“If you can’t beat them, join them.”
“Keep your friends close, keep your critics closer.”
Both quotes might accurately describe how many apartment managers are viewing the once almost universally reviled apartment rating sites. Multifamily Executive has the story:
Once reviled as industry pariahs where haters could unfairly bash a community with negative rants – true or not – online review sites have quickly become the go-to source for prospects looking for the right place to live. That’s why apartment operators, some willingly and some less so, have started to embrace them…
Holland’s got good reason for keeping an eye on those review sites. Prospects now overwhelmingly turn to online review sites such as Move.com, ApartmentReviews.net, ApartmentRatings.com and Yelp when making a decision about where to rent, according to Houston-based J Turner Research’s Trends in Resident Technology and Communications Preferences 2012 report. More than 74 percent of respondents said they used review sites, and that those review sites had a significant impact on their decision to rent an apartment at a particular community…
Each company contacted for this article said it designates a senior employee to monitor what’s being said on review sites, and most take advantage of automated notification apps, such as Google Alerts.
Others are considering customized reputation management software. Many leverage ApartmentRatings.com Manager Center, which sends an alert when a review comes in, and allows operators to reply as the property’s bona fide manager. It all comes down to making sure you’ve got your ears–and eyes–glued to the digital sounding board that is your computer’s screen.