How Property Managers with Multiple Properties Use ApartmentRatings.com

ApartmentRatings is geared towards showing renters apartment reviews and helping property managers get new tenants. Potential renters are able to see well over two million reviews on properties all over the United States. Alongside the reviews, renters can view photos, floor plans, availability, cost, etc. Given the amount of reviews, ApartmentRatings can be a very helpful marketing tool for property managers.

This guide will help property owners and managers who oversee multiple properties utilize Apartmentratings.com to the full advantage.

Why is ApartmentRatings Important?

Simply put, ApartmentRatings attracts a large number of potential renters. According to the website’s stats, they see 2.4 million unique visitors and 16.3 million page views each month. That is a large footprint that you want to tap into when a renters are searching for a property in your areas.

Add Your Listings on ApartmentRatings.com

Adding a listing to ApartmentRatings is easy, fast and “free”. Complete an online form on their homepage, and the staff will verify the property in about two business days and notify you when the process is complete. Keep in mind that adding a listing and owning it are not the same, i.e. owning & managing the listing is not free.

How to Claim a Listing on ApartmentRatings.com

You may also find that your property is already listed on the website. As a manager, you can claim that listing and take control of it to update information and manage reviews. As mentioned above, there is an added cost to claiming a listing. You can get started by visiting the Manager Center here to see costs.

Set Your Listings Up for Success

To get the most out of your property listings, you will want accurate and up-to-date information and beautiful photos to attract potential renters.

To get started, login to the Manager Center:

Once you sign in, you will be able to see a list of the available properties you can manage listings for.

You’ll see current property ratings, recommendation scores from reviewers, number of unanswered reviews and total reviews for that property. You can also filter by state, manager or community name.

If you click on a community’s name, you will be directed to the Community Info page, where you can change contact information for the property and other important items such as room availability and office hours.

The next two tabs are for editing the amenities as well as the photos listed with your property. These are critical for success when it comes to marketing your properties.

Photos show your potential renters what the inside and outside of the apartment look like. This is time for you to showcase the selling points of the property such as outdoor space, kitchen and bathrooms. Feel free to be creative here and use high-quality images that are easy to look at on mobile and desktop computers.

Your profile should also showcase the many amenities that your property has including local gyms or shopping, all appliances, air conditioning and more.

Once you have properly entered all the necessary information to showcase your property, you can click save to publish your changes.

Reviews and Responses

The listing is the best place to showcase your property, while replying to reviews is the best way to demonstrate your commitment to customer service. Each response is an opportunity for you to build customer loyalty, address concerns, fix issues, and win over prospective customers. 90% of consumers read online reviews before they make a purchase, and renting an apartment is no different. What you say matters.

Note that before replying to a negative review, first figure out if responding is the best course of action. Having a game plan like the one outlined in this decision tree can help you and your team take the right steps consistently, especially when you have a large multi-property organization to oversee.

Now let’s take a look at the mechanics of managing your reviews on ApartmentRatings, specifically.

On Apartmentratings.com, anyone can reply to a review. For the folks who have paid to own the listing, your responses will have a “Verified Manager” logo next to it.

To get started, click on the community of your choice in your Manager Center. You will then be able to view all the reviews for that property or community along with its overall score.

Now, it is important to respond to reviews quickly, positive or negative. To do this, click on the title of the review you wish to respond to.

Once opened, you will see a box next to the review. Simply type in the text box and click update to save it. You can continue with the rest of the reviews by returning to your community module.

Note that if you have decided that you don’t want to pay to own and manage listings, you can still respond to reviews – thanking happy residents and addressing any raised concerns. Your response just won’t have the “Verfied Manager” designation next to it.

What does a good response to a negative review look like?

Once you have decided that response is the best course of action, you want to respond quickly and cordially. When responding to a negative review, it is important to know who is at fault – not to point fingers, but to make sure you own the issue if you are at fault or make sure prospective customers and the reviewer understand the facts if someone else is at fault. Let’s take a look at two examples of good manager responses.

Example Response #1

Reviewer: “When I tried joining in on someone’s already existing lease, I was simply handed a packet of paperwork to fill out and bring back. A different woman than I had originally talked to was the only one there and had no idea what to do before pretending to call her coworkers so she could tell me that they had no recollection of working with me. Aka, she was just trying to shake me off very rudely. I then pushed for answers, to which she finally gave me more paperwork to fill out, claiming the woman I originally talked to me should’ve given me those, too. Pissed, I go home, fill out the new files and bring it all back. I purposely ask them if that’s all they need from me, to which they said yes. I then get an email while I’m away visiting family with an attachment of yet more paperwork they forgot to give me. It’s been a total mess trying to move in to this place to the point that I’m not even bothering anymore. Plus, the buildings are so poorly made that I can pretty much hear everything that the tenant above me is doing. She’s a college student so I understand her desire to party but I can’t believe how clearly I can hear her ping pong balls hitting the floor above me. On a positive note, one of the maintenance guys, George, is one of the nicest and most helpful men you’ll ever meet. He’s done many great things for us and deserves a better place to work. The pool is decent, the gym is small but nice and the clubhouse is actually very wonderful with helpful amenities. They just need sturdier buildings and a total refresh of their leasing staff.”

