The internet has become both a global marketplace and a place of interaction. With that said, your reputation as a business, company, or enterprise is predominantly dependent on your audience and their reviews. A review, either negative or positive, can tip the way in which many other people will perceive your brand or business.
As property managers, a positive or negative review can be the tipping point in which a potential renter will consider your property as their next home. It is essential to keep your property in tip top shape, and ensure your team members are giving the best customer service.
Now, if you do receive a negative review, your response can either positively affect the situation or further harm your properties reputation. With that said, as property managers it is important to keep the next 6 pieces of advice under your belt in the case that a negative comment, response, or situation occurs over the world wide web we call, the Internet. This is how YOU can respond if your property is receiving negative comments.
NOTE: Never Give False Promises
It is important to distinguish between negative comments and comments that can be used as building blocks to better enhance your community. Keep in mind though, not every renter will always be happy. Therefore, if a renter is having a problem, giving constructive criticism, or in need of help, it is always essential to do your best to assess the situation and help the renter however possible.
At times, some of the best pieces of advice come from the renters themselves who are living on the premises of your property or in your rental home. If you encounter a harsh, extremely negative, and deliberately harmful comments, these are our pieces of advice so you can better enhance your rental property and, as a property manager, keep a positive reputation.
1. Do Not Panic
It goes without saying that panicking or becoming overwhelmingly mad will not help the situation. With that said, it is important to take a step back and realize that this can be a stepping block. When a company sounds “too good to be true”, negative comments can build a reputation of trust. Your response will be the way in which this trust is built.
2. Apologize If It Was an Honest Mistake
Property Managers, as do all humans, make mistakes. Now, if the situation does happen to be a mistake, it is best to own it completely from the beginning and ensure that it is not a “normal” occurrence. Also, never throw any of your employees or staff under the bus. A response such as, “our front desk screwed up” only can cause more harm. Also, do not get into the back and forth syndrome. If accusing them of wrong-doing, this will only cause a feud. It is best to be polite, apologize, and admit it was a mistake that will not happen again.
3. Empathize and Explain
If the situation is on the side of the renter, then never directly mention what the renter did wrong. Be polite and do not explicitly accuse them of their actions. Sincerely empathize with the renter, then explain in simple terms, without getting too wordy, why the situation occurred the way it did. With this, you are cutting the back and forth from the beginning. They’ll understand wat you are talking about and other readers will understand your reasoning and legitimately appreciate your professionalism on the matter.
4. Offer an In Person Meeting
If your renter currently lives on your premises, or in your home, one of the best methods of response is to have them meet you in person so you can better discuss the situation. Online feuds have become as harmful as tabloid media and they can severely hurt your property reviews if the upset client or renter continues going back and forth. By offering an in person meeting it also shows potential renters that you are professional and sincerely care about your renters’ concerns enough to set time to meet with them.
5. Respond Directly
It is very honorable to admit the mistake and/or respond directly. With that, never passive-aggressively respond to the negative comment or add false comments to better enhance your image. Many renters are smart enough to know when there is a fake comment and an honest real comment. Responding directly also allows for less chances of a back and forth. Talk directly about the situation without being brash or rude, and reply to the “source” of the problem without hesitation.
6. Alert Your Relevant Clients
If there are more parties that may potentially be affected by the negative comment, always alert the relevant client or renter about the situation before they find it on their own. Secondly, always compose an email or personally call your renter about the situation. With this, you are taking the first step towards moving forward instead of continually dragging the situation more than it needs to be. This will show your client or renter that you, as a property manager, care about their opinion as well as the fact that you are always up to date with the latest negative complains or comments. As always, be professional when addressing the situation either in person, online, or over the phone.
Your Property Depends on Your Professionalism
As a business, it is essential that you purposely take the time to respond to negative comments as well as positive comments. By keeping up with the negative comments you are ensuring that ultimately, you are handling the situation with the most professionalism and care. On one hand, negative comments may affect how other people see you. However, your response may tip the tide around and be the reason potential renters consider visiting your rental property. Did you know that bad customer service interactions are more likely to be shared than good ones? With that, your response is essential to ensuring the positive image of your rental property.