When was the last time you purchased a product or used a service provider without checking online reviews? It should come as no surprise most consumers—74 percent, according to a Consumer Reports survey released in March 2020—rely on online reviews before making any kind of purchasing decision. And the same goes for those seeking an apartment.
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According to data from the 2022 NMHC/Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report, which includes the responses of 221,000 renters living in 4,564 communities nationwide, 69 percent of respondents said they referenced property ratings and reviews in their most recent rental-home search. And 84 percent said that the content of the ratings and reviews influenced their leasing decisions, while 79 percent said that the content of the ratings and reviews stopped them from visiting specific properties.
That data underscores the importance of reputation management at an apartment community.
“Even if they come in for a personal on-site tour, their initial search is online, and the internet is full of reviews prospects are looking at prior to making a decision as to whether or not they want to go further,” said Michael Zaransky, managing principal of MZ Capital Partners in Northbrook, Ill. “Reputation management is fundamental to getting them in the door and showing them the benefits of the community.”
When Newton, Mass.-based Northland purchased Inspire, a 369-unit apartment community in Charlotte, N.C., it had to…