Response: Anna, thank you for taking the time to leave this review for our community. Reviews like yours are very important as they show us areas of service that need development. While we’re glad you’ve had positive interactions with our wonderful maintenance team and enjoyed some of our amenities, your experience with our staff and leasing procedure does not reflect our policy of polite professionalism. Our manager would like to speak with you personally regarding this situation, the excessive noise you’ve mentioned, and to learn how we can improve your experience. Please call [redacted], visit the office, or email [redacted] at your earliest convenience so we make work with you to quickly resolve these issues.

In this first example, we see that the manager is at fault and admits to it. This is good practice and shows accountability. The manager also expresses gratitude for the reviewer’s feedback, which reflects that this is professional organization that is open to getting better. The response also manages to point out the positives in the negative review (the “wonderful maintenance team” and their amenities) which can help reinforce to the reviewer that not all is bad and to appeal to prospects. Finally, you’ll notice that the conversation was taken offline, which can help mitigate further conflict in public.

Example Response #2

Reviewer: “I wouldn’t recommend this place to my worst enemy. I had applied for a place here and it took them 3 weeks for them to finally send me an email telling me I had gotten the apartment. There was barely any communication from them so I had to keep contacting them to find out the status of my application. When I went to the office asking for information they showed me the apartment in a rush, and then handed me a bag with paperwork and basically walked me off the place as if they didn’t have time to bother answering any questions or talking to me. Let’s not forget the hidden fees and charges. When they did finally send me the welcome letter, I had already cancelled my application online. They initially told me they wanted a $250 security deposit and online they applied that to something else and asked me to pay them the security deposit upon signing the lease. They make no mention of the security guard that parks just outside the entrance of the complex, to whom you have to always stop and provide your identification to. In contrast, the same day I cancelled their application, I applied for another apartment in another complex and within hours my application was accepted. They were all so attentive and welcoming.”

Response: “Thank you for taking the time to leave this review for us. We’re sorry to see you did not enjoy your experience at [redacted]. Our staff are trained to provide prospective residents with all the necessary information needed to make an informed choice about their move to our community, including answering questions about fees and charges explained in our lease and adequate time to tour their future home. We apologize if your experience differed. After reviewing our records, we see we attempted to contact your current apartment complex for necessary information multiple times without receiving an answer. Once we received the information we needed, we processed your verification immediately. We’re disappointed you decided to cancel your application, as we were excited to have you as a future resident. We would be happy to be of service to you in the future, and would love to improve your opinion of our cherished community. If we may be of any assistance to you, please feel free to give us a call at [redacted] or drop by the office at your convenience.”

In this example, the manager knows the renter is at fault, so s/he explains the situation accurately but does so in a courteous and professional manner. It is within your right to let that reviewer and potential customers know the truth, but doing so requires tact to avoid irritating the reviewer. Again, the responder thanked the reviewer and gave them information to reach out directly offline.

Looking at these two examples, we see common themes:

  • Double and triple check to make sure your tone is professional and friendly. Even if the reviewer is being nasty, you need to keep a level-head. What you write can come across much harsher than you intend, so be sure that the tone is friendly by double checking what you wrote and even running it by someone else before posting. Remember that other renters will be reading these reviews, and your response is as much for them as it is for the reviewer. Venting online might feel good in the moment, but it will only make you look unprofessional.
  • Acknowledge the specific complaints. A canned response back is easy to sniff out, so address the concerns called out. This added transparency can help people see that you are not hiding from the problem and wishing the review will just go away, but rather that you are tackling the problem head on.
  • Show gratitude. It takes effort for someone to write a review, even one that you think is undeserved. And the review may contain constructive criticism that will help your team deliver a better product and experience. Express thanks to the reviewer because it could be a teaching moment for your team.
  • Take the conversation elsewhere. A public back and forth just shows immaturity, that you need to be the one with the last word. So conclude your response with an easy way for the reviewer to contact you directly, offline.

How to get more reviews on Apartmentratings.com

The most successful properties will have great reviews and a lot of them to turn prospects into customers. Don’t be afraid to ask for property reviews from current or past renters. ApartmentRatings encourages property managers to ask for reviews (though you should not incentivize for them). After all, the more reviews you have, the more your potential renters can place trust in your property.

