You’ve worked hard to attract and keep the best tenants; making sure that your properties are well maintained and attractive. Resident safety issues are also a priority, so your property is patrolled regularly, burned out lights replaced immediately, and security cameras working. Everything is working great; you’re happy, your tenants are happy, and the property owners are happy.
Or so you thought. Suddenly, your Facebook page is flooded with negative comments. When your management company name is Googled, negative comments far outweigh positive ones.
Is this the work of a few disgruntled former tenants, or a much bigger problem? And once you find the source of the problem, how do you communicate to others that the issues have been addressed?
· The most important thing to do is discover the source of the problem. Disgruntled former tenants frequently trash the reputation of their former landlords on social media. While the claims may have little or no validity, it’s important to respond to these posts all the same.
· If the complaints do have some validity, take the time to address the problem in a straightforward manner. You may also want to address how you’re handling the problem at the property, so social media followers will know that the complaint has been acknowledged and addressed.
· Honest communication is key. If despite increased security measures, your apartment community has experienced a number of break-ins lately, pretending it didn’t happen will do nothing to reassure current residents, nor encourage quality applicants to apply. Hire armed security, install additional locks, and actively discourage loitering on the property grounds. And remember, while it’s important to do those things, you must follow up and address those things on social media sites as well.
· Don’t always be on the defensive. Instead of only responding to a negative comment, be the one to post first. Ramp up your social media presence by posting about what you’re doing to make your property better, safer, more attractive.
· Lastly, it’s important to be upfront with tenants about any potential issues that may arise. Tenants will not appreciate being told about a series of car break-ins weeks after they occurred. Address any issues promptly, and actively keep them in the loop regarding any solutions that will be implemented.
It’s important to remember the power of social media, and that while there is nothing to prevent someone from posting negative things about your properties, there’s also nothing preventing them from posting great things as well. Give them something great to post about.