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