In conclusion

ApartmentRatings can be an effective way for property managers to market their communities and properties, through rich profiles, great reviews and great responses. They have an easy-to-use interface for paying members but do allow responses from anyone. If you have multiple properties – receiving reviews across Apartmentratings as well as Apartmentguide.com, Apartments.com, Google My Business, etc – you may want to investigate Reputology.com as an all-in-one solution.

1 Star Human (How NOT to respond to negative reviews)

Handling negative reviews with tact and professionalism is an effective way to show customers & prospects that you care about their feedback and have great customer service. Buuut sometimes owner responses can lack the sensitivity and thoughtfulness and create the opposite effect. In this new series – “How NOT to respond to negative reviews” – we’ll take a look at some replies that missed the mark and walk you through the dos and don’ts of dealing with troublesome reviews.

The Case of the 1 Star Human

Ok… there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s break it down:

  • Don’t respond to negativity with negativity. While it may seem like an obvious tip, refrain from labeling and name-calling. Referring to a dissatisfied customer as an idiot, a shame, or *sigh* an “evil weak coward” will not only antagonize that individual; it also plants a big, bright red flag for curious would-be patrons checking out your business. As nasty as a review like this is, you can express regret that his experience did not reflect the values put forth by you and your team and do it without resorting to name-calling.
  • Take a moment to calm down. Timeliness is crucial when it comes to addressing customer complaints, but you need a level-head before replying. If you can’t write a response that conveys a sense of respect and politeness (or you use the phrase “1 STAR HUMAN”), you’ve got some editing to do. If possible, pull in someone who is not as emotionally vested to help you compose the reply.
  • Address accusations of racism seriously. An accusation of racism should not be taken lightly even if you know it’s unfounded because the accusation plants the possibility in the mind of prospective customers. Assure everyone, firmly and clearly, of your objection to such discriminatory behavior in any capacity. And of course, you do want to verify that you and your employees are not being unintentionally or intentionally racist. If upon gathering more information you do find your company at fault, fix the problem. Like all reviews, take the matter as an opportunity to get better.

Let’s be honest: negative reviews can be infuriating when they are worded this harshly and severely. But a poor response can make the situation worse. Consider these tips the next time you feel unsure of how to respond and check out this guide that walks you through how to handle different scenarios. Your ratings (and stress-levels) will thank you.

 

How to Manage Your Listing & Reviews on Apartments.com

Property managers are no strangers to listing rental properties online. But optimizing the listing profiles to maximize new leads can be confusing. And if those sites allow renters to write reviews, managing those reviews can be an intimidating process. This guide will help you make the most of your property listings on Apartments.com and win over prospective residents.

Why is Apartments.com important

You might think, “Why should I care about this site? I already use other sites for property listings.” There’s nothing wrong with listing your property on different avenues, but Apartments.com should be on your radar.

Apartments.com receives 13 million unique visitors and 195 million page views per month. It is also part of the conglomerate CoStar, which runs ApartmentFinder.com and ApartmentHomeLiving.com. This network allows you to publicize your listing on multiple sites, which gives you a bigger audience of prospective renters.

How to get listed on Apartments.com

You can either create a new listing or claim an existing one on Apartments.com. Apartments.com has both free and paid listing options. As you might expect, a paid listing will be seen by more people, so it’s a potential option if you’re trying to get more eyeballs for your property listing.

If you see an existing listing for a property that’s yours, shoot an email to [email protected] to claim it. You’ll be able to manage the details of the listing and potentially promote it.

But creating a listing is only the first step. You want the listing profile for your property to stand out amongst your competitors. This means providing rich, accurate information and beautiful photos to showcase the property’s highlights. Basically, you want a great-looking profile, so you can convert prospects into customers.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for managing your listings on the Apartments.com portal with ease.

Manage listings on Apartments.com

Once you have added your listing, log in to your Apartments.com account. If you have multiple properties to manage, you’ll be able to manage them all from this customer portal.

When providing information about each property, you’ll start with the model or unit details of the property, including square footage, rooms, and rent figures. Double-check those numbers! You don’t want to make a bad impression by giving someone faulty information.

Now enter more details about the property, including the name, total units, lease options, year built, and description. In your description, give tenants-to-be a holistic view of what living on the property is like. List nearby features like highways, airports, shops, or parks. Talk about the culture of the property and don’t forget to mention perks like a swimming pool or fitness center.

Next, list the property’s amenities. Prospects search for properties based on these factors, so don’t skip over any bonuses your property has to offer. This includes pet policies, parking options, and any included utilities.

Now it’s time to add your photos. Add photos with multiple shots and angles inside and outside of the property. Don’t forget photos of the amenities, too.

Many renters have kids, which is why it’s crucial to list the local school information. Add the school name, level (elementary, middle, high), distance from the property, and its GreatSchool rating. Don’t forget to look up the correct GreatSchool rating for maximum accuracy.

