Research Shows the Lack of a Strong Digital Presence Leads to a Risk of Higher Turnover and Lower Occupancy
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 — Reputation.com, provider of the first — and only — complete Reputation Experience Management (RXM) platform, today released the findings of its 2020 Property Management Reputation Report, which analyzed more than 70,000 multifamily residential properties in the U.S. The research indicates that as the global pandemic and sudden economic downturn push many residential tenants to the brink of economic dislocation, the pressure is on property management firms to attract and retain them. Yet while there is a direct relationship between reputation management and revenue for property managers, the majority have a lot of work to do to optimize their external reputation and improve the tenant experience.
The 2020 Property Management Reputation Report analyzed actual customer feedback from each property to understand tenant concerns and gauge overall sentiment. The report assigns residential properties a Reputation Score based on an analysis of tenant reviews spanning thousands of residents across the United States, a metric that has proved increasingly vital. A 100-point increase in Reputation Score leads to, on average, anywhere from $150,000 (for 500 units managed) to $3 million (for 10,000 units managed) to the annual top line of property management firms.
“Renters aged 18 to 29 are most likely to relocate during the pandemic, and these younger tenants increasingly expect a strong digital presence when searching for their next apartment,” said Joe Fuca, CEO of Reputation.com. “Our latest Property Management Reputation Report shows a significant and growing digital disparity between property management firms who effectively manage their reputations online and those who have not yet adapted. And those who have pivoted to respond quickly and effectively are seeing higher levels of tenant satisfaction, as well as increased revenue.”
Roughly one in five Americans moved because of COVID-19 or know someone who has, according to Pew Research, and economic dislocation is affecting a large swath of the population — as of August 2020, 40 percent of American renters are at risk of being evicted. With this the case, property managers now more than ever are fielding a litany of tenant concerns. Reputation.com’s Property Management Reputation Report uncovers valuable insights that management firms and properties can use to improve the tenant experience to boost their reputations and revenues.
Property Management Firms Need to Step Up Reputation Management
Property management firms have a lot of work to do managing their reputations, starting with how they solicit and manage the feedback from reviews. Upon reviewing more than 3 million customer reviews, a significant digital disparity was revealed with just 40% of locations sampled by Reputation.com accumulating more than 10 reviews over the past 12 months.
On the flip side, those who accumulated more reviews saw higher Reputation Scores. Most importantly – a higher Reputation Score can add as much as $3 million in revenue to a property management firm’s top line annually. Plus, those reviews are critical in gaining visibility on sites such as Google.
The lowest-performing residential locations underperformed in all review categories, particularly star rating average, review volume, review recency, and review response. Property managers need to focus on requesting reviews to increase and improve their star average and review recency.
Meanwhile, top performers excelled in review recency, review response, and star average. The research found that top locations have more than 2x better Reputation Score than bottom locations on average.
The lists of top performers below, and associated Reputation Scores, were created by first evaluating the largest property management firms in the U.S., as determined by the National Multifamily Housing Council, and then ranked using the company’s proprietary algorithms.
Here is a look at the top performers by brand:
- AVALON Companies
- BH Management
- Equity Residential
- Lincoln Property Company
- Edward Rose
- Alliance Residential
Here is a look at the top performers by property:
- Greystar’s Henry Hall, New York, NY
- Greystar’s High Street View Luxury Apartments, Williamsburg, VA
- Bozzuto Group’s The Kensington, Boston, MA
- B&F Properties’ The Crest at Elm Tree, Mount Joy, PA
- Greystar’s Caspian Delray Beach, Delray Beach, FL
- Greystar’s 2 Bayshore, Tampa FL
- MAA’s Retreat at Magnolia Parke, Gainesville, FL
- Greystar’s Kalaeloa Rental Homes, Kapolei, HI
- Greystar’s Encore Montrose, Houston, TX
- Greystar’s Overture Dr. Phillips, Orlando, FL
“At Greystar, resident and customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do, as demonstrated in our company mission statement: “To Enrich The Lives We Touch By Doing Things The Right Way.” This mission is our guiding principle that forms the foundation for our programs that enable us to deliver exceptional customer experiences and improved efficiencies for our team members,” said Greg Benson, Managing Director of Property Marketing, Greystar. “The Reputation.com platform provides the essential tools needed to easily monitor our performance, take action on opportunities for improvement, and report and measure our success.”
COVID-19 Has Influenced Customer Perceptions
Despite the global pandemic, individuals are still searching for properties. Google My Business conversions (clicks to call a business, clicks to get directions, or clicks to visit a website) have returned and are now above pre-COVID-19 levels. In addition, website leads and click-to-call conversions from online listings are at an all-time high for leading properties.
But when looking at what renters are saying specifically about property management firms’ response to COVID-19, the report found negative feedback focused on safety issues and a perception that management is insensitive to renters’ financial struggles amid the pandemic. Still, the overall sentiment was generally positive at 63%, with negative sentiment at 37%.
The bottom line is that tenants evaluate property management firms and individual locations online, a very public and shareable method. Whether those tenants advocate for or against property managers depends on how well they respond to tenants and learn from their feedback to improve.
Reputation Score Enables Property Managers to Take Action
Measured on a scale of 0 to 1,000, Reputation.com’s Reputation Score is a comprehensive index of business locations’ digital presence in more than 70 industries. Reputation Score is more than a benchmark: it’s also a tool kit that shows property managers how to improve their performance based on their scores. Unlike other industry report cards, Reputation Score delivers actionable insights that help property managers improve their operations and drive revenue. Reputation.com can show how an increase in Reputation Score leads to measurable revenue gains.
Reputation.com pioneered the online reputation management (ORM) category and now extends its leadership position to include its award-winning Reputation Experience Management (RXM) platform that consistently delivers innovative, customer-driven solutions. The SaaS-based platform manages tens of millions of reviews and interactions across hundreds of thousands of customer touchpoints. The patented algorithms behind Reputation Score X are based on more than a decade of deep machine learning and data science expertise, providing businesses with a reliable index of brand performance that they can use to make targeted improvements. Reputation.com has over 250 integration partners, including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, J.D. Power, Amazon and Web.com, and helps businesses of all sizes across industries Get Found, Get Chosen and Get Better. To learn more, visit www.reputation.com.