Fake reviews are cropping up everywhere these days—and your property management website may fall victim to them at any time. Your reputation is your business—and fake reviews can tarnish that reputation. Fake reviews can make it difficult to bring in potential clients, and that means lost business for you. Quickly detecting and dealing with these reviews—the right way—should be a high priority for you.
Why Are You Getting Fake Reviews?
Fake reviews can come from a number of sources. One obvious source is, unfortunately, your competitors. Your competitors may leave critical reviews of your property management business as a way of discouraging potential clients from utilizing your services. Underhanded tactics such as this can be a real problem for a growing business.
Former employees who left on stormy terms are notorious for leaving fake reviews about the company that they previously worked for, and may take to the internet to get revenge. These reviews tend to be very scathing—and are usually easy to detect in most cases. Property management makes this a bit more challenging: owners tend to be very protective of their properties—for a good reason—and aren't afraid to let you know it. Nevertheless, you should always be on the lookout for these types of reviews so that you can take action on them quickly.
Some people are paid to write fake reviews: companies will farm out assignments that are directed at undermining certain companies or products. These reviews tend to be more thought out and can be far harder to spot. Be sure to read every review so that you can detect these fake reviews—before they cause any damage to your property management business.
How to Detect Fake Reviews
- Do you have a record of the problem that the reviewer is referring to?
- Is the reviewer referencing a job or service that never happened?
- How is their English?
Most fake reviews refer to a job or service that you never performed. Being familiar with the case will help you to weed out any problem reviews.
Many fake reviews will have spelling or grammar mistakes which are easily spotted. This is because many fake reviews are written by people in another country (see "hired guns"), and English may be their second language. Even when you consider out-of-state investors, you may have spotted a fake.
Neutralize That Venom!
- Get in contact with the reviewer.
- Politely ask them what you could do to reverse their unfortunate encounter with your property management business.
- If they are a real reviewer, they will probably reply, and you may find a way to make it right with them to have the review changed to a positive one.
A busy socialite might not deign your email with a response—but a fake reviewer is even less likely to escalate. If they don't reply, maybe the review is fake. Regardless, you'll have made a visible attempt to "right" a "wrong."
- Search the reviewer.
- Look for an online presence such as social media or a website.
Most people can be found simply by using a search engine. They probably aren't real if your search comes up with nothing. Remember that names such as John Smith tend to be an alias, and are so common that they'd easily get lost in the search-engine shuffle.
How to Have Fake Reviews Removed
It can be frustrating to get a fake review—but there are ways of removing these unwanted guests from the internet. Each review site has a different way of eliminating fake reviews: understanding how each one works will help you to get rid of any that you may come across.
Most review sites will take time to remove the fake review—the quicker you act, the faster it will be taken down. Two of the most popular review sites are Google and Yelp; below, we will look at how you can use these sites to remove any fake reviews that have been written about your business.
Google has some of the most commonly searched reviews on the internet. Many consumers rely on Google reviews to guide them to their company of choice. Removing reviews from Google is straightforward on paper: flag the review as inappropriate, and Google will take you to a form that will allow you to report the violation. Google will assess the review and decide whether to remove it or not based on the information that you have given.
Another vital website for business reviews is Yelp. Yelp carries thousands of reviews for every kind of company imaginable, including property management businesses. A fake review on Yelp can have disastrous consequences for your company; luckily, it is easy to have a fake review removed from Yelp. Much like Google, flag the feedback and fill out a form. Once submitted, Yelp will review your request and take action against the fake review.
At Rent Bridge, we know how important positive reviews are when it comes to your bottom line. Every company that interacts with people in some capacity lives and dies by reviews. This is why we offer our property management partners the right suite of tools to detect and remove fake reviews. Your reputation is the "face" of your property management business: Don't let fake reviews damage it. Good reviews are the only reviews you should be generating! Contact us today to find out what Rent Bridge can do for you.