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December 12, 2022

Management Takeover: How to Improve a Multifamily Property’s Reputation After Acquisition

Acquiring a new multifamily property can bring a lot of challenges for your team. Don't let reputation management strategies slip through the cracks.

Multifamily properties are bought and sold all the time. When a new management team takes over a property, they’re inheriting the reputation of the property, as the online reviews that belong to that location will be transferred over

If the property already has a good reputation, consider this management transition period an opportunity to impress residents and maintain, if not improve, your online reputation. If you’re taking over a property with a negative reputation, then you have an opportunity to improve it. 

Multifamily Property Reputation Management Best Practices

Multifamily property reputation management techniques can sometimes be put to the wayside during a management transition period, as there are many other tasks that demand your attention. Yet, this time of transition is a key moment that can impact the property’s reputation.

Whether the property you’re taking over has no reviews, few reviews, bad reviews, or great reviews, coming up with a reputation management plan is key to improving or maintaining your new property’s online reputation. It can be frustrating to inherit a bad reputation but with the right reputation management plan, it may be easier to fix than you’d think. 

There’s a lot to cover when discussing management takeovers in property management. In this article, we’ll be specifically focusing on how to handle your property’s reputation during a new management takeover.

Before and During Management Takeover

The timeline for every management takeover is going to differ. Ideally, you’ll want to set up a proactive rep management plan, one that begins before the takeover actually happens. Consider where you are in the process and that will help determine where to start. 

Assess the state of the property’s online reputation now.

Ask yourself:

  • How are the property’s reviews? Which sites are the property set up to receive reviews on?
  • How did the previous management get more reviews? Were they soliciting at all or did they have a hands-off, see-what-reviews-come-in method?
  • Did previous management respond to reviews? Were the responses thoughtful, SEO-friendly, and genuine?

Make a list of your reputation management goals with the takeover. 

  • Do you want your residents to feel more heard and validated? Do you want to address resident concerns more effectively? Consider responding to every review and providing contact information to take resident issues offline.

Be prepared to handle any and all resident concerns.

Management takeovers tend to raise a lot of questions for residents. Thinking ahead to what their concerns might be and addressing in advance these frequently asked questions will keep residents informed.

Common questions we notice in resident reviews for our clients in property management: 

  • Will my rent change or will there be additional fees? 
  • Can I pay my rent on the same platform?
  • Will the services offered change?
  • Will office hours change?
  • How do I file a maintenance request?
  • Will the team be making any improvements to the community? Will this lead to more construction? 
  • Will my favorite office team member still be there? 

How residents feel about their home and the prior management team may contribute to their attitude toward the new management company. Get a sense of how residents felt about previous management by asking employees and looking at your property’s old reviews. 

Tenants might be upset that the old management is leaving and may be skeptical of the new management’s actions. Alternatively, they might have been frustrated with the old management and they may appreciate fresh faces.

All in all, addressing common resident concerns either ahead of time or in the moment will make residents less critical or eager to blame new management.

After Management Takeover:

Take care of logistics

You’ll need access to the online review sites where your property is listed. If you don’t already have access, request ownership access to your GBP. 

In addition to Google, you’ll want to ensure you have access to the property’s Facebook, Instagram, and other, industry-specific review sites such as Apartments.com and ApartmentRatings.

Communicate proactively with residents

An aspect of improving your online reputation will be to start relationships with existing residents on the right foot. Make an announcement to residents about the takeover. Generally, it will suffice to announce on the day of the takeover.

As discussed above, be prepared to promptly address concerns that arise. Consider hosting a Q&A session for residents.

To begin getting more reviews, try hosting a “Meet the Management” event where review collection is a primary component. Use QR codes, ask for specific resident feedback, and make sure you don’t offer prizes in exchange for reviews, as this is against FTC guidelines.

Once your review collection efforts are up and rolling, consider setting up automated review solicitation solutions. Alternatively, ask at key moments in the resident experience. For example, put QR codes in the places with the highest traffic. If your building has elevators that everyone uses, that’s a perfect place to get your request in front of a captive audience. If you send a periodic newsletter to the whole community, include a link/ QR code there.

Finally, get your review response strategy going to demonstrate to your current and prospective residents that you’re dedicated to their satisfaction. Begin responding to all reviews and include the contact information of new managers in review responses. Check out our review response tips.

Management takeovers can be stressful, and a property’s reputation can find itself teetering on the edge during these takeovers. If the reputation management tasks become too much for your on-site team, consider outsourcing reputation management duties.

For additional reputation management tips, check out our blog post: 12 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation for Property Management Marketers. 

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Keaton Smith

I’m a writer, philosopher, climber, mountain biker, and a fried-egg enthusiast. Before joining Widewail as a Review Response Specialist, I attended Middlebury College and studied Philosophy and Art History. I grew up in Michigan, but I fell in love with Vermont while in school.

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