How to Respond to Reviews

Industry ,

How and Why You Should Respond to Negative and Positive Online Reviews


Because teams tend to focus on damage control when it comes to negative reviews, responding to positive reviews are often sidelined.  After all, responding to positive feedback is often sidelined as many times the focus is on damage control for negative reviews. How many times has an ecstatic review gone viral?

Whether renters are reading a positive or a negative review, responses surely have an impact. 52.3% of prospects feel communities have great customer service and 50.6% of prospects feel communities really care about their residents, according to our 2017 Online Renter Study.

Although the reviewer may not return back to read a community’s response, the benefits to responding to reviews is twofold. A thoughtful, engaged and authentic response will attract new renters as well as boost retention rates which can have a profound effect on the community’s bottom line.

Follow these 4 simple steps to craft a well-rounded response

STEP 1 – Examine

  • Read the review in its entirety and alert team members of any possible areas of improvement or areas of success.

STEP 2 – Acknowledge

  • Pinpoint areas in the review to acknowledge. Address the issues specifically and avoid any canned responses.

STEP 3 – Market

  • Look for marketing opportunities to reiterate in the review response. Remember people will be reading your responses for year years to come – don’t miss out on a chance to promote your community.

STEP 4 – Respond

  • Respond to the review authentically and honestly. Leaving your name and contact information in the response. Not just “Community Manager”. Follow the guidelines for a positive and negative review below.

o   Positive Review: 30% acknowledge / 70% market

o   Negative Review: 70% acknowledge / 30% market

Responding to reviews in a timely manner is important. It directly reflects a community’s customer service.  A response to a residents review demonstrates you value their time and appreciate feedback.  Establishing an expectation of response between your team can help create trust with your residents. For example: “All positive reviews must be responded to within 1 day and negative reviews within 2 hours.”

Think about how you would respond in person to a compliment or a complaint. Acting as graciously on review sites as you would face to face builds trust and real relationships no matter if the review is positive or negative.