How to Build Your Online Reputation on the Sites That Matter Most
If you want to stand out from the crowd, the first step is to get your properties to appear in those above the fold listings that get the most clicks. According to Neil Patel, the preeminent expert in local search engine optimization, businesses that make up the Map Pack in the upper right corner of the search engine results page, account for 44% of all clicks.
Because online reviews are so important, you need to do everything in your power to make sure that your properties are putting their best foot forward when it comes to their online reputation. To help make that a reality, we’re going to outline the process for building and maintaining a good online reputation, what you should do when you inevitably get a bad review, discuss the ancillary benefits of having a good online reputation, and finally show you how Entrata can help you build your reputation on the sites that matter most to you.
Before you can start building your online reputation, there are a few simple tasks you need to complete. To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve outlined the most important ones below.
Step 1: Identify the right sites
Depending on the market you operate in, the sites that matter most to your prospects might be different, but typically, you will want to manage, collect reviews, and respond to comments on some combination of Google, social media, ApartmentRatings.com and Apartments.com.
Step 2: Claim your listings
Since Google is still the most trusted review site, we’ll walk you through the steps of building and maintaining your Google Business Profile.
How to claim your Google Business Profile Log into your Google My Business account Click “Add business” Complete all of the required fields Verify business
There are two ways to verify ownership of your account. First is by mail. Google will send a postcard to the address listed for your business with an activation code. Once you receive that in the mail, log into your Google My Business account where you enter the activation code. If you need to activate your profile more quickly, verification can be done over the phone. To do so, you need to be near the business phone on the account so you can receive an automated call from Google with your activation code. From there, the process is the same as mail verification.
The process for claiming or creating listings on the other services, follows a similar process. We’ve linked to the relevant documentation below.
Step 3: Consolidate management into a single platform
With the number of social media accounts and business listings you have to manage likely to increase with each passing year, it makes sense to purchase a solution that enables you to centralize management of all accounts and sites relevant to your business.
The right tool will ensure you are aware of reviews and comments as they are posted, enabling you to stay on top of conversations happening about your properties in a timely manner. Additionally, it will help you maintain a consistent voice across all your platforms because you determine who has access to post on behalf of your properties. Finally, consolidating all of these sites into one dashboard allows you to track aggregate changes in your reputation over time and not just in each site individually.
Step 4: Respond to every review–positive or negative
It’s important to engage with both positive and negative reviews to stay engaged with your residents, but it’s imperative that you respond to every negative review. Below is a proven method for responding to negative reviews. Responding to reviews not only addresses what the reviewer posted, but also shows those researching the reputation of the community that you listen to your customers and take their feedback into consideration.
Don’t take it personally: No one likes to get negative reviews, but no matter how hard you try to deliver the best possible resident experience, it’s inevitable that you will get negative feedback from time to time. It’s important that you don’t take it personally. Take a step back and collect yourself before responding. The worst thing you can do is respond to negative reviews when you’re angry.
Apologize for the incident: Regardless of whether or not you think your property is in the wrong, it’s important to acknowledge the resident’s complaint and offer an apology when necessary. Doing so will show them that you are taking their concerns seriously and will go a long way towards resolving the issue. Saying you're sorry doesn't assume guilt but shows empathy.
Provide a solution/next steps: It’s not enough to just apologize, you need to be proactive and offer them a solution of how you plan on resolving their concerns.
Offer to take the conversation offline to resolve the issue: Once the solution has been provided. Offer to take the conversation offline if needed. This will help resolve the issue faster because you will be able to communicate directly in person or over the phone, as opposed to asynchronously on the review site. It’s not uncommon for residents to go back and update their review to be positive if you take the time to resolve the issues voiced in the initial review.
Check out our next blog post to learn how best practices for soliciting reviews at the right time from residents and prospects, or if you want to get started now, request a demo of Entrata ResidentAdvisor today