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.

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.

Apartmentguide.com: 2018 Guide for Property Management Companies

Apartmentguide.com is a popular, property listing site that help renters search for their next place. Renters can see high definition photos and get quality information about rental properties, as well as read reviews from verified residents. Owned by Rentpath, one of the biggest apartment website conglomerates, Apartment Guide can be a powerful marketing channel. This guide will show you how to build a strong profile and manage reviews on Aparmentguide.com so that your property stands out and gets more business.

Why is Apartmentguide.com important?

In February of this year, Apartmentguide.com saw 1.8 million views from desktop users alone. But what makes that number meaningful is that fact that Rentpath touts that 81% of the calls generated from their sites are from real customers. These are high-quality leads that could be renting your property.

How to Get Listed on Apartment Guide

To create a listing on Apartmentguide.com, you WILL need to purchase one of their advertising options. But on the plus side, in the Apartmentguide.com interface, you’ll have the ability to track your leads and measure the ROI (like you should with any marketing spend).

To get started, complete this contact form with info about the property and your contact info. Rentpath will reach out afterwards. Once the account is set up, managers can start to build their listings. This is where the “fun” happens.

Building the Best Profile

Your properties deserve to shine, and your Apartment Guide profile is the place to do it. A profile that is rich with detail and description will not only be helpful to prospective residents but also enhance your SEO, giving your listing profile a higher ranking in search results. Here are the different areas of your profile:

Images. The property images are what the potential customers will look to first when eyeing your profile. These should be high-quality images that show all the key parts of the property. Make sure to show off the selling points!

Details. The detail section is a place you can provide a nice overview and highlight attractive benefits.

Contact. Make sure your phone numbers and email addresses listed here are accurate.

Units/Pricing. The units that are available, as well as the pricing for each unit, are listed here.

Specials. Property managers can run special promotions for their properties, creating a coupon with start and end dates.

Features. All the niceties of the property are listed here, including balcony access, appliances, etc. as well as community features such as laundry facility, fitness center, pets allowed, etc.

Terms/Policies. This page is made for all the terms and policies about the property including standard lease information, pet policies, custom lease terms, etc. Any information regarding payment terms, etc. should be placed here for customers to view.

Hours. Updated hours for the property are critical to the sale because you want to capture all potential leads. These should be updated for weather changes, holidays, etc.

Locations and Directions. Make sure that this information is accurate and up to date. No lost leads! If the apartment complex has more than one location, it should be specified.

Leads. This page features a contact form for customers to reach out. The form should ask for just enough information to qualify a lead without scaring them off by its lengthiness.

Once you have updated each of these sections and added high-quality images to your listing, you are ready to publish!

Managing Reviews on Apartmentguide.com

The listings are not complete without shining reviews from past customers. So, ask for them! Apartment Guide encourages using reviews to boost leads. You will want a lot of high-quality reviews to gain trust from potential customers. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting or inquiring about a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Online review sites were not created with just restaurants and hotels in mind. They were created for businesses in any industry, including property management.

The Apartmentguide.com interface allows you to view your positive reviews against the negative reviews to see the overall health of your listing. It can drill down by each property that is managed and show the number of reviews that are yet to be replied to.

Examples of Good Responses to Reviews

Responding to reviews requires tact and levelheadedness, but if done right, it has tremendous benefits. Responding to a positive review shows that you are listening, which builds loyalty with your current residents and can win over future ones. Here’s an example of an effective response to a positive review from Apartmentguide.com:

Review: Seeing reviews where a landlord cares about his tenants and stuff makes me want to move here. You take the time and get things done. I can honestly say better than the landlords up here!! I am searching fo a place. When it comes the time of going to move o believe me this is where I want to be. *** Reply: Thank you for the compliments and for taking the time to write. The team at [redacted] works hard to provide excellent value and service to all our residents. Enhancing people’s quality of life at our apartmnet communities is something we take great pride in. Please feel free to bring any apartment-hunting friends to [redacted]. We have newly renovated apartments for your and amazing specials to offer.
In addition to expressing gratitude, the responder also uses this as a chance to market the property: “We have newly renovated apartments waiting for you and amazing specials to offer”. Very clever.

Responding to a negative review can be more challenging. First, you’ll want to assess if replying to the review is appropriate. Here’s a decision tree that shows you how to manage a bad review.

Once you have figured out the replying is the right action to take, reply quickly and with poise. Let’s look at this example and identify their winning practices:

Review: New owners but same concerns. When it snows, expect nothing. There’s no plowing, the sidewalks are not cleared, and concrete stairs have no traction. No ice melting applied, you’re on your own. I don’t even think they have a snow shovel! Bu they have plenty of excuses. I suggested they invest in a snow blower or even a plow. Too logical, I suspect. Another property more concerned with money than resident safety. *** Reply: Thanks for writing. Despite the fact that we were short handed during the State of Emergency, our team did put icemelt all over the community to prevent accidents. Plowing would have caused a sheet of ice, making it all the more dangerous, whereas the crunchy snow helped with traction. Please do contact the office with any further concerns. Thank you.

Watch your tone. The tone should be respectful, explaining your position without being defensive. You have the right to help others understand what happened, in this case the State of Emergency. But you do not want to antagonize the reviewer.

Personalize. If possible, the response should be personalized and not scripted. Simply adding a “contact us with your concerns” and a phone number is not the way to go. The responder in this case took the time to speak to the specific complaint.

Be transparent. You do not need too much detail, but some transparency shows that you are not hiding from the problem and open to discussion.

Show gratitude. It is best to thank the reviewer for the review, regardless of the outcome. It shows professionalism and class. But also, customer feedback can be hard to come by. A reviewer is providing you insight on ways you can improve. That is something to be grateful for.

Discuss off-line. At the end, give the reviewer a chance to discuss their concerns further but do it privately so that the dispute does not turn into a he said/she said scenario.

How to reply to reviews in Apartmentguide.com

When responding to a reviewer through Apartment Guide, the interface will provide high level stats and the reviews themselves:

Click “reply”, and you’l have the option of replying online or through email to the customer.

If you think it’s best to take the conversation offline immediately, then the email messaging option may be best. Of course, keep future customers in mind when it comes to the publicly posted response. Your words matter.

Is getting listed on Apartmentguide.com worth the investment?

Apartmentguide.com can be a helpful tool for property managers to promote their properties to prospective renters. Like any marketing campaign, you will want to measure the ROI and make sure your marketing budget is spent wisely.