To Respond or Not To Respond? That Is the Question.

To Respond or Not to Respond? That Is the Question.
By: Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM

With the array of social media and review type sites that now focus on the multi-family industry, it is important to consider the ramifications that these sites can have both on your firm and your property’s reputation. While it is important to closely monitor what these sites have to say, it is even more important to consider if, when and where to respond to what can sometimes be exaggerated and inflammatory remarks about you and your property.

Start off by establishing a Google Alert (a saved search on Google that will notify you anytime information matching your inquiry goes live) with your property names and addresses. Then, once you receive a review or comment, save a copy for your records and take the issue up with the personnel who are associated with that property, be it a maintenance technician, leasing agent or resident manager. After hearing their side of the story, you can determine whether or not the issue is worth responding to.

More often than not it is the hostile, irritated former resident who trashed the apartment home and is not happy with their security deposit, or the resident who did not pay rent and was evicted, or even the residents who parked where they knew they shouldn’t have and were towed as a result that take to the internet to complain. With that, I live by the old adage, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

Through it all, if you see something that is in fact damaging to your reputation and you feel it could jeopardize your ability to rent apartment homes, take action! If there is any merit of truth to the matter: a tow happy former manager, an issue with bees or spiders, water temperature inconsistencies, whatever it might be, respond to the complainant that you have remedied the issue and invite them back to experience the new and improved multifamily community. Kindness is not forgotten and courtesy is always appreciated.

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