There’s nothing like getting calls from prospects at 8 pm when you’re out of the office. Lost time can be a lost contract; publish your office hours so people know the best time to contact you.

Set your email, phone number, and website on the Lead tab. Apartments.com also lets you adjust the form contact fields on your listings. Try to keep the contact form as short as possible. The longer the form, the less likely a prospect is to fill it out.

Last but definitely not least, set your property’s location on the map. Location, location, location, after all. Apartments.com pulls in Google Maps data, so it’s a cinch to set up your address.

Get positive reviews on Apartments.com

Like many property listing sites, Apartments.com allows residents to leave reviews. As you probably know by now, better reviews means more business.

But you don’t need to wait for positive reviews on Apartments.com. You can be proactive and request reviews from your happy residents, in person, through email, online and in print.

Why respond to reviews

Getting positive reviews from your happy residents is one aspect of managing your online reviews. It’s critical to reply to reviewers, too.

Over 80% of consumers expect a response from a business if they post a comment online, so replying to a review has become a fundamental part of doing business in the information and internet age. But you are not just appealing to the reviewer who wrote the review. You are also trying to win over prospective customers who are reading the reviews and demonstrating that you care about what your customers have to say.

Replying to a negative review can be particularly intimidating, but it gives you a chance to address a customer’s concerns, state the facts if the review is inaccurate, and perhaps fix a recurring issue that is impacting other residents. Here’s a simple guide for walking you through the process for replying to a negative review.

Examples of good responses to reviews on Apartments.com

Sometimes, showing is a better than describing. Let’s take a look at some real-life examples of effective owner responses.

The screenshot below shows an example of a good response to a negative review.

Review: I’ve lived here about five years now, and during that time I’ve dealt with staff that was excellent, neighbors that are awesome, staff that was rude and upstairs neighbors who are consistently inconsiderate. Some of the new staff has been completely dismissive about my complaints about the neighbors above me, telling me that they had already talked to them saying when they stomp around “isn’t cool”. As a nearly 300lbs man, our downstairs neighbors have confirmed they have never had this issue. And even though they are very clear about only having two pets maximum and have certain breeds of dogs, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences in breaking these rules. There is one thing that [redacted] has that not a lot of apartments have, and that is a respectful and courteous maintenance staff. I’m a bit younger than they are, but they still treat me with the same respect that they show any other resident. *** Reply: Thank you for your reviews of [redacted]. We appreciate the feedback as we continue to make our community the best that it can be. it is disheartening to hear that your stay here has been anything but satisfactory, especially from a resident who has been here so long. We apologize for the inconveniences you have faced with your neighbors. Our staff works hard to fix these issues, but must tread lightly due to HOA laws. We are happy to hear that your experience with the maintenance staff. Our staff works hard to provide residents with Hassle Free Living in a place they are proud to call home. We would like the opportunity to turn this negative experience into a positive one. Please feel free to come into the office to discuss further.
What makes this response effective?

  • The tone of the property manager is respectful but tactful – explaining the property’s position without coming across defensive.
  • The response is personalized and not canned. The responder acknowledges the fact that the reviewer has been a long-time resident.
  • The response provides just the right amount of transparency to explain why the issue is tough – in this case due to HOA laws. The responder doesn’t overshare but gives just enough detail so that the reviewer might understand the situation better.
  • The responder cleverly emphasizes the positive aspects of the property: “Hassle Free Living” and a hard working staff.
  • The responder ends by providing a chance to discuss the issue further and take the conversation offline

Now let’s look at an example of reply to a positive review.

Review: I moved to Greenville for my job and I needed an apartment right away. The staff and [redacted] made that happen when no one else could help me. I really appreciate them going our of their way to accomodate me. I will definitely be referring them to anyone looking for a great apartment for a reasonable price! Thank you! *** Reply: Thanks for the compliments! We always aim to please and help our residents feel at home!
When someone leaves you a nice review, replying back with a simple note shows gratitude and can help build loyalty with that specific customer. It also shows potential residents that you are listening and appreciate them.

Again, replying to a negative review is more challenging, so having a gameplan in place to properly address a bad review is important.

How to respond to reviews on Apartments.com

Login to your account and go to “My Reviews”. This area lists all the reviews for the properties in your account.

Click “Respond to Review” to leave a response. Note that Apartments.com will evaluate your response, so there is a waiting period before your response is posted. Their system will notify you once it’s gone live.

Is getting listed on Apartments.com worth the effort?

Apartments.com is too large of a site for any property manager to ignore because of the potential customers it can drive to your business. So you want to be pro-active managing your profiles on their network of sites: get listed, optimize your listings, solicit for reviews and respond quickly to new reviews.