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.
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.
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.