Learning what residents really want and expect from their property management company can help multifamily marketers enhance their reputation management and social media strategies. So we asked them. In a national survey that covered 38 states and over 2,000 residents, we researched their perceptions and preferences regarding property reviews and social media interactions.
At the same time, we surveyed property management professionals, asking similar questions to identify general industry trends and gauge how in sync industry professionals are with residents’ point of view. The good news? Multifamily marketers are doing a lot of things right when it comes to responding to reviews and engaging residents on social media.
That said, the study also identified a number of areas where opportunities exist for properties to more effectively showcase reputation, improve residents, and respond to reviews in a way that impacts lead conversion.
This study confirms that online reviews have a significant impact on how residents –and prospective residents— view your property. The majority of residents indicated that reading a positive review online would lead them to contact the property. Resident sensitivity to poor reviews is acute. Nearly half of those surveyed indicated that an average community rating of 3 (on a 5.0 scale) would be too low for them to consider moving into that community.
We also discovered that time and resources can become real barriers as property managers attempt to monitor and respond to reviews in a timely manner. Over half of those surveyed manually visit each and every review site to check for new posts and respond. Many are spending time every day to check all of these sites.
Some properties stated they just don’t have the time to monitor all of the review sites, which begins to impact their ability to respond to reviews with the speed that residents expect. But that’s precisely what residents care about most. The most important thing companies can do, residents said, is demonstrate that they value and are willing to address negative reviews.
The study also identified ways that social media strategies can effectively engage residents. Here’s the big one: drop the lifestyle posts. Residents would rather you post content that focuses on local events and community news. And they’re okay with you using social media for promotional content as well – as long as those promotions are directed toward current residents and not just prospects.
In fact, prospect-based promotions on social media may do little more than make current residents feel left out. Over 80 percent of residents surveyed say they do not look at or consider a new property’s social media channels when deciding whether or not to move there.
These are just a few of the insights gleaned from this comprehensive study. The full report is available for download at entrata.com/marketing/reputation-advisor. We can also provide a variety of tools to help you bridge the gap between your current marketing and resident engagement programs and what your residents really want. Contact your CSM or sales rep for more information on Entrata’s ReputationAdvisor™ product and other products available for reputation and social media management.