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May 18, 2022

Property Reputation Rankings: What We Can Learn From The Top 3 Multi-Family Properties in America

A look at the reputation management strategies of top properties will show property manager marketers how even luxury properties can improve.

“The George” in Forth Worth, Texas was rated the property with the #1 reputation in the US in 2021. Spots 2 and 3 are filled by Atlanta’s “The Huntley” and “Atlas” in Oakland California, respectively. Practically perfect, each property earned a reputation score of 99.*

*This score is an ORA, or Online Reputation Assessment, developed by the research group J Turner. To determine each property’s score, J Turner takes an aggregate compilation of 1000’s of properties’ ratings across all review sites. 

From the positive feedback they’re receiving, it’s clear that these properties are doing a lot right. With high Google ratings and a large volume of reviews, there’s no doubt that these multi-family properties have made reputation management a priority.

Developed by J Turner, this reputation score is the Online Reputation Assessment (ORA), intended for both prospective renters and the properties themselves. The thinking is: rather than have to browse many review sites to get a sense of a single property, prospective residents now make their decisions based on a single aggregate score. For properties, it’s a benchmark to see how they compare against their competition. 

Earning such a high ORA, as The George, The Huntley, and Atlas have, is the gold standard in the property management world. After J Turner releases its annual list, properties will boast about their high ranking to the world. 

Gained from the ORA are clarity and peace of mind that a location is trustworthy. The simplicity of the score, however, overshadows some of the nuances that are reflected in each location’s online reputation.

At the end of the day, online reputation simply cannot be boiled down to a single number. Even these topmost ranked properties have room for improvement – one score cannot accurately capture everything about a location’s reputation. 

Our team of experts here at Widewail will break down the pros and cons of these three properties, offering insights to property manager marketers about how even these luxury properties can improve. 

Before we get into it, if you’re curious about where you stand in terms of reputation, the GBP Performance Tool can help you get a sense. 

 

The George

  • ORA score: 99 
  • Google star rating: 5.0
  • Google review volume: 297 reviews
  • Avg. monthly review volume: 17
  • Do they respond to reviews? Yes
  • Are these responses personalized? Yes

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With a sparkling exterior, luxurious units fit for the front cover of Interior Design Magazine, and even tile-lined bathing stations meant exclusively for dogs, no one would doubt that The George has earned its excellent reputation. 

Being #1 doesn’t happen randomly; The George is clearly engaging in reputation management activities. 

Widewail defines reputation management as the strategic discipline of monitoring, generating, and responding to customer engagement across multiple review sites to improve your brand’s image. 


What The George is doing right: 

Great scores across the board – Scoring excellent ratings on each site, The George averages a 5.0. Their GBP sources ratings from other sites. Practically perfect:

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Responds to Reviews – The George responds to all its reviews. On-time. And the responses specifically address points raised by the reviewer

Standardized Greetings – Consistency is awesome–it demonstrates orderliness and uniformity that is professional (as long as it doesn’t look robotic or copied and pasted). The George begins all its replies with “Hello [First Name]!” 

 

Where The George can improve:

Answer Its Questions: On their GBP Q&A, two unanswered questions still await replies. Engaging with the Questions section on your GBP is a great opportunity to look engaged AND deliver useful information to your prospects. Widewail recommends answering all the questions you receive on your GBP in a timely way.

Inconsistent Review Frequency –Yes, The George has a perfect score and many reviews. But new reviews aren’t coming in frequently enough in the past month. Reviews have a half-life. Prospects need recent, positive reviews that they can trust. As of this writing, The George has only one review from the past week, and before that, its newest review was from a month ago. This needs improvement. Ask for a review from every resident or prospective resident to boost review frequency. (Hint: automating review requests with Invite and a property management software integration can help make asking every resident easy).

No Signatory Listed – On the three non-5-star reviews that The George has, there is no signatory listed in two of the responses. The reply itself encourages the reviewer to contact the team, but there is no contact information listed. Make it easy for reviewers to take the conflict offline and sign off your reply with your name and contact number. 



