By Applying Artificial Intelligence to More Than 400,000 Online Reviews, Reputation.com’s 2018 Property Management Reputation Report Finds More Than a Third of All Comments Are About Service-Related Topics
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.AUGUST 16, 2018 Reputation.com, the first and only complete reputation and customer experience management platform for enterprise, has released its Property Management Reputation Report, revealing how important customer service is when it comes to tenant reviews. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and sentiment analysis to evaluate unstructured text in a sample of more than 400,000 tenant reviews on the most popular U.S. review sites, more than a third of all comments were about service-related topics, indicating its importance for attracting and retaining tenants.
Of the reviews analyzed, people commented most on service-related categories including staff, maintenance, pest control and responsiveness. In fact, three of the top five review categories were related to service levels: customer service, rental office and maintenance.
“The results show just how seriously property managers should take their level of service when trying to attract and retain tenants,” said Michael Fertik, CEO and founder of Reputation.com. “The fact that more than a third of comments on review sites touched on the issue of service indicates that tenants are not only thinking about it but also talking about it. A well-maintained property might be enough to garner interest from potential tenants, but a commitment to quality service will turn that interest into improved tenant retention and monthly income. As with other huge industries, multi-family residential real estate is learning that improving customer (or tenant) experience increases net operating income and drives success.”
The findings indicate that property managers who prioritize service are better positioned to attract and retain tenants. Based on the results of the report, Reputation.com recommends property managers focus their efforts on:
- Providing fast, friendly service. Courteous service is even more important than location when it comes to online reviews.
- Understanding that building community matters. Community events are generally more important to tenants than amenities such as a gym or a pool.
- Getting rid of pests. Controlling pests is relatively inexpensive and easy to do, and the reward — far fewer negative reviews — clearly outweighs the investment.
Excelling in these areas can increase tenant satisfaction, offer a better living experience, attract prospects and, ultimately, increase occupancy rates and net operating income.
The State of Property Management
The results of the Property Management Reputation Report show that the property management industry is in a generally very positive position, with 86 percent of all reviews giving properties four or five stars. Further, positive reviews for customer service in the property management space outnumbered negative reviews by a 2:1 ratio.
In addition, positive sentiment appears to be on the rise. The study found that the average Google star rating of properties has increased by 28 percent since 2014, from a 2.9 to a 3.7. Google is an increasingly popular site for potential tenants. Surprisingly, the volume of reviews on Google for the properties examined has grown by at least 60 percent in each of the last five years.
That said, Google isn’t necessarily good news for property managers. Despite the growing popularity of Google as a review site for properties, its reviewers are more critical than they are on specialty sites. By the end of this year Google will have more reviews for these properties than any other review site, making it vital for property managers to monitor and manage these reviews.
Meanwhile, categories where negative perception was notably more prominent included rent, surcharges, pest control, and move in/move out.
Tenants Love Community-Related Perks and Hate Pests and Repair Issues
Reputation.com noted several similarities in the words tenants used in both positive and negative reviews. Top-rated properties, for example, are commonly described with the following words: event, activity, community, market, shop, helpful, amenity, pet-friendly, walking distance, grocery store, maintain, neighborhood, team, staff, gym, luxury, environment, pool and feel/feeling.
On the flip side, low-rated properties are described with the following words: hole, roach, mold, lie, refuse, bed bug, deposit, charge, damage, smell, fee, leak, break, money, pay, fix, day notice, and day notice.
For more information, download the complete 2018 Property Management Reputation Report here.
Using a sample of 400,000 reviews from the last two years, Reputation.com applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and sentiment analysis to unstructured text on the most popular U.S. review sites, including ApartmentGuide.com, ApartmentRatings.com, Apartments.com, Facebook, Google and Rent.com. Data on tenants’ rental and living experiences was sourced from more than 9,000 apartment-style residential locations.
Reputation.com enables its property management clients to leverage review data from their properties and those of competitors to help them improve their customer service and achieve operational excellence. The artificial intelligence built into the Reputation.com platform automates data analysis and generates actionable recommendations clients can take today to make an impact. The company is tracking and reporting on customer experience trends in the healthcare, auto and retail industries, as well.
Reputation.com delivers the only integrated SaaS platform that helps location-based enterprises improve their reputation with potential and current tenants online and onsite, across the entire customer journey – from finding a property on search, to conversion, to operational improvements that deliver a better tenant experience.
Reputation.com technology has managed tens of millions of consumer reviews, surveys and social media interactions across hundreds of thousands of online points of presence for global companies spanning 77 industry verticals, including property management, healthcare, retail, automotive, restaurants and others. Reputation.com is a World Economic Forum Global Growth Company and is funded by the same top-tier venture capital firms that backed Google, Facebook, Cisco and Microsoft. To learn more, visit www.reputation.com.