In a traditional business model, your reputation depends on flyers, newspaper listings, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Today, managing your reputation is fundamentally digital.
It’s no different for rental business owners. To sustain a positive reputation for your properties, you need to navigate online rental listings, social media, and search engine marketing.
Renters will still make recommendations to their friends, but now those friends are a closely linked network of hundreds of accounts. It’s easier than ever for renters to access all the information about your rental business on the internet—including negative reviews.
To succeed as a rental business owner in the twentieth century, you need to actively manage your online reputation. This means understanding digital marketing strategies and promoting the right content at the right times.
Here are four tips for managing your rental business’s reputation online.
- Respond to Negative Reviews
An unforgiving review can feel gut-wrenching. Your first instinct might be to deny the tenant’s claims or ignore the review entirely. Don’t do either of these!
Instead, use negative reviews as an opportunity to demonstrate that you care about the quality of living for your tenants and preventing future bad experiences. You should respond to every negative review as soon as you see it. It’s far better for prospective renters to see your professional response to negative feedback than for the complaints to sit seemingly unread.
Your response should be brief, but effective. Follow these four steps: thank the reviewer for their feedback, apologize for the poor experience, acknowledge the source of the problem, and indicate any next steps or solutions.
A prospective renter who encounters your response following the outline above will notice your mature reaction to criticism. They are less likely to be deterred by the original reviewer if you show you are taking steps to solve the problem.
- Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
Search engine optimization (SEO) is increasingly important for all business owners hoping to make an impact online. When renters search for housing options on Google, you want your properties to be among the first that pop up.
Unfortunately, SEO is rather complex. Search engines like Google use complicated algorithms to evaluate keywords and rank pages. You may not be an SEO expert, but you can use simple strategies to help your pages top the rankings.
First, aim to use a few keywords across all your digital content. This means when renters Google “St. Louis rentals” or “best apartments in Ann Arbor,” your properties will appear because they are associated with that keyword.
Second, create more content with these keywords. Start with your company website, then move to blog posts, social media, or other marketing assets. The more content with keywords you publish online, the better your chances of being noticed by Google’s algorithms and prospective renters.
- Be Active and Engaged Online
A Facebook profile that hasn’t posted in five years is unlikely to attract prospective renters.
By being active online, you encourage your tenants to engage as well. Regular posts on social media featuring giveaways, raffles, polls, or event photos will inspire likes and enthusiasm from your tenants.
If you post often, you can also generate more comments on your content, link tenants to your referral program, and advertise the healthy, engaged resident community you foster at your properties.
- Interlink Your Digital Content
Finally, another strategy for reputation management is to interlink your digital content. For example, include links to your website on your social media posts and vice versa. Many website builders allow you to directly embed recent social media activity at the bottom of your website, a great way to gain more followers on your landing page.
You can also link your website and social media to your property management software account with a built-in or customized integration. This way, you can monitor your content and activity across all platforms.
Interlinking your digital content promotes consistency across platforms, gets your prospects clicking around, and increases overall engagement. It also sends the message that your business is active, digitally literate, and legitimate.
Building a Positive Reputation for Your Rental Business
Digital reputation management is not as intimidating as you may think. Despite the larger audience, you still maintain control over many aspects of your digital reputation. By responding professionally to criticism, improving your search engine ranking, staying active, and interlinking your content, you are already on your way toward establishing a positive and inviting reputation for your rental business.