Generating (and keeping) new property management leads is an essential part of maintaining and growing your property management company. As leads get to know more about you and consider your services, they seek outside sources to confirm that you are who you say you are—and you do what you promise you will do.
That's why customer reviews are such a critical part of the property management marketing and sales process! You can talk about your services and commitment to excellence all day—but at the end of the day, customer reviews can be more beneficial to growing your business than your own voice.
When prospects have evidence of how well you serve other property owners, you have more credibility to help close new business. It's not that new leads don't believe you're the best because you say so. However, positive reviews from real clients can help support the excitement you have about what you do and how well you serve property owners in your area.
How can property managers generate the right kind of customer reviews to help boost their businesses? RentBridge put together some insight for you as the experts in property management marketing!
Do Customer Reviews Really Help?
Yes! Customer reviews can bring in new business from referrals. They also help you generate more qualified property management leads by boosting support for your services. The time and effort you spend cultivating reviews give potential clients insight into how you solved problems for property managers in similar, relatable circumstances.
HubSpot found that "85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations." With that insight, property management business owners can't afford to skip the review generating process if they want to grow their businesses!
Responding to Negative Reviews
Unfortunately, many people only provide customer reviews when they are upset—and do not always remember to take the time to give reviews for good experiences. Managing negative reviews is not a fun part of operating a property management business. While you should respond professionally and appropriately to any negative reviews left by clients, that's not where your bread and butter is.
However, good reviews are out there and ready to be seen (or heard) with a little bit of effort to gather them and put them to work for you. Generating customer reviews requires active participation to make it easier for your customers to leave these valuable reviews!
To generate more positive review power that you can use to attract and nurture better property management leads, consider adopting these strategies.
Make Reviews Part of the Process
It doesn't have to be an "extra" step for renters or property owners. The easier you make it for clients to leave feedback, the more reviews you'll have to boost your reputation in your market!
- Add customer review requests to the move-in process.
- Add a review page or small satisfaction survey to the welcome packet for your new residents on move-in day.
- Make sure it's specific to the rental application, screening, and move-in process.
- You don't need their input on anything other than what they've already experienced with you!
- Keep the survey short and to the point.
- During the move-out process, add another review form to your move out paperwork packet.
- Ask your resident to return it when they schedule their move-out walkthrough.
When giving these forms to your renters—whether on paper or digitally—walk them through the document and make sure to request their important response to each survey. Directly mentioning the review form will help you get a better response than including it in your packets and hoping they find and return it.
For ease-of-use, send an online version through email, too. If a renter loses a paper form—or doesn't want to take the time to fill it out and return it manually—they can take a few minutes to do it online.
For Property Owners
Since property owners aren't involved with the move-in or move-out processes, you'll need to reach out to them intentionally and separately from renters coming and going. However, resident turnover is an excellent time to touch base with a property owner.
Don't annoy your property owners with too many requests for reviews or feedback! However, checking in is excellent customer service. Make it a routine habit to:
- Request their feedback on the lease term that just ended.
- Get their thoughts on how you handled replacing the resident who didn't renew.
- Ask a few specifics about finances, meeting goals, and how they would rate your services.
Some property management software has a built-in review-request reminder. Be sure to set up that process so you can send review requests to your clients electronically. Automating your review requests and processing them this way makes it easier to cultivate excellent reviews and make them available on your website to your property management leads!
Don't Share Without Permission
When posting or sharing reviews, it's never better to ask forgiveness after posting than it is to ask permission first. Any time a resident or property owner provides a great review, be sure to ask them for permission to use their review in your materials.
Sometimes clients will sing praises about your services in private or send a message, but that doesn't mean they want it posted on your website or social media! Taking that extra step will foster more goodwill with clients and help them understand that you have a partnership of mutual respect.
If they say yes, coach them on what you need. Don't tell them what to say, but if you need a short paragraph or a video testimonial, provide a few tips.
Again, Don't Focus on Negativity: Use It!
Remember: Part of requesting reviews will include negative feedback. Property management is a customer service business. Despite the excellent services you provide, you can't make every resident or property owner happy.
When requesting feedback, don't focus on a negative review—but don't ignore it, either! Obviously, you don't want to post negative reviews or use them to nurture your property management leads. However, it's essential to follow up on negative reviews right away and use them to improve your services. A quick response can help turn a negative review into a positive one!
Offer Incentives (To Your Team)
Be careful with this one! Never offer rewards to residents or property owners in exchange for a "positive" review. You can get yourself involved in some murky ethics when offering incentives for your clients to write you a review. Every solicited and published client review should be honest and without any connection to gifts, discounts, or perks for saying good things about what you do.
However, rewarding staff members for collecting reviews is an excellent way to boost your volume of positive feedback. Make sure your incentives don't require "positive" reviews. However, you can encourage your team to reach out to clients and residents for "any" review requests—and welcome honest feedback, both negative and positive.
Reward Excellent Work
When a resident or property owner has good things to say about a specific person on your team, that deserves a reward, too! Generating good reviews starts with providing excellent service that people want to talk about. When your employees do the work that generates your best reviews, make sure they get a pat on the back and a reward for representing your company well.
Generating Reviews Is Time Well-Spent on Growth!
Reviews can become an afterthought or a low priority when the business of managing properties and residents takes over your time—but it's important not to lose sight of their value when it's time to grow your business!
By actively encouraging and seeking out customer reviews, you will have more opportunities to generate excellent property management leads and close new business. Positive reviews help you become more visible (and attractive) than the competition in your market. Using reviews the right way doesn't have to take a lot of your time—but the rewards are worth it!
Let RentBridge help you develop the workflows you need to automate your review generating and lead nurturing process. We can help you build a repository of your client successes—using their words—to help you grow your business. We can even help you build a better website from the ground up to host those new reviews!
Right now, we're giving away free websites! To learn more, reach out to us: we look forward to taking your property management business to the next level.
Updated and republished 8/3/2020.