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How To: Handle Negative Online Reviews as a Property Inspector

Negative Online Reviews

You can’t hide from negative online reviews. Being a property manager can be thought of as one big juggling act. Continually thinking about how to scale your business, set yourself apart from the industry norm, forming long lasting business relationships and servicing your clients can quickly stress you out.

Sporadically, bad reviews can find themselves on your radar, adding to yet another source of stress for you.
A negative review can haunt property managers for months and in some cases years. Today’s future renter doesn’t show up empty-handed. Just like you have researched them, they have investigated you. A single bad review can give prospective tenants enough of a reason not to want to rent with you, and that’s before they even apply!

If you like many others have found yourself in this situation, keep reading to find out how to handle it like a pro.

Assess the damage

To begin with, make sure you understand the review. Read it, then re-read it again. Is the negative online review accurate or based on opinion? E.g., is the complaint about a broken pipe? If this is the case, A self-aware property manager can turn this into a positive. Acknowledge the tenant’s complaint and empathize with them.

Showing an understanding of the issue will also help calm the situation. Make sure you schedule a repair fix then and then, displaying to future tenants that you respond to problems promptly.

While you are bound to get a few negative reviews based on facts, most state an opinion. These require a different approach as each situation is different and have emotions involved. It’s not all bad, a mature, level-headed response can not only showcase your professional ability to future renters, but it may also fix the upset renters problem.

Always read the negative review multiple times, work out if based on information or opinion. Once you understand the issue, you are far better equipped to deal with it.

Be Mature

You can’t hide from negative reviews. Not responding still sends a message and an average one at that. First and foremost, thank your tenant regardless of the nature of the review. Most businesses shy away from confrontation or negative reviews. By facing the issue head on you can improve your businesses online presence. Use this time to up-skill your customer service abilities.

Our best advice for handling negative online reviews is to take things offline. Leave a reply to the reviewer expressing your remorse and that you have seen their concerns. Then let them know the easiest way to solve their problem is to contact you directly, through mobile.

Responding to the negative online review will allow future tenants that you reacted quickly and in a professional manner. Taking things offline to solve the issue also means that you eliminate the chance of getting into an online argument. Leaving a back-and-forth online exchange on a negative review will only make you seem incompetent.

Tip: Treat your companies online presence like fine china; any little movement can have dire consequences

Create a Process

Time is not on your side when you get a bad review. The sooner you can reply to the review the less impact it will have on your business and its reputation.

Negative reviews are an unavoidable part of operating a business. With hundreds of different review sites online across all industries, it’s a hard task to keep up with everything. Its also the first place an annoyed tenant will turn to vent their issues; Yes, that means before contacting you! Because of this nature, it’s crucial you come up with a process that deals with bad reviews accordingly.

Step 1: Conduct a quick google search for your business, names of workers and properties to better understand the kind of reviews you are getting. You can set up a Google alert that will send you a notification every time your business’ name gets mentioned online. This helps

Step 2: Prepare a “vanilla” draft. This will become your template for responding to negative reviews. Make sure your tone comes across as calm, gracious and understanding.
Remember, this is going to be what most future tenants will see as your way of solving the conflict. Obviously, write each response in a manner that caters to the individual case, the template is merely there to save time and improve the process.

Above all, creating a standard draft reply enables you not to skip a beat when a bad review comes in. Having a process in place is reassuring. From setting up the google mention alert to a pre-written response template, all these things cut down the stress factor and enable you to address the situation calmly. Failing to set processes in place can result in rushed angry responses, which translates to frustrated tenants.

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