Reviews are the cornerstone of modern sales and service. It’s not often we’d buy a product off Amazon with a review of 3 stars or less, especially if 4 and 5-star products are available. The same goes for multifamily properties.
Generating reviews is tricky and keeping your property’s review score up can be an uphill battle. Happy residents don’t tend to feel the need to share their experiences, leaving unhappy residents to be the most vocal. This leaves a lot of properties with a low number of bad reviews.
To counteract this you can use resident engagement apps to have residents leave positive reviews. Not only do these encourage happy residents to share their opinion but also generates a lot more reviews in the process.
Why your property needs good Google reviews
Both existing residents and prospective ones don’t want to live in a poorly reviewed property.
Like it or not, in the 21st century your Google review score is basically your public reputation. Displayed for all to see online, your Google review rating is crucial to attracting new residents and keeping your existing ones.
Maintaining a high review score is now one of the most important ways to remain competitive. When browsing search results, people tend to intuitively filter what they’re seeing. As well as the images and titles, prospective residents will be glancing at your review score and suitably ignoring your property should it not have enough stars.
Ultimately, this can have a massive effect on your bottom line. Low scores and a low number of reviews are often treated with mistrust, meaning people are less likely to get in touch. Existing residents are also more likely to feel embarrassed about living in the property. Even if they are happy with their home and the service, the property’s outward perception can be offputting.
Developing a Review Generation Strategy
Each star you can add to your Google review rating will add about 9% to increased revenue for your property through premium rent prices. As well as increased revenue, you can expect higher tour numbers, calls, enquiry emails, and conversions.
Getting to this point, though, requires a review generation strategy. It’s easy to spot properties that have one and those that don’t, with the former scoring a lot higher and having significantly more reviews, often in the hundreds or thousands.
There are 5 key elements to a review generation strategy, all of which come together to drive residents to leave reviews:
- Trigger: identify what triggers reviews. For most multifamily properties this will be after significant milestones. A lot of reviews come after a tour, just moving in, or after renewal. But reviews can also be left after resident events, staff interactions, and amenity use.
- Owner: everyone in the property team needs to be on the same page about reviews. This means treating each encounter, maintenance job, request or interaction as important as any other. Developing standard request phrases can help.
- Method: getting hold of property reviews involves reaching residents in a number of ways. These now include verbally requesting; texting the resident; email; app pop-ups; push notification reminders; and passive reminders.
- Tracking: keeping track of your review requests prevents overwhelming residents and becoming an annoyance. While spreadsheets and manual tracking can work, review generation software does a much better job.
- Passive reach: posters and digital screens in high-traffic areas like lobbies and elevators can remind residents to leave reviews, acting as a constant reminder.
How Resident Engagement Apps can help generate good reviews
While verbal requests, phone calls and even review parties can drum up a few good reviews, resident apps accelerate and streamline the process. This makes review generation easier for both residents and property managers.
From the resident’s point of view, their resident app acts as a tool to perform basic tasks, keep in touch with residents and staff, book services, and also RSVP events.
For the property team, the app can be used as a way to generate reviews. Residents are already familiar with the app and likely to use it regularly.
Automate everything with apps like Flamingo
Resident Engagement Apps like Flamingo automate the entire process. After a trigger such as attending a resident event, reserving amenities, moving in, or after maintenance is complete, a review can be requested for different websites, including Google.
This also tracks the methods and status of the request such as app popup, email, and text to ensure multiple requests are not sent by different team members.
Use pulse surveys to catch complaints early
Good resident engagement apps will also request regular pulse surveys as a way to keep in touch with residents. These ask residents pertinent questions about their experiences and can catch issues before they end up online.
Capturing resident sentiments in this way each week or month can give residents a way to vent frustrations they may have without resorting to Google. This way the resident feels empowered and listened to with your property team able to better respond to unique issues.
Use resident apps to remove uncertainty
A resident engagement app, especially one with social features like a community wall, can make for a better resident experience. By sending out direct messages with push notifications and pinning important information on community feeds, you can make sure residents know what’s going on in the building.
For example, an elevator might be out of action, or there will be noisy construction for a day or two. Giving residents notice in a natural way shows you understand the inconvenience and reassures them you’re aware of this.
This results in fewer negative reviews.
Showcase the best reviews on socials
Resident engagement apps can also showcase your best reviews on your website or socials. Whether you’ve already got good reviews or you’re generating them, showcasing them encourages others to leave their own experiences. They also serve as a quick and trustworthy way for prospective residents to know what makes your property great.