Growing your business is always a top priority for property managers and property management agencies. The world of property management can be challenging, and to be successful, you need to build good relationships, set yourself apart from competitors, and ensure that you get glowing reviews.
These days, good reviews and a stellar rapport on social media are essential to successful property management. Unfortunately, bad reviews and social media comments are unavoidable. While it might feel stressful to receive bad reviews, it’s going to happen. However, the most professional property managers and property management agencies don’t stress out about bad reviews. Instead, they understand these things happen, and they learn how to handle them properly so they don’t harm your business. Here’s how:
1. Start with a proactive strategy
In our contemporary business world, where reviews and comments can be left at the click of a button, you’ll inevitably receive some negative reviews. Review sites and social media are prominent, and when someone feels strongly about a service or situation, they’re going to say something. Your best bet? Developing a proactive strategy to deal with negative reviews or social media comments as they arise.
It can help to prepare a standard response for bad reviews. Create an easily accessible template that can quickly help de-escalate the situation. Your reviewers expect calm, polite behaviour and to be serious about the issues they raised. Moreover, it should emphasize the importance of good customer service and the sincere desire to resolve the problem. Preparing a proactive strategy will also ensure that you do not respond out of anger.
2. Ensure your responses are polite, professional, and gracious
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, not responding at all to reviews is never a solution. No response is just going to irritate your angry reviewer, and it certainly doesn’t solve the issue. So, be ready to respond politely and professionally. You should thank your reviewers, regardless of whether their feedback is positive or negative because they're providing you with an excellent opportunity to improve your online presence and (hopefully) wow them with your incredible customer service and problem-solving skills.
3. Customize each response
If you followed our first tip, then you should have come up with some sort of template or standard response to prepare you for bad reviews. However, you don’t want your responses to sound impersonal or generic. Each review will be unique, and so, the response you give should reflect the circumstances. Observe both the content (what the writer complaints about) and the tone (if the writer is angry, irritated, etc.). Remember, respond to the writer's criticism in a constructive manner; do not try to fight fire with fire.
4. Make sure you acknowledge the problem
One of the most important actions you can take is to reflect on the truth of any issues the review raises and acknowledge those issues with honesty. As a property manager, you must give context by addressing any problems that might have been beyond your control. Be careful when doing this; you don’t want to make it sound like you’re shunning responsibility. Be straightforward when discussing the problem and making attempts to resolve the issue. Ensure that you improve that part of your business if the review identifies any issues. The reviewer you meet might disagree with your conclusion regarding a particular topic or procedure. In this case, it’s best to acknowledge the reviewer’s viewpoint and explain why there is a discrepancy.
5. Offer a resolution
Of course, those who have had a negative experience with their property manager are ultimately looking to resolve the problem. So, you should include a resolution in your response if the bad review is merited. This will help to reinforce your commitment to delivering excellent customer service and rebuild trust in your services.
When it isn't evident what a good resolution would be, you can take the discussion offline. Bear in mind that it isn’t appropriate or beneficial for you to have a back and forth exchange where others might see it, such as on a review site. If need be, get the reviewer’s contact information and offer to discuss the matter privately to develop a solution that works for both of you.
6. Convert negative reviews to positive ones
Most of the time, you’ll find that once a problem has been resolved, the reviewer is more than happy to remove a negative comment or change a review to a positive one. When possible, try to encourage this. However, be careful how you go about this. If you feel the reviewer is still a little upset or unreasonable, it might be best not to ask.
Bad reviews aren’t only frustrating; they can be catastrophic to a property manager or property management agency. At the same time, they’re inevitable, and ignoring them isn’t the solution! The answer? Learn how to respond appropriately to negative reviews or social media comments so you can keep your reputation intact and your tenants and clients happy.