Online reviews matter. This blog has previously uncovered some daunting facts about review influence, such as the fact that 92 percent of consumers read online reviews, and that only 13 percent of consumers will consider using a product or service that has a one or two star rating. However, it should be noted that not all review sites are treated equally. Here’s a look at which review sites are the most important for the multifamily industry.
Apartment Specific Review Sites
Google’s algorithm tends to account for industry when ranking listings, so it makes sense that apartment review websites are some of the highest ranking sites for apartment related searches, especially when those searches include the word “review” in the query. In fact, if you simply google the phrase “Apartment reviews,” ApartmentRatings.com is the top result. Rent.com, Apartments.com, ApartmentGuide.com, and RentersVoice.com rank second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. For this reason, these are the top review sites we recommend that you monitor.
An analysis of our client data suggests that ApartmentRatings.com, ApartmentGuide.com, and Rent.com, appear more frequently for review related searches. So if you don’t have the resources to monitor all five sites, we recommend sticking to those three.
Social Media Reviews
While sites that are dedicated to apartments and apartment reviews frequently appear in review related searches for apartment communities, social media is heavily influential when conducting a branded search that specifically names an apartment community. Two sites in particular show up for practically all branded searches. These sites are Google Reviews and Facebook.
Google Reviews typically appear separately from the listings, in the Google My Business section to the right of the search results. It’s important to pay attention to Google Reviews because they’re extremely visible, with star ratings that appear ‘above the fold’ on many desktop screens. The Google My Business section also allows users to see a brief summary of at least three reviews beneath the star rating. These summaries provide context that’s immediately available to users. Depending on your apartment community’s reputation, this can either be a blessing or a curse.
Facebook reviews are important because they’re arguably the most accessible in terms of posting. While creating a review on a site like ApartmentRatings.com requires users to create an account with the site, creating a review on Facebook only requires users to have a Facebook account. And because virtually everyone has a Facebook account, creating a review on the social network has little barrier to entry. This makes it very convenient for renters to create reviews.
Yelp reviews tend to appear in a regional and branded searches. It’s also worth noting that Yelp’s popularity as a standalone review app makes it extremely important, especially in an environment where mobile is slowly becoming the default.
Monitoring your community’s reputation is undeniably important. But even with the most advanced online reputation management tools for apartments, it’s pretty difficult to address everything that’s said about your community on the Internet. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, focus on Apartment Ratings, Apartment Guide, Rent, Facebook, Google Reviews, and Yelp. These sites represent the most influential players in the space.