Spring Has Sprung for Online Reviews!

May 7, 2024 by Chelsea Kneeland

Ah, April - the month when nature awakens from its wintry slumber, birdsong fills the air, and multifamily teams begin to see the first hints of summer leasing season looming on the horizon.

Fear not fellow multifamily comrades. You can prioritize your efforts and march into the summer season more well-equipped than ever before by looking to the insights from resident reviews.

First up, residents are leaving a trail of reviews that are multiplying faster than an army of bunny rabbits. In 2023, there was a whopping 15% year-over-year growth of reviews, with over 2.1 million new reviews flooding the interwebs giving your teams unparalleled access into the minds of your future renters. It's a virtual bouquet of modern-day word-of-mouth, fragrant with tales of stellar service or pungent with the stench of unmet amenity expectations and grievances.

Speaking of amenities, J Turner’s AI buddy Einstein has poured over and categorized that smorgasbord of reviews, separating the wheat from the chaff. Which category of review content is continuing its run in the top spot? Stellar customer service! A full 59.52% of 2023's reviews contain a mention of customer service (shout-out to hard-working leasing legends and each and every team member who makes great customer service a priority). Want to make sure your current and future renters feel hugged in a warm customer service embrace? Review your customer journey now and focus on increasing the positive aspects of customer service to ensure your leasing season runs smoothly.

On a less rosy note, complaints about financials seem to be, well, putting down roots. While only making up 7.58% of the comments in 2023, review content mentioning financial grievances is one pesky weed that keeps sprouting up year after year. Perhaps it's time to review terms and ensure your teams have a robust understanding of fees and financials at the ready to answer your residents’ questions.

But you know what they say - for every weed, there's a wildflower waiting to bloom. Residents are more likely to compliment great customer service rather than complain about a negative customer service event. Einstein, J Turner’s AI model, analyzed 295,631 reviews from January to December 2023 revealing 61% of positive reviews mentioned customer service with a positive sentiment, versus 53% of negative reviews mentioning customer service with a negative sentiment. Keep focusing on getting customer service right and your reviews will be coming up roses soon!

So, march into this new leasing season with vigor, armed with new data to make improvements my multifamily pals! Whether you're planting the seeds of five-star reviews with improved customer service or desperately trying to prune back one-star reviews and push back the online reputation brambles, know that a spring spruce-up can help. Cultivating a garden (or a healthy online reputation) takes time and preventative care. Now if you'll excuse me, I've off to find some roses to smell.

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