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New Study Provides Insight for Managing Online Reputation and Social Media Strategy

January 27 2016

55% of Residents Confirmed Reading Positive Online Reviews Led to Contacting a Community; Only 46% of Property Managers Manage Online Reviews Daily

Lehi, UTAH -- Entrata, multifamilys fastest growing full-service technology provider, released a new report outlining the perceptions and valuations of online reviews and social media for renters and property management companies. The report, What Residents Want, measures the impact these marketing tools have during the lead-to-lease process and analyzes ways marketers can enhance their reputation and social strategies.

According to the national study of 1,892 residents and 67 multifamily employees, 43% of residents stated a community rated at a 3.0 on a 5.0 scale was too low to be considered a desirable place to live, with the majority of residents focused on a communitys curb appeal, unit condition and rent price when writing an online review.

Online reviews are impacting renters decisions on what apartment community to choose, but not necessarily in the way property management companies may be expecting, said Veronica Romney, Entrata director of SEO/SEM, Entrata. The takeaway here is how property managers should focus their time to improve ratings, showcase their reputation, and respond to reviews so they are turning them into leads.

In the report, Entrata breaks down how reviews are impacting renter decisions and the factors that are considered when residents go to write reviews:

  • Over 90% of residents will read at least one review before touring an apartment.

  • Unit condition, property curb appeal and cost were the top three factors residents considered when writing an online review of their apartment community.

  • 55% of residents will either visit a property or contact the community for additional information after reading a positive review.

The study also found that while 95% of property management companies found value in investing resources into managing online reviews, only 46% dedicated time daily to managing their online reviews.

The report concluded that property management companies would benefit in responding to negative reviews, encouraging its residents to post reviews when they have a positive experience and focusing on continual improvements/maintenance of the communitys curb appeal, unit condition and rent price.

The study also gleaned insight into the disconnect between the social media preferences of residents and the posting strategies of property managers:

  • Property management companies and residents are aligned in how often their community should be posting online - 1-5 times a month.

  • While Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are the top social sites used most by residents, property management companies are favoring Facebook, Google+ and Twitter in their posting strategies.

  • 89% of property management companies post lifestyle focused content but less than 20% of residents prefer those type of posts. 89% are also focusing on local events and news with only 48% of residents preferring to read those type of posts.

Social media is a powerful tool that makes you and your residents voices heard whether you want it to be or not, said Romney. Aligning your social strategy to the preferences of your residents leads to improved engagement and the chance to amplify the positive reviews of those posting on your pages.

For an in-depth look at the perceptions and practices of online reviews and social media for renters and property management companies download the free What Residents Want report by visiting entrata.com/marketing/reuptation-advisor.

About Entrata

Founded in 2003, Entrata® is the only comprehensive property management software provider with a single-login, open-access Platform as a Service (PaaS) system. Offering a wide variety of online tools including websites, mobile apps, payments, lease signing, accounting, and resident management, Entrata® PaaS currently serves more than 20,000 apartment communities nationwide, including 34 of the NMHC Top 50 Largest Managers. Entratas open API and superior selection of third-party integrations offer management companies the freedom to choose the technology and software that best fit their needs. For more information, go to www.entrata.com.

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