Survey: Online Reviews, Property Manager Responses Greatly Influence Apartment Decisions
Online reviews are a chief example of the internet's democratizing effect on how information is distributed, and that process wields significant influence on multifamily real estate.
In a survey conducted in May, online reputation management firm Binary Fountain found that 93% of prospective tenants use online reviews at some point in their search for an apartment. Of those that do, 64% were more likely to choose an apartment or building with positive reviews or high rankings.
Of the 1,100 respondents surveyed, 58% used Zillow to search for rental properties, the leading site ahead of Google Reviews (51%) and Apartments.com (48%). Of those who have posted reviews of their own experience, 31% used Google, 27% used Facebook and 24% used Apartments.com, Binary Fountain found.
As for what type of reviews have the most influence, the pool of respondents valued negative reviews (57%) roughly equally to positive reviews (55%). Slightly less influential at 42% is how recently the latest review was given. But how the manager of a property deals with its online presence carries even more weight.
Binary Fountain found that 92% of respondents consider it helpful when a property manager responds to reviews online, while 89% said they would post a review or rating online if asked by a property manager.
“It is imperative that U.S. property owners and managers carefully monitor and evaluate their online reputation if they wish to remain competitive in today’s dense real estate market,” Binary Fountain Senior Vice President of Marketing Aaron Clifford said in a press release.