If you want to be a successful landlord, your reputation is your greatest asset. Landlords with excellent reputations attract better tenants and have fewer vacancies. In addition, having a good reputation can help you grow your business and increase your sales. However, managing your online reputation can be a challenge. With so much to do running a profitable rental company, it can be easy to leave your online reputation to chance.
The chances are good that with good property management you will develop a good reputation as a good landlord. Many landlords use property management apps to optimize operations. This usually leads to higher tenant satisfaction. After all, many tenants like to use mobile apps to organize their finances.
It would be a mistake to leave one’s reputation to chance. This is why the best landlords are proactive when it comes to managing their reputation online. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think.
This article describes some simple ways to build your reputation as a reliable, trustworthy, and fair landlord.
Being a landlord can be fun – if you do it right
No matter how good you are at finding great rental property deals, you can lose it all if you don’t manage your property properly. Being a landlord doesn’t mean calling in the middle of the night, doing costly evictions, or bothering with ungrateful tenants on a daily basis.
What is an online reputation?
Your online reputation is how tenants and potential tenants perceive you when they search online. As a landlord, your online reputation is related to your website, online reviews, social media posts, and any other information that people online can find about you.
You can manage your online reputation by having a friendly website and by carefully responding to social media comments and online reviews.
Why your reputation matters and how you can increase it
If you’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a rental business, you may think that property is your greatest asset. While it is true that real estate is a tangible asset, your reputation is worth much more. Rental apartments that are vacant because the landlord has a bad reputation become a financial liability.
The importance of your reputation as a landlord becomes clear when you consider how important the reputation of the tenant is to you. For example, you rightly check tenants to find out their “reputation”. Receive credit reports, background checks, references, and feedback from previous landlords. What do you do if your reputation doesn’t meet your criteria? You don’t rent them out, of course.
Before you apply for an apartment, you will also be checked by prospective tenants. You can check online what previous and current tenants are saying about you. They read online reviews and check social media posts. You do this with a single goal – to find out what your reputation is like. What if you don’t meet their criteria? The answer is obvious.
Managing your online reputation means taking control of how tenants perceive your rental business. It’s important to take control because, like it or not, tenants are checking your reputation.
According to Statista, almost 80% of consumers trust online reviews as well as personal recommendations from friends. The survey also showed that 94% of customers would choose a company based on positive reviews. While these numbers refer to general online business, they reflect what is happening in the rental market.
Here are some of the best ways to manage your online reputation to boost your rental business.
Monitor and use social media
Having a solid online social media presence is essential to managing your online reputation. People spend most of their time on social media. And if you have something to complain about, let the world know on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed. So, monitoring what people say about you is critical to your reputation.
While you may shy away from using social media, whether you are or not, your tenants are using it. Social media allows you to manage what is being said about you online. Very often you can prevent minor tenant problems from turning into a major reputational crisis.
Encourage Google Reviews
Online reviews are powerful tools for landlords. If you already offer great service to your tenants, they will be more than happy to leave positive reviews. Over time, you’ll build an incredible 4 or 5 star rating on Google. Prospective tenants can check out these reviews if they are looking for a new, trustworthy, and reliable landlord.
But what about the possibility of tenants leaving negative reviews or, worse, fake reviews? Lots of positive reviews make up for the potential damage caused by some negative reviews. In fact, research by Spiegel shows that consumers are more likely to believe a rating between 4.2 and 4.5 stars than a perfect five-star reputation.
Respond immediately to all reviews
Online reputation management requires you to act on all reviews and comments on social media – good and bad. For example, suppose a renter tags you on a post and praises you for promptly fixing a leaking faucet. If so, you can thank them for bringing the matter to your attention.
But what if you get a dreaded negative review? You should address the tenant’s concerns in your response and offer a solution. Then it is important to track the problem and solve it. Because other people can see the review, they’ll see how you deal with it. The way you respond to reviews can further improve your reputation.
Take advantage of the latest technology for landlords
The best landlords use innovative technology to build their reputations. Using online property management software can help you optimize your business. This makes it easier to focus on the landlord’s essentials – excellent service for the tenant.
Rent collection apps make it easier for tenants, for example, to pay rent regularly. You can pay by credit card, debit card, or ACH bank transfer. In addition, real estate management software can make it easier for tenants to collect deposits, manage maintenance requests and offer flexible payment solutions. Most rental apps also allow landlords to process rental applications and conduct tenant reviews.
Other ways to manage your online reputation
Managing your online reputation doesn’t always involve the use of technology. Social media is the new word of mouth. So anything you can do to become a better landlord will build your reputation. Your tenants like to tell others about you on social media.
Here are some practical tips to help build your reputation as a landlord:
- Reward loyal tenants—Good tenants who pay rent on time and look after the property are assets. Hence, it is a good idea to reward them for their longstanding business. You can send a gift basket for the holidays or a gift certificate for Amazon.
- Offer flexible payments—You can build your reputation by being flexible with your tenants. For example, some tenants in the gig economy prefer flexible rents where they can pay two or three times a month. Or you can offer flexible payment plans for good tenants who are in a temporary financial emergency.
- Solve problems quickly– Always fix any problems your tenants have quickly. You can hire a property management company or you can choose to do it yourself. In any case, make sure that disputes and problems do not fall by the wayside.
Most of all, one of the best ways to build a good reputation online is to work hard to be a respectful landlord. This also includes keeping an eye on online review sites and looking for negative trends and working to correct them. A great reputation encourages more tenants to apply for the units and ensures that those tenants are satisfied, which reduces sales and increases income. Start Watching Your Online Reputation Today.
More about landlords of Advance Guide