In this digital age, you can expect prospective tenants to look online for a new rental.
In addition, you can expect those same tenants to read online reviews about what it is like to lease from you, the rental property owner.
With 92% of all consumers checking out online reviews before making a final decision whether to move forward with a purchase, it is wise to be aware of the impact both positive and negative reviews can have on your rental property business.
This is especially true if you enlist the help of a York property management company to help with the day-to-day tasks of your rental property.
After all, interested tenants are going to look at the reviews left about your property management company as well to ensure they will receive the best experience possible while leasing from you.
Learning how to handle negative online reviews about your rental property is a good strategy to master, since a negative review will likely happen at one point or another.
And, while negative reviews are never welcome, you can learn to make the best of them to help you move forward, so that future tenants will have very little reason to leave a bad review about you or your property manager.
Dealing with Negative Online Reviews of Your Rental
With review sites such as Yelp, there is very little you can do when you receive a negative online review.
In fact, it is nearly impossible for you to have a negative review removed from sites like Yelp, unless a review contains the following:
- Inappropriate content like threats, harassment, or hate speech
- Promotional content that steers people to your competitors
- Content with private information
- Irrelevant content that has nothing to do with your products or services
- Content that asks for payment other than a simple refund
- Plagiarized content (including written content and images)
That said, you are going to have to deal with negative reviews as they come – no matter the nature, circumstances, or truth behind them.
Here are some of the best ways to do just that, so that, in the end, everyone feels like the matter was addressed properly, and your rental property business does not suffer because of it.
1. Understand the Nature of Reviews
You can never satisfy everyone – even if you are the best landlord in the entire world, and have an equally amazing York property management company aiding you.
You will make mistakes, people will gripe about things out of your control, and negative reviews will be written.
It’s important to understand that sometimes people will say negative things about how you or your property manager handle some issues. It is also important to understand that some negativity can actually lend credibility to your reputation as a property owner.
After all, prospective tenants are likely to be suspicious is no one ever says anything negative about leasing from you.
2. Stay Updated
If you allow the submission of reviews by tenants on behalf of your services as a property owner, or the property management company you work with has a review site, make sure you frequent it regularly to see what people are saying.
Proactive damage control can go a long way when it comes to a negative review.
Ignoring them, or simply not knowing they exist, will only make things worse.
3. Always Respond
Whether a review is good or bad, it is crucial you engage with your tenants.
That said, responding to every positive review is not entirely necessary, though your tenants will probably appreciate it if you recognize that they have said something nice about you or your York property manager.
On the other hand, responding to every negative review is a must.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you prepare to respond to a negative review:
- Decide whether to respond publicly or privately, depending on the subject matter
- Investigate the review before responding to ensure you have all the facts straight
- Be timely about all responses, responding the same day a negative review is posted, if possible
- Regardless of who is at fault, or what the review says about your or your property management company, maintain your composure and stay professional
- Admit to any mistakes you have made and genuinely apologize
- Share sincere concern for negative reviews that are not your fault, and even sympathize with the tenant, then go on to explain in a calm way why things went a certain way to show you had a legitimate reason for acting the way you did
Lastly, offer to discuss the issue further offline. Do not engage in a back and forth online, as this appears unprofessional and will steer future tenants away from wanting to lease from you, no matter the reason for the bad review.
4. Ask Your Tenant to Remove the Review
If you and your disgruntled tenant have discussed the negative review, and resolved it to the satisfaction of both parties, you might consider asking them to remove or update their review.
While you cannot typically do this on your own, the person leaving the review has the ability to remove or edit any comments they may have left.
5. Be Proactive About Receiving Good Reviews
The best way to handle negative online reviews about your York rental is to prevent them from needing to be submitted by tenants in the first place.
Sure, there will be times when your tenant will be upset with something that has happened. However, handling these issues straight away prevents your tenant from feeling they need to leave a bad review.
To start, regularly check in with your tenant and see if there is anything bothering them that you or your property manager might be able to handle right away.
Next, offer your tenants a way to submit questions or concerns, such as an online portal, so tenants can still air their grievances, but privately and not on review sites that may harm your rental property business.
Lastly, encourage your good tenants to leave reviews if they mention something positive to you in passing. Many times people don’t think to leave positive reviews.
And, if you can convince tenants to leave nice reviews about their experience with you or your York property management, you will be able to build a better reputation for yourself.
6. Learn From Negative Reviews
As much as you don’t want to receive a negative online review about your rental property, the truth is, you cannot avoid them forever.
However, you can use them to your advantage, even if you were at fault and the tenant complaining was right in what they said about you.
Make internal fixes, fire your property manager, and strive to make improvements so that future tenants do not have the same experiences, thus eliminating the need for a negative review.
If you own rental property in York, and want to reduce the number of negative reviews you receive by dissatisfied tenants, contact York H-G Properties today.
We are dedicated to providing your tenants top-notch customer service. We have processes in place to handle any problems tenants may be having with your rental immediately, such as a 24/7 maintenance crew, and we also have the knowledge and experience to give your tenants exactly what they are looking for in a rental.