The Huntley

  • ORA score: 99 
  • Google star rating: 4.8
  • Google review volume: 304 reviews
  • Avg. monthly review volume: 6.3
  • Do they respond to reviews? Yes
  • Are these responses personalized? Yes

the huntley

Curved balconies and outdoor fireplaces offer views of Atlanta from every unit. Cozy velvet coats the chairs and sofas. Pristine white marble tile lines the bathrooms. As one resident notes in a review, “You feel like you are in a St, Regis quality utopia.”

 

What The Huntley is doing well:

Provides Contact Information for Negative Reviews –  This practice is a key tenet of Widewail’s review response tactics. Always try to take the conversation offline–this strategy deters further public, negative feedback and it can lead to more effective conflict resolution for unhappy reviewers compared to further discussion online. Provide contact information so the reviewer can get in touch and so that others see that a specific member of the management team cares enough to respond. 

Reviews Compare The Huntley to Other Properties – Discussed in multiple reviews was how The Huntley compares to other locations in town. 

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This sentiment proves that the residents themselves acknowledge The Huntley for having a great reputation. Reviews like this build trust amongst prospective residents. If a reviewer has lived in many other places and believes The Huntley is the best, the thinking is: others should trust this feedback.

Tip: Use Widewail’s Campaigns feature to get this kind of feedback for your business. Set up your review requests to ask “How does our property compare to others in the area?” 

 

Areas for improvement:

Errors in Greetings – Including extra spaces between commas and addressing a reviewer by their first initial rather than their first name looks unprofessional and appears automated. Responses to reviews should greet the reviewer by name with no grammatical errors. If the reviewer has only a username rather than a name, always omit the username.

Focusing Primarily on Google – With only 4 votes on the review platform RentCafe, it’s clear that The Huntley is not actively sourcing reviews from non-Google platforms. You never know how your prospects will find you, so it’s important to make sure you get lots of positive reviews on multiple platforms, especially those relevant to your industry. Further, Google takes ratings from other review sites into account when determining rankings.

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Atlas

  • ORA score: 99 
  • Google star rating: 4.7
  • Google review volume: 153 reviews
  • Avg. monthly review volume: 5.4
  • Do they respond to reviews? Yes, inconsistently 
  • Are these responses personalized? Yes, sort of. 

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In the heart of downtown Oakland, California, this apartment complex is encircled by 4-star hotels and eateries. Complete with hipster interiors, a rooftop bar, and another doggie-wash station. Glam for the humans and the pups. Remote workstations are scattered throughout the common areas. If you lived here, why would you ever leave?

 

Where Atlas deserves Kudos:

Questions are Answered – Unlike its higher ranking fellow luxury complex, Atlas answers most questions it receives. Now we know they have fitness classes available and the pet policy is made clear. A robust Q&A section is a must for businesses actively managing their reputation. 

Caring for Residents –residents seem to love the Atlas for its amenities and the concierge. With 53 mentions of the amenities, it’s clear that this is where Atlas shines. Gathering consistent, positive feedback about what you see as your value proposition is a clear way to gain an excellent reputation.

 

Shortcomings:

Lacking Review Response – For a period of two months, all responses to reviews by the management team ceased. A reputation management strategy is simply incomplete without an active plan to respond to reviews. When responses were posted, reviewers were greeted by first and last name, and the reply itself was vague and not particularly relevant to the review. These tactics point to review response by automation– a no-no for Widewail’s team. 

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Even though they each score an ORA of 00, each of these clearly luxurious apartments has room to improve. All three properties can work on better online engagement with residents overall (even if their in-person engagement is excellent!). Specifically, improvements can be made through consistent, grammatically correct responses, adding signatories to negative reviews, and developing a Q&A section. (Check out our review response guide for tips on tightening your response strategy).

Questions about boosting your reputation management tactics? Widewail can help. 

 

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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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