How to Prevent and Respond to Negative Tenant Reviews

Posted by
on Mar 19, 2018

Did you know that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

This means that any potential tenants looking to lease a property under your management may be swayed by online reviews of your property management business. While positive reviews are great, what happens when you receive a negative tenant review? Not only are they damaging to your business’ reputation but they can also result in loss of potential clients and revenue.

That’s why it’s important to prevent and resolve negative tenant reviews in a timely manner. Here’s how:

How to prevent negative tenant reviews

how to prevent negative tenant reviews

As the saying goes, prevention is often better than cure so it’s crucial that you take proactive measures with your team to prevent negative tenant reviews.

Be tenant focused

The more tenant focused, communicative and professional you and your team are, the stronger your relationship with your tenant and the more likely they’ll come to you when they have issues or concerns.

Be sure to listen to your tenants patiently and show them that you really care by following up and resolving any issues. This goes a long way in making your job as a property manager easier as happy tenants are more likely to pay their rent on time and keep the property in a good condition.

Ask for feedback via email

Another way to prevent negative tenant reviews is to ask for feedback via email to internalise and address any negative feedback before it escalates and damages your online reputation.

If the feedback you get happens to be positive, you can always ask the tenant to copy and paste the positive review onto a public site such as Google (use this review link generator), Facebook or Rate My Agent, just to name a few. After all, 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked.

Encourage positive tenant reviews

An influx of positive tenant reviews can help prevent negative ones. For example, in the event that a tenant goes online to leave you a negative review, they may think twice if they see numerous glowing reviews. They may think, “this tenant had their maintenance issues fixed quickly–I need to find out why mine was not” or “maybe my bad experience was a one off”. Either way, your tenant may be encouraged to contact you prior to leaving a negative review.

You can ask for feedback via email or via a survey and encourage those with positive experiences to write an online review. However, don’t forget about those tenants that have negative feedback or constructive criticism, otherwise there’s no point in asking for feedback. Think of it as an opportunity to turn those tenants into advocates after you resolve their issues.

How to respond to negative tenant reviews

how to respond to negative tenant reviews

If you happen to receive a negative tenant review, here are some things you can do to minimise its impact to your online reputation.

Find and respond to negative reviews quickly

The longer it takes you to respond to a negative review, the more your business’ reputation suffers. Prospective tenants who are exposed to the review will only see one side of the story and may assume that you don’t care about your tenants.

To combat this, make sure you find negative reviews quickly by monitoring social media channels and review websites. You can also set up Google alerts to send you an email if anyone mentions your name or your business name. Ensure you reply to all reviews on the same day; this will show current and prospective tenants that you genuinely care and that you are highly responsive.

Once you identify a negative review, make sure you do your research and investigate the issue and tenant prior to responding.

Respond in an empathetic, professional manner

While a negative tenant review might impact you emotionally, you need to recognise that it’s not personal. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to solve an issue for your tenant and improve your services. After all, a tenant would only leave a negative review if they were really frustrated or upset.

When responding, it’s crucial that you empathise with your tenant and respond in a professional manner. Be sure to apologise for any inconveniences caused and keep public replies short and sweet in order to avoid a public chain of back and forth messages that may further damage your online reputation.

Deal with the negative tenant review privately

If you can identify the tenant from the name on the review or social media profile, you should try to contact them privately via direct message, phone call or email prior to responding publicly. Once you have contacted them privately, reply to their public review with an apology and let them know that you have sent them a private message. As mentioned before, you want to avoid a long chain of back and forth messages that anyone can see.

If you’re unable to identify the tenant (some sites allow anonymous reviews), be sure to reply to their review with your contact details so you can help resolve their issue and improve your services for their benefit.

Being proactive about resolving any issues shows current and prospective tenants that you truly care about their well-being and that you’re professional and communicative.

Ask them to remove the review

Once you’ve resolved the tenant’s issue and they seem highly satisfied with how you’ve dealt with the situation, you may want to ask them to modify their negative review or remove it altogether. However, tread carefully as you don’t want the tenant to think that you’re only responsive because you want to save your online reputation.

All in all…

How to prevent negative tenant reviews:

  • Be tenant focused
  • Ask for feedback via email
  • Encourage positive tenant reviews

How to respond to negative tenant reviews:

  • Find and respond to negative reviews quickly
  • Respond in an empathetic, professional manner
  • Deal with the negative tenant review privately
  • Ask them to remove the review

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this blog post on how to prevent and respond to negative tenant reviews has helped you better manage your online reputation.

You might also be interested in 12 Ways to Attract Quality Tenants, 52 Ways to Grow Your Rent Roll and 7 Habits of Highly Successful Property Managers.

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