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How To Manage Your Online Reputation

Just as blogging regularly is important for traffic, and setting yourself apart as an industry expert can ensure great connections, managing your online reputation can directly affect your bottom line and amount of new clients.


Social media particularly has become a staple in our daily lives, and underutilizing its advantages, or disregarding altogether can severely cripple your overall reputation and trust with potential clients. 


Monitoring the reviews section of social media outlets like Yelp and Facebook ensures you know what potential clients are seeing--and current clients are saying. Since social media provides an outlet for customers to rave or complain about your service, failing to include social media management into your business plan can be shortsighted, at best. 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Since homeowners and investors are likely to search online for a property management company to work with and with the majority of renters looking for their next rental online, taking steps to manage what your potential tenants and clients will see, is important.


Know What’s Out There:


The internet is full of social media platforms, and each has its own niche market. Facebook, Yelp, Google Plus, Twitter and others provide great venues for clients to comment on your great work. It is useful to be aware of all the sites, but knowing where your clients, and potential clients, reside in terms of platforms is crucial. Think about your owners and investors as well as tenants, these customers may not be visiting the same platforms as frequently. The last thing you want these potential leads to discovering is a slew of poor reviews from unhappy past customers.


Special Note:

You may think you are safe from experiencing online negative reviews if you have yet to set up a Facebook or Google Business Page or Yelp profile, but that may not be the case. Customers can create a page for you or social platforms (like Facebook) will create a page if a company is searched for enough. This allows customers to write reviews that you may not be aware of, and are certainly not monitoring. Stay ahead of the game and create your own profiles so you can fully review any new comments. A simple Google search for property managers in your area will reveal what sites are most popular for users to leave reviews and feedback, and will allow you to see what clients have to say about you and your competitors.


Check Your Pages Often:


Schedule time to review your page every day. This will generally take less than 10 minutes but can ensure that you are quickly on top of an issue should it arise. Online reputations must be fostered and are not to be fixed and forgotten about. It is imperative to keep up-to-date about what clients are saying about you and be ready to reply.


Special Note:

If you feel overwhelmed by managing your social media, set up a Google Alert for your company’s name. These will send you a daily email that includes anytime your business has been mentioned online. This can allow you to quickly see if a client talks about your property management company on a venue that you don’t actively monitor.


Flag False Reviews:


Pay attention to reviews, and keep your eyes peeled for irrelevant or incorrect reviews or reviews that clearly come from a competitor seeking to damage your online reputation. There are signs that can indicate a review is suspect. If you notice that reviews are not genuine, be ready to let the social platform know. Sites like Yelp, for instance, offer a flagging system that allows you to report a review as false. Keep in mind you SHOULD NEVER abuse the ability to flag a false review. This is reserved ONLY for instances where the review is completely invalid and is different than attempting to report a bad review.


Solve Problems:


When looking at your online reviews, if you notice poor reviews from a legitimate source (ie a former or current disgruntled tenant or owner) do not make the mistake of ignoring or arguing with them. Potential clients will certainly see your online behavior; many may be willing to ignore the angry comments of an out-of-sorts reviewer, but an unprofessional or argumentative response from you will not be easily overlooked. Keep away from any nasty behavior, remain calm, and don’t risk damaging your brand by falling into a comment war.


You should address all comments professionally and address the situation at hand. Provide a positive spin on the situation and steer clear of negativity. If an error was made on your part or the part of your vendors or office, acknowledge the issue, apologize for any inconveniences and work to resolve the issue offline. Inviting the client to get in touch with you in other ways, or offering to contact them, will let the public know that you are actively seeking to resolve the issue. If a former client is behaving unreasonably, simply offer empathy regarding their dissatisfaction and--after inviting them to resolve the issue with you in person--move on. If they seem to be relentless in their comments, you can ban them from your page on many social platforms.


Listen Up:


Negative reviews are unfortunate, and no one wants to be the cause of one, but they can serve you if you are willing to listen to your customers. A reasonably disgruntled tenant may mean it is time to re-evaluate a certain policy, for instance. Truly listening to negative feedback and implementing a change because of it--will help your business in the long run. Alternatively, a positive review could encourage you to reward an employee or vendor that provides great service, or can help you further implement good business practices throughout your portfolio.


Managing your social media reputation can take time, but it is a relatively short cost for a great return. In an age where the internet is at everyone’s fingertips, it’s prudent to always be aware of your presence online. Bad reviews will stand out to owners and renters alike; put your best face forward the next time a potential customer walks through your virtual door.

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