When it comes to lowering vacancies and increasing revenue, managing your reputation may prove more beneficial than you think. Sure, advertising efforts are a big part of bringing in new prospects, but if they’re doing research online—and chances are high that they are—then you need a positive online presence.
So how do you manage your reputation in the age of online review sites and social media? Conflicts can arise in any situation with any tenant, regardless of your quality of service, but the trick is how you handle them. Are there procedures in place to deal with unsatisfied renters? Are you explaining your process so the tenant fully understands the situation? Managing expectations, and more specifically un-met expectations, is the first step in keeping a good reputation. All tenants, past or present, have the capability to share their experience online—don’t give your renters a reason to rant.
Another way to maintain a good reputation is to respond to those unpleasant reviews if, or when, they appear. Sometimes, no matter how careful you’ve been, nothing will stop an angry tenant from bashing your company. Take advantage of the public forum and respond to comments with respect and clarity. Anyone who comes across that review later will be happy to see you’re communicative and reasonable.
A third way to manage your reputation is to generate positive reviews online by encouraging your satisfied renters to share their experience. You can even incentivize the reviews by pulling the participants into a contest or offering your tenants a small giveaway. If you do encourage positive reviews, be wary of a flood of reviews, which could look suspicious. Try to stagger your participant’s comments if possible.
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of public engagement on social media sites. The more you interact, the higher your prospects will perceive you as a loyal brand. In the same way, the more interaction you have from your tenants and vendors, the more prospects will see you are trusted by others in the industry.
So next time you’re brainstorming new ways to attract tenants and grow your business, consider the intangible value in your reputation. Simple acts and day-to-day processes can help boost your public perception, increase your revenue, and cut down on vacancies.