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Multifamily Leaders Podcast Episode 14: The Four P Rule of Responding to Online Reviews

pencil icon Posted by Joseph Batdorf on May 4, 2021 8:10:00 AM
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Online reviews for multifamily communities are here to stay and are increasing exponentially. As of Q1 of 2021, the total volume of multifamily reviews for over 122,000 properties is close to 11.3 million. More than 70% of renters pay attention to manager responses. Priyanka Agarwal, who has responded to more than 165,000 multifamily reviews in this podcast, shares practical tips and examples of how to tackle a variety of challenging situations based on the Four P rule. From staff name-calling to trolls to fake reviews, she shares her expertise on responding to reviews keeping both the current and prospective resident in mind.

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"Online reviews are basically an after-the-fact result of your actions or lack of actions in a particular renter situation. The reviewer has gone online and left you a negative or positive review is because either they are very happy with how you handled their situation or they’re very unhappy about it.”

In this densely packed episode, Mindy Price converses with Priyanka Agarwal, who shares her insights regarding responding to online reviews as an expert in reputation management for the multifamily industry. Priyanka stresses the impact that these reviews have on a community’s online reputation. She notes the exponential growth in review volume and the trend of reviews becoming more vicious. Priyanka offers advice for managing your online reputation and the importance of focusing on heartfelt, smart customer service, listening to your customers and associates, and anticipating renter needs.

Mindy and Priyanka then discuss how to manage challenging reviews, including trolling situations, reviews left on multiple review sites, reviews that drag staff members’ names through the mud, and fake reviews. As communities see more and more of these types of reviews, Priyanka emphasizes how important it is to not rush into a response. She talks about responding politely and tactfully, stating some facts in the matter, and encouraging the reviewer to move the conversation offline. She notes that a response is not only for the person who left the review but also for prospective residents to see how you handle certain situations as they consider their choice of home. Priyanka shares response examples in negative situations involving trolls and fake reviews.

Finally, Priyanka shares some of the more bizarre reviews her team has encountered. And she wraps up by expounding on three pieces of advice she’d offer for responding to reviews in general. She discusses the Four P Rule of responses: crafting professional, polite responses, ensuring they are personalized, and being prudent, which encompasses taking a step back to find out what is really going on in a given situation and responding skillfully with facts.

Topics: Podcast

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Joseph Batdorf

Written by Joseph Batdorf

For more than 35 years, Joseph Batdorf has contributed to the multifamily industry with his entrepreneurship and vision to introduce path-breaking solutions that directly impact a company’s bottom line.

In 2003, Joseph Batdorf partnered with experts in marketing research to co-found J Turner Research. The company offers customer insights that empower multifamily companies to advance their business. With its extensive portfolio of products - survey programs and online reputation assessment (ORA™) score, J Turner Research enables clients to enhance customer satisfaction, increase closing ratios, improve online reputation, and optimize resources. J Turner Research surveys more than 170,000 residents and prospects and tracks the online reputation of more than 59,000 properties nationwide, across all review sites on a monthly basis.

In his role as J Turner Research’s president, Batdorf oversees the company’s strategic growth. He has been engaged as a panelist and presenter in the industry for several years. Batdorf’s various speaking engagements include presenting in the 2009, 2010, 2012 NAA Education Conference, 2010 NAA Student Housing Conference, and participating as a panelist for the Multifamily Executive’s General Session on Concept Community for five consecutive years since 2012. He currently serves on the Houston Better Government Fund. Batdorf graduated from the Michigan State University.

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