Have you ‘googled’ your property management company name lately? If so, what are the results?
If you’re like most properties, you’ll have a mixed bag of results, ranging from gushing compliments from satisfied residents, to wild ranting from the tenant you evicted last month. Both current and former tenants can easily post unflattering remarks on various websites, and even Facebook pages. While the compliments are great, unfortunately, it’s the negative comments that tend to catch the eye of those searching for a new place to live. As you read this, it’s very likely that someone, somewhere, is posting something about one of your properties. You can hope that it’s flattering, but what if it’s not?
While no one can eliminate unflattering Internet comments altogether, it’s important that you become aware of what is being said about you and your properties online.
There are several ways you can do this:
- Be proactive. Make sure someone is monitoring websites. This can be done through various free alert services that are offered from Google, MSN, and Yahoo. Just enter the name or words you want to receive an alert for and an email will be automatically sent to you whenever your company or property name is mentioned.
- Utilize a marketing firm. Although these can cost a major amount of money, and would not be cost effective for smaller property management companies, these firms offer more specialized services and guidance for social media novices.
- Create your own social media universe. Create a Facebook page for your property as well as a Twitter account. While a stronger online presence may create more negative feedback, you’ll also have a larger community of supporters as well.
- Respond accordingly. While it’s best to just ignore profanity laced comments, legitimate complaints and concerns should be addressed. If the complainer is accurate, offer to work with them to fix the issue. Apologizing for mistakes made in the past can often create loyal tenants and supporters in the future.
- Reduce future complaints by addressing the legitimate issues raised online. If a former tenant moved because of a noise problem, shooting down her comment won’t change the fact that residents continue to leave due to a noise issue. Address and correct the problem and the online complaints will lessen.
Take the time to think about your response before you post them. A defensive response will alert readers to the fact that the complaint is probably accurate. Some comments don’t deserve a response at all. But make sure that when you do respond, you do so in a professional manner. It will be noticed.