Tips to Boost Online Review Sharing

Staff Writer |

Driving more online reviews of your properties is one of the most effective ways to generate more prospects without spending lots of money. Nothing sells like customer reviews. It’s now commonplace for prospective renters to read online reviews before choosing any product or service. And when it comes to something as important as a place to live, you can bet prospects are very carefully reading what current and former residents have to say about your communities.

The good news is that you don’t have to merely sit back and hope for online reviews. You can make them happen. And it’s something you should make part of your monthly routine, as important as any other part of your marketing efforts. The fact is that while people naturally leave reviews for businesses such as restaurants, they often don’t think about posting a review about where they actually live – unless perhaps they’re angry about something. It pays to inspire, remind and motivate your happy residents. Remember, most of the folks living at your properties really like it, or they’d live somewhere else; they just need the smallest prod to type up a review and let others know. Here are some ways to make it easy for them!

Motivate residents to write reviews

With Community Rewards, you can offer residents the chance to earn points by writing reviews. And they can write a new one every 90 days, so that’s up to four chances a year to rack up rewards. To keep things fresh, reviews don’t have to be only about the properties in general. For example, you can prompt residents to write reviews about their favorite team member, on-site activities, cool places in the vicinity of the property or other specific subjects. A couple of announcement templates are pre-loaded on the Community Rewards dashboard to get you started.

Attract interest with your social pages and polls

You might also think about adding a “Resident of the Week” spotlight to your social pages – something that has worked well at a number of communities. You feature a resident who has posted a great review, posting the review and a photo of the resident (with their permission, of course). This has worked to remind and motivate residents to post reviews of their own.

Another idea is to use the Poll feature to attract interest in posting reviews. Residents who answer polls are awarded points to make them more likely to engage and actually answer. You can do this, for example, by sending out a poll asking questions such as: “Have you posted a review about the property since moving in? Did you know you can earn points up to four times a year by creating a review? Did you know you can post a review in just a few clicks using Community Rewards?”

It’s important to note that when suggesting that residents create and share reviews, you should never either ask specifically for good reviews (or reward on this basis), or cull weaker reviews and preserve only the positive ones. We’ve covered the negative ramifications of doing this in other blogs. But don’t worry too much that you’ll churn up a lot of negativity. Residents wanting to participate in Community Rewards, engage and earn points probably won’t be there to complain. And if you do experience some criticism, use it as valuable feedback on changes you might consider making.

In summary, reviews are critical to marketing; but you don’t have to simply sit back and wait for them. Community Rewards is a perfect tool for proactively motivating residents to create reviews, while making it incredibly easy to post and share them.

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