It’s no secret that reviews can heavily influence an individual’s final decision in choosing whether or not to purchase a product, go to a certain restaurant, or more importantly – choose where to live. With the help of the internet, other users’ reviews are much more readily available. There aren’t just word-of-mouth complaints and raves anymore – there are entire sites dedicated to creating a collection of reviews that ultimately help shape a product or location’s online reputation.
These reviews can go unnoticed by you, but for potential student renters – they may just be the deciding factor in whether or not to apply for a lease. Your online reputation can either put you at the top of student renters’ wish lists of housing to apply for – or put you at the bottom to be left forgotten in favor of housing with better online reputations.
If you’re advertising to student renters’ or looking to increase your pool of renters, consider if you’re online reputation is costing you student renters.
Look at what you are working with
If you’re just getting started with utilizing your online reputation to attract student renters, you may want to consider looking at what your online reputation looks like when you’re first starting out. Search for reviews of your property by your target audience of student renters. This search may be startling if you end up seeing negative review after review full of negativity that you were previously unaware of from past tenants.
Don’t let negative reviews discourage you. Instead, use them as a tool to figure out what attracts students renters and what turns them off. It’s important to take in the feedback presented to you to see what didn’t work with student workers in the past and figure out what you can do in the future to prevent the same feedback and keep your property’s student renters satisfied.
Even if you think your online reputation is relatively positive when you are starting off, you still want to take any negative feedback into consideration. You may think the the other positive reviews will make up for the few negative reviews – but for potential student renters, those negative reviews are going to be the ones that make them second guess the positive ones.
Ask applicants or new tenants how they heard about you
When meeting applicants or guiding new tenants through the leasing process, make an effort to ask where they heard about your property. By hearing how applicants and new tenants were made aware about housing opportunities for your property, you will get a sense of what advertising worked and possibly, how your online reputation has worked in or against your favor.
Many students look to social media sites like Facebook to ask other students what housing they have had throughout their college years. Students may or may not have included your property in a list of recommendations – but any mention is enough to put your property on a potential tenant’s radar.
Asking new applicants or tenants will allow you to get a better understanding of your online reputation and how it directly affects student renters. This gives you a much more clear understanding as it will give you an actual student renters’ perspective on your current online reputation.
Increase your own online presence
Take advantage of the internet and the opportunity to even have an online reputation by increasing your property’s online presence. College students lead busy lives. It is highly unlikely that they are going to spend a whole day or two driving to different properties to survey the property and go to the leasing office. They may just start their search online from the comfort of their own home or on campus when they find free time between classes.
Increase your chances of being found in a quick search or even when a potential student renter isn’t necessarily looking. Manage a social media account (or multiple) to update your social media presence and make room for a positive impact on your online reputation. Choosing to open a social media account on a platform like Facebook will allow you to post updates or announcements as often as you would like, advertise your property, and also allow a platform for potential student renters to connect with you with a quick message or comment.
Your social media account can also include testimonials or reviews from past and current student renters to help solidify your online reputation.
Regardless of how much you have paid attention to your online reputation in the past – it is never too late to review your online reputation and consider how it affects your property’s ability to attract student renters. Instead of fearing how your online reputation can turn student renters away from your property, use your online reputation to your advantage to attract future student renters.