Example of A Good Response to a Negative Review… Almost

Welcome to the 3rd installment of “How NOT to Respond to a Negative Review” – a series of blog posts in which we analyze actual online interactions between business owners and their patrons to help you navigate what to do (and what not to do) when it comes to proper management of reviews. We typically provide examples of bad responses to negative reviews, but today we wanted to mix things up by showing you an example of a (relatively) good response to a bad review & explaining how and why it works.

You’ll find a lot of good points made in this response, though it’s certainly not without its flaws. Let’s dive in and take a look at the Pros and Cons of this Eurocar owner response.


  1. The owner conveys a general sense of politeness and respect. While they employ a succinct and firm tone, this owner has been careful not to veer into the pitfalls of labeling or emotionally reactive behavior.
  2. The owner addresses the issue head-on. The customer’s concern is straightforward: prices are higher than competition. Here, we can see that the owner jumps right into the reply without tip-toeing around the matter at hand.
  3. The owner asserts product quality and offers conflict resolution. They are able to tout premium quality of their parts while simultaneously offering to price match competitors—notice the catch here is that the owner is confident that comparable businesses are in fact using inferior parts, hence why their prices are lower.


  1. The response is untimely (getting back a year later simply doesn’t cut it). Reaching out in a thoughtful and productive manner is only half the battle—make sure to do so quickly, or your response may fall on deaf ears.
  2. The owner fails to show gratitude for the review. While doing so may require you to swallow a bit of pride, demonstrating your gratefulness for any feedback on your company will show others openness and class.

The big takeaway from all this that you don’t have to be so eager to make pesky reviews disappear. Getting creative with your approach to review management can be an invaluable asset. At the very least, poor reviews can provide a good learning experience for you and your employees. And oftentimes, in cases such as this, they can be a way to showcase some of your company’s greatest strengths.

Drunk, shoeless reviewers (How NOT to respond to negative reviews)

Handling negative reviews with tact and professionalism is an effective way to show that you care about customer feedback and have great customer service. But sometimes owner responses can lack… um… “thoughtfulness” and make matters worse. In this series – “How NOT to respond to negative reviews” – we look at some choice replies and walk you through how to deal with difficult reviews.

The Case of the Drunk, Shoeless Reviewer

Let’s breakdown this review and point out what the business could have done better so that you don’t make the same mistake.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t use poor grammar and misspell. “Unrealised”? Using poor grammar and misspelling words can make your company look mismanaged and careless. Taking the time to make sure your statement is free of errors is a simple thing you can do to appear professional.
  • Don’t name call or insult the reviewer. No matter how bad the situation, you should never insult a customer, i.e. call him or her a “drunk liar”. Not only could it further aggravate the reviewer and prompt him to take further action, but it makes you look bad to others reading the review.
  • Don’t accuse. Along the lines of name-calling, once you accuse you have entered a dangerous territory. You can state the facts: “You lost your shoes but then you found them”. But attacking someone’s character or intentions may provoke a reaction or raise concerns about your professionalism.

What to Do

  • Respond quickly but not haphazardly. Responding to negative feedback quickly is essential, but only if your response is well thought out and appropriate. Sometimes “haste makes waste”, so taking a few minutes to calm down will give you the time you need to craft a polite and concise response.
  • Be polite, even when you’re right. If you are not at fault, simply state the facts. You have the right to let the truth be known, but you need to be diplomatic and not give the reviewer a reason to keep the fight going, which leads to the next point…
  • Go offline. As you know, some people love to take their frustrations out online. As a business, you don’t want to fuel that fire. Taking the conversation offline by giving the reviewer a way to contact you directly allows you to end the online discussion organically.

Unfortunately, some people may not want a solution; they just want to complain and maybe get a reaction. When you have a negative review such as this, you still need to remain calm and not get into a blame game. Showing patience, insight, and sincerity is good business practice, if not to appeal to the reviewer but to demonstrate to prospective customers that you are a professional organization.

If you’d like more information, check out the comprehensive, step-by-step guide for responding negative reviews.

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.