The Importance of Online Reviews on Occupancy Rates

In the digital age, online reviews have become a powerful tool that significantly influences consumers’ decisions. This holds true, not only for purchasing products, but also when it comes to choosing a place to live. In the real estate industry, online reviews play a crucial role in establishing occupancy rates of apartments and rental properties. Between a transparent look into resident experiences at your property, greater visibility in the search for a lease, and an outlet of communication to improve the location, online reviews are worth a property manager’s time and attention.  

Building Trust through Transparency: Online reviews provide a valuable platform for tenants to share their experiences and opinions about the rental properties they have lived in and what advice they would give to someone considering the property. Inversely, potential tenants heavily rely on these reviews to assess the credibility and quality of a property from more than management. Positive reviews act as social proof, instilling trust and confidence in potential renters from their own peers and negative reviews can raise concerns and deter prospective tenants from situations that leave the average tenant unsatisfied. The transparency of online reviews, while helpful, makes it essential for property owners and managers to proactively manage their online reputation by addressing concerns and cultivating positive feedback to show prospective residents that problems are met with solutions. 

Enhancing Visibility and Exposure: Online reviews contribute to the visibility and exposure of apartment and rental properties. When prospective tenants search for housing options, they often turn to popular review platforms, such as Google Reviews, Yelp, or specialized real estate websites. The more reviews generated for a property, the more relevant a property becomes to the review platform. Moreover, search engines prioritize properties with high ratings and positive reviews, increasing the chances of being discovered by individuals actively seeking rentals in the area.  

Influencing Decision-Making: The impact of online reviews on occupancy rates is closely tied to their influence on the decision-making process of potential tenants. A study conducted by BrightLocal found that 91% of consumers aged trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This statistic underscores the power of online reviews in shaping perceptions and influencing choices. A property with a higher number of positive reviews is more likely to be chosen over a competing property with fewer or negative reviews. 

Quality Assurance and Perception of Maintenance: Online reviews shed light on the quality of rental properties and the level of maintenance provided by property owners. Positive reviews highlighting well-maintained properties, responsive management, and timely repairs contribute to an enhanced perception of the property’s quality. On the other hand, negative reviews indicating poor maintenance or unaddressed issues can severely impact occupancy rates. No one wants to deal with maintenance problems and unhelpful staff and when a review site all but guarantees that the property offers positive experiences, the concern virtually leaves the mind and view the property with higher priority.  

Feedback for Improvement: Online reviews are more than a communication source for potential residents to learn from. Reviews also serve as a valuable source of feedback for property owners and managers. Offering insights into areas that require improvement, allowing property managers to address issues and enhance the overall rental experience, managers can solve issues in the resident experience they may not have been aware of. By actively monitoring and responding to reviews, property owners can demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and dedicate themselves to continuously improving their properties. 

Mitigating Negative Reviews: Many property managers look at negative reviews with fear or contempt. Feedback that is often angry, appears out of context, and is meant to deter potential residents from leasing your property. Although these feelings can be understood from an internal perspective, a new perspective may be helpful. Negative reviews are inevitable, and even the best properties will receive some criticism. However, the way a property handles negative reviews is crucial to the impact these reviews will have. Response to these reviews should be constructive and done in a proactive manner. Responding promptly, empathetically, and professionally to negative reviews can help mitigate the potential damage caused by these reviews. Addressing concerns, offering solutions, and expressing a willingness to rectify any issues can significantly improve the perception of a property and reassure potential tenants that their concerns will be taken seriously. Additionally, a proper response will promote the same resident with a previously negative experience to leave a more positive review in the future.  

Encouraging and Leveraging Positive Reviews: To boost occupancy rates, property owners should actively encourage satisfied tenants to leave positive reviews. This can be done through email or SMS campaigns, social media engagement, or incentives such as referral programs. Leveraging positive reviews by showcasing them on the property’s website, social media profiles, or other marketing materials can amplify their impact. Testimonials and success stories from happy tenants can serve as powerful marketing tools, attracting potential tenants and building credibility. 

Finding the Best Tools: Often, the struggle for property managers to obtain and utilize online reviews comes from the lack of time, due to busy schedules, or a lack of knowledge on when or how to ask for reviews and feedback. The solution to these issues is simple – resident satisfaction software.
Opiniion is the #1 resident satisfaction platform and specializes in helping property owners and managers to measure and manage the resident experience and boost online reviews. Opiniion enables property managers to gather valuable feedback from residents, streamline communication, and enhance overall satisfaction. This software is built to be automated and customizable for each property, allowing a property manager to be as hands off or hands on as they’d like. By leveraging Opiniion’s software, property owners can proactively address concerns, resolve issues, and cultivate positive experiences, which in turn leads to happier residents, higher renewals, and more leases. To learn more about this software and how it can boost your reviews and increase your occupancy rates, please visit Opiniion | Demo 


The influence of online reviews on the occupancy rates of apartment and rental properties cannot be underestimated. In today’s digital landscape, potential tenants rely heavily on the experiences shared by others to guide their decision-making process. By proactively managing online reviews, addressing concerns, and leveraging positive feedback, property owners and managers can enhance their reputation, attract more tenants, and maximize occupancy rates. Building trust, maintaining a high level of maintenance, and continuously improving the rental experience will position a property as an attractive choice among the competition. Remember, in the digital age, online reviews are virtual word-of-mouth, and they can significantly impact the success of your rental property. 

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