If you are thinking of starting a property management company, be ready for negative reviews.
When real estate investors want to buy a rental property for passive income or when tenants look for property to rent out, they are likely to look for property manager reviews on social media, discussion forums, and sites like Google and Yelp. Their decision will be influenced by the opinions of others. Obviously, good property management reviews will go a long way in attracting more customers to your business. However, negative reviews can be very detrimental to your property management ratings. If not addressed, such bad property management reviews will scare owners and residents away, lowering your occupancy rates and income.
Here are some of the steps you can take to manage negative online property management reviews:
1. Understand the Problem
To respond effectively to negative online property management reviews, you need to understand exactly what the property management client or tenant complaints are about. When you receive feedback, read it carefully first to understand what the problem is. For example, is the complaint about noisy dogs, lack of water or increased rent? You should also figure out if the review is based on facts or is simply a distortion of facts. Whatever the nature of the complaint, simply acknowledging the feedback will calm things down and show future tenants that you care about the needs of your residents.
2. Keep the Rental Property Owners Informed
The biggest mistake you can make while being a property manager is to keep the owner in the dark about bad property management reviews. Failure to keep owners in the loop could imply that you are trying to hide something and cast aspersions on your character. Therefore, the first thing to do when you receive bad property management reviews is to report them to the owner. Let them know what steps you are planning to take to address the issues.
3. Respond Quickly and Graciously
Part of successful property management is responding to bad reviews quickly. The longer you let a bad review remain unaddressed, the more damage it will do to your business. Responding to bad property management reviews quickly shows the public that your company cares about the opinions of its renters and customers.
However, you also need to learn how to answer property management reviews. Make sure your response is considerate and respectful since potential customers might read it. If you made a mistake, be quick to admit it and apologize for it.
4. Take the Complaint Offline
When you come across a negative review, respond by letting the complainant know that you sympathize with them and would like to solve the problem as soon as possible. Ask them to contact you directly for further deliberations. This will avoid a situation of going back and forth, arguing with reviewers in public. Getting involved in mud-slinging with people online will only harm the reputation of your property management business. Meeting in person or having a phone conversation is a more amicable way of dealing with issues.
5. Be Proactive
In the course of managing rental properties, bad property management reviews are inevitable. This is why it is important to have a proactive strategy for handling such property management reviews. One strategy is to conduct a manual search for your properties, business, and name regularly to see what people are saying. A more effective approach would be to set up an online alert on social media monitoring tools or Google. This way, you will be notified whenever someone mentions your brand online. Online alerts will help you catch bad reviews faster, as well as keep you updated on positive reviews of your business.
Another way of being proactive is by writing a standard response to negative reviews. A standard response will keep you focused when bad reviews come in and prevent you from responding inappropriately. This response should reiterate your commitment to good customer support and your desire to deal with the issue.
Example: ‘Hello Scott. Thank you for the feedback. We are very sorry to hear about your problems with your neighbors. As a company, we are committed to providing the best living experience for our tenants. I will contact you shortly to discuss the way forward’
6. Acknowledge Any Issues
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when responding to negative property management reviews is to get defensive. For example, your tenants could complain about not having water or broken heating systems. If these complaints are factual, they need to be acknowledged frankly. If the situation is beyond your control, be sure to give context to the problem. However, don’t just make excuses or point fingers. Assure your residents that you are making every effort to see that the issues are resolved.
7. Offer to Resolve Issues
If a complaint is legitimate, your response should mention exactly what you are planning to do to resolve the issue. This will go a long way in building trust and loyalty with your property management clients and customers. Make sure the resolution is proportional to the problem. For example, if your tenants went without water for a long time, consider offering them a small discount on their rent. Such discussions can be done offline to avoid having extended exchanges with complainants in public.
8. Convert Bad Reviews into Positive Ones
When an amicable resolution is reached, ask the complainant to remove the bad review or post a positive one, discussing how your company handled the situation. If they accept, you will have turned a negative review into a good one. This will demonstrate your desire to offer great customer service and that you’re serious about fulfilling your responsibilities as a property manager, thus leaving a good impression on potential customers.
When it comes to rental property management, the reality is that you cannot make everyone happy. Regardless of what you do, people will always have something to complain about. At times, bad Airbnb reviews or long-term rental reviews are just a malicious attempt by bad tenants to bad-mouth you or your property management company. Therefore, don’t judge yourself too harshly when such reviews pour in. Learn how to deal with bad reviews calmly and professionally. This is one of the tips for property managers that might just convert some of your fiercest critics into your most loyal customers.
To learn how Mashvisor can help you improve and grow your property management business, click here.