Best Practices: Handling Bad Property Reviews - Property Vista

May 05, 2016

Best Practices: Handling Bad Property Reviews

With more and more renters looking online for a place to live, it’s clear that online property reviews are an important part of the decision making process. However, you can’t please everyone all the time, and, in the lingo of today “haters gonna hate.”

Bad reviews are one of the biggest struggles that property managers face. Yet, if handled well, poor reviews on social media sites can actually improve your online reputation. Here are some tips on how to transform negative online critiques into positive reputation boosters.


Be aware of what is being said. Regularly conduct searches on Google and look for your property’s name on social sites like Twitter and Yelp, and claim your listings on review sites if you haven’t already. People are talking about you and your properties online, so your best course of action is to be have a strong online presence. Don’t let the naysayers get all the attention! Staying on top of reviews will help property managers also stay on top of potential issues.


Use an ounce of prevention. Usually in service-oriented businesses like the property management industry the customer complains to the company first. Bad reviews are usually triggered not by the problem itself, but by how it was handled. Often tenants will only resort to a bad review or online rant when they feel they have no other options. Do your best to resolve the matter before it escalates to an online forum.


Respond quickly and kindly. Nothing shows commitment to service and dependability like a prompt response to a poor critique of the building or unit. Be sure to acknowledge their complaint and remain positive. Remember that potential renters will also be reading your comments.


Keep emotions out of it. Respond in a way that is professional and objective. Take a deep breath and stick to the facts. Do not be defensive or make accusations. Never get drawn into a lengthy online “he said, she said” argument.


Be human. Show empathy for the reviewer’s situation. Take the time to write a personalized, well-worded message, rather than a canned or litigious response.


Acknowledge, apologize and address. Making a customer feel heard is sometimes enough to raise their estimation of your property or business. (As well as those reading the review.) Even if you are in the right, apologize for the situation or for the fact that the person is upset and angry. Briefly outline how the problem will be fixed or what has been done already to address the complaint.


Take it offline. Sometimes it’s best to move the discussion offline to phone or email so you can take care of the matter personally. If you cannot message the person privately, let them know how they can get in touch with you, so that you can work on finding a solution.


And lastly, ask for reviews. Happy tenants? Positive reviews are great for boosting online visibility. After a lease renewal, make a point of asking your tenant for a positive review.


Mistakes happen. Miscommunication happens. We’ve all had bad days. The important thing to keep in mind is how you can reframe the conversation and use it as an opportunity to showcase how your company responds and deals with tenant issues.

At, Property Vista can help you address maintenance needs faster, improve your tenant communications and offer easy online payments. To discover how Property Vista can work with you to streamline your operations, sign up for your free account today.

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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