Your ads are compelling. Your website is easy to navigate and your floor plans are right there for me to review. I might even be able to place my furniture on them if you’ve got that functionality on your site.
Even better, your property is priced right and has great curb appeal. But, I’m still not sold. If I was, I probably would have reserved an apartment online. What’s missing? Probably what’s missing from most websites, leasing offices, collateral materials, property videos and more.
Q. What’s missing? A. Testimonials.
I need to know that other people like – or even better, LOVE – living at your property. And I haven’t seen one word of a testimonial on your site. So, what should I do? Well, I’ll do what everyone does in this day and age of social media – I’ll Google your site and see what comes up under your name. And believe me, there’s a wide variety of sites with opinions to share these days. If it’s not ApartmentRatings.com, it’s Yelp.com, or even a relative newcomer (at least to me), InsiderPages.com. And that’s where I find your property’s testimonials.
Not all of them are positive, but that’s okay. Like most people, I’m suspicious of products that have 100% positive ratings. But, I find it interesting that you haven’t responded to a single review on these sites. Why wouldn’t you take the time to respond? Your lack of participation on these sites tells me a couple of things (and I might not even be correct with my assumptions, but that’s not my problem – it’s yours).
1. It tells me you don’t care what people say about your company and your product. Isn’t that just a little bit arrogant? Can’t constructive criticism help you create a better product? And provide better service?
2. It tells me that you don’t even want to engage your clients in conversation about their experiences. Hmmm…how will you treat ME if I have an issue?
Would all of this been avoided if you’d have had testimonials on your site? Maybe, maybe not. But don’t you think that in this day and age of social media and word of mouth (let alone word of mouse) recommendations, you’d have thought of this?
Start using testimonials in your leasing office, in your models, on your website and even on your collateral materials, to distinguish your property management business from the competition. Have a variety of demographic groups in your testimonials. The 65 year old empty nester couple might not relate well to the 22 year old roommates fresh out of college in their first jobs, you know?
A couple more rules about your testimonials:
1. Use photos. People want to see who provided the testimonial.
2. Be specific. Have your residents give details on what they love about living at your property.
Why send people searching for reviews? Provide them for your prospect residents. They’ll soon become an invaluable selling tool.