Like virtually all other businesses today, owners of multifamily apartment complexes know that online reviews matter a great deal. In particular, Google reviews play a major role in the decision-making process for prospective tenants. Understanding how consumers are influenced by reviews can help you figure out the right approach to asking for feedback, responding to negativity and increasing the number of positive ratings.
People using Google to search for a property address or a business name will see snippets from the top few Google reviews. They appear in a box to the right of the search results on the page. This box also shows the average star rating, the total number of reviews and a link leading to the rest of the reviews. Thus, before a prospective client even gets to the point of searching reviews, he or she is presented with an easy way to view existing feedback. This increases the likelihood that Google reviews will be read before any reviews on other sites.
Today, doing one’s research about a company includes perusing online reviews. For a consumer who has not made a decision, the content of online reviews is likely to determine his or her actions.
Consumers see reviews as feedback from other people similar to themselves. They tend to trust this type of information far more than the material provided by the company itself. Online reviews are not far behind a personal recommendation from a trusted friend in terms of persuading consumers to patronize a particular business. For this reason, genuine positive reviews are among the top forces that drive increases in revenue.
Google reviews have the most influence when they are recent and authentic. Consumers typically consider that older reviews may contain information that may no longer be correct. Likewise, a fake review will not only be discounted but will actually damage the company’s credibility.
Reviews have a strong effect on conversion rates. While people read through reviews as part of their research, most do not devote extensive time to it. Thus, consumers typically read through top results before making a decision.
Given that online reviews, especially on Google, can strongly affect your business, it is important to know what you can do to increase the number of effective positive reviews. The reviews most likely to influence consumers in your favor are recent, authentic and specific about what made their experience with you a positive one.
Some companies resort to paying for fake reviews. This strategy, however, is short-sighted and ineffective. Consumers have become increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting false enthusiasm. No review at all is better than a fake. Planting reviews tell consumers you are trying to deceive them; the resulting lack of trust decreases your revenue.
However, there are several legitimate ways to increase the number of positive reviews for your company. Of course, the best thing you can do is ensure your tenants have genuinely positive experiences. That is not enough on its own; a happy customer will not always leave a review sharing his or her experience.
Reminding customers and providing incentives such as a small discount can help you get more feedback. Additionally, making it easy to leave reviews and rate various aspects of the service is another way to increase reviews. For example, don’t make people write essays. Instead, ask specific questions while also leaving room for additional comments.
In addition to encouraging positive reviews, it is important to properly handle negative ones. No matter how impeccable your service, some negativity is inevitable. People know this, so a few bad reviews will not necessarily cause any damage, especially if you respond constructively. Deleting reviews you don’t like decreases trust. Likewise, avoid the temptation to be harsh or rude, no matter the tone or content of the review.
Because reviews are so important for your business, it is vital to set up ways to solicit feedback and respond to concerns. You should also be aware of the reviews you receive so you can take appropriate action.
Opiniion gives you the tools you need to harness the power of Google reviews. Make it easy for customers to leave feedback, monitor reviews, analyze data and more. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 855-330-9980 to get in touch with one of our professionals and find out more about how Opiniion can boost your company’s online presence.