Written Posts

What reviews are you focusing on?

3 Comments 20 September 2013

blurredYes, I’m still alive (although this blog has seen better days).  One of the challenges with blogging, or using social media in general, is that you have to actually do it.  Whether I’m doing a video or banging something out on the keyboard it does take some thought and effort.  With the number of topics I’ve chimed in over the years it sometimes can be difficult to come up with something original.  Maybe I just need to embrace the fact that every post isn’t going to be a spankin’ new topic, but I can just put a spin on something current.  We’ll see…maybe I’ll get going again.

Anyway, one of the reasons I blog is because I’m inspired by someone else.  Vaynerchuck, Godin, Trosien, Alney, Whaling (just to name a few) inspire me on a regular basis.  Today I was inspired by Seth Godin’s post, Unreasonable clients.

During the past few years I feel the topic of “Customer Reviews” has been an important one in the Multifamily space.  In general, I believe that customer satisfaction in our industry has become so much more important.  Lots of competition, new developments popping up around the corner, and a shadow market of homes for rent make service even more important.

So what do we do about those customers that we just can’t make happy?  We all have them, and some of them have even left scathing reviews on ApartmentRatings.com.  Just three years ago I remember a conversation during an association event where companies where brainstorming on an idea to buy AR.com and shut it down.  Is that what we should do with customers we can’t make happy?  Shut down their ability to comment.  That is just unrealistic.

Here’s what I recommend, similar to what Godin is saying.  Ignore, or even fire, the bitter customers.  Focus on the 4, 3, and 2 star customers.  The ones that aren’t singing your praises, but they aren’t completely lost yet.  That’s where we should be spending our efforts.  Don’t wait for them to post a review online either.  Survey internally, know where you stand, and take some action where you can.  There are plenty of digital options out there to survey your customers.  Collect email addresses and get a move on!

  • Oh, Mark… How I’ve missed you. It’s funny – I came out of hiding recently to write and share my thoughts about the same topic – reviews.

    Seth is one of my favorite people, but you and I both know that firing your negative residents is too radical an idea to catch on as much as it could. With that said, I think owners and managers should survey their residents a lot more often (if they did one it would probably be more often than they’re doing it now). If treating everyone well all the time is too hard and only focusing on people who like you is too scary, at least give people a forum to share their concerns. That way you can address them before they escalate into a scathing one-star Yelp review that never goes away.

    • Of course our fair housing fears would overshadow any ideas about firing negative residents I’m sure. I will tell you that my goal is just to ignore them if I can’t fire them. Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well!

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