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Tips for Responding to Negative Online Property Management Reviews

By Joseph Slonimsky

Tips for Responding to Negative Online Property Management ReviewsWhether you like it or not, getting negative comments and reviews online is a necessary evil of having a presence on the web. And since being active online is such a critical part of being successful these days, including those in property management, it’s important that you develop and implement a strategy for handling these negative comments in a professional way. Easier said than done, right? Well, not necessarily. If you employ the below tips, you will have a better chance of maintaining a positive online reputation and coming out on the other side of negative reviews unscathed. First and foremost, you can’t respond to negative feedback unless you know what’s being said about your organization online. You’ll want to set up a Google alert so that you receive notifications any time your business name is mentioned on the web. This way you can respond in a timely manner and hopefully get any negative situations resolved or at least under control before they become a bigger problem. Once you start receiving alerts, it’s time to respond using the following tips.

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Resist the urge to ignore or delete.

When you first read a negative comment about your business online, it can be tempting to just ignore it, or worse - to delete it and pretend it never existed to begin with. This can actually come back to bite you in the end. You want to address the issue and attempt to put a positive spin on it whenever possible. At the very least, this will show your audience that you’re there, you’re listening and you care.

Acknowledge the problem.

Sometimes just reiterating that a person, indeed, had a negative experience with your company (however true or untrue it may be) will be enough to calm them down and defuse the situation. If it’s something that has already occurred and cannot be corrected, apologize and state what measures will be taken to avoid the same thing from happening in the future. If it’s an ongoing problem, offer some real solutions to resolve the issue.

Keep your tone professional and positive.

This is especially important when you’re dealing with an angry, irate or irrational person. Don’t stoop to their level, but remain professional, courteous and positive in all of your interactions. If necessary, offer to move the conversation offline either via telephone or email.

Know when to say when.

Unfortunately, there are incidents where people simply want to rant and don’t have any interest in getting their problems resolved. If you’ve made every attempt to make good on whatever went wrong, and have offered to handle the problem in a more personal way (by bringing it offline) and the person still insists on launching attacks toward your business, know when to step away. Once you cease to engage, they’ll likely lose interest and move on.

Don’t take it personally.

It’s hard not to feel personally hurt when you read negative reviews or comments about the business you’re so proud of and worked so hard to build, but it’s important to remember that these situations are rarely personal. As long as you stick to rule #3 and keep things professional and positive, chances are you’ll get to the bottom of the issue and be able to resolve it in a way that everyone can be happy with. And remember, you’re not going to be able to please everyone.

Reward positive feedback.

Businesses are often so focused on the negatives that are popping up about them online that they forget to acknowledge and reward those who have taken the time to post positive feedback. When your audience sees how much you appreciate those who go out of their way to share kind words about your business, they’ll be more likely to continue to do so. The more positives there are, the less visible the negatives will become.

Being active online is a necessary part of running a successful business operation in today’s day and age. But along with this online activity inevitably comes negative feedback. How you choose to respond to that negativity will make or break your online reputation. By employing the tips provided above, you’ll have a much better chance of maintaining a positive, powerful and successful online presence that balances the mostly good with the occasional bad and allows you to still come out on top every time.

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Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management
— and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.

 

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