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Apartments, Reviews, and a new Google Change

OVERVIEW

Online reviews are increasingly important with the introduction of “Reviews from the web” in Google local search. Apartment search queries in Google now display reviews from 3rd party sources from across the internet. 

 

GOOGLE CHANGES

The new “Reviews from the web” section brings in reviews from across the web from a variety of sources. These sources vary dependent on apartment community; however, some of the noticeable sources we have observed are Facebook, Apartment Ratings, and Apartments.com

 

WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?

Crossings at Red Mill example.

CRM-Google-Update

Reviews are becoming increasingly important to your online reputation and how residents see you.

 

DO RESIDENTS CARE ABOUT REVIEWS?

ApartmentRatings.com leads the pack in the source that residents go to view rating and reviews. Source

 

74% of apartment seekers who responded said reviews on sites such as www.apartmentratings.com have a significant impact on choosing their next living space. Source

 

EXPLAIN

This new update becomes more impactful when we see the same apartment search on a mobile device compared to the desktop. Google even highlights the section with a “New” button.

CARM-MobileSearch

 

In my opinion, this is the direction Google is going. They want to give the best results and information that a user would be looking for when searching for the property and you can get this information from them without having to visit the source.

 

CONSEQUENCES

It’s now becoming more important for communities to pay attention to their reviews across the web. There is no escaping it. As soon as potential residents look for your apartment community online, Google now serves what your real reputation is across the web.

 

The Good

If your community has an excellent reputation due to managing it correctly with lots of positive feedback. Then this new update will be music to your ears. 

 

via GIPHY

 

In theory, this could get many more leads who now have the social proof that your community is somewhere they should live.

 

Advice – Keep doing what you’re doing!

 

The Bad

 

via GIPHY

 

Communities who have made some effort at managing and generating reviews, but not necessarily everywhere. These communities have responded to some of their reviews but not on a regular and structured basis.

 

Advice – This is an opportunity to start taking your efforts more seriously

 

The Ugly

 

via GIPHY

Apartments that have not realized that their reputation and reviews are an increasingly important part of improving their community’s presence online.

 

Advice – Alarm bells should be ringing. If you are struggling for occupancy and on a downward spiral, this would be a good area to start focusing on today.

 

CONCLUSION

These types of updates are most likely going to continue. For communities with the resources to manage their reputation, inquiries are likely to see an uptick in inquiries due to the increase in social proof of how great the living experience is.

 

For communities with a less than stellar reputation, this should be a wake-up call to start taking steps to knowing exactly how you show up online, start responding to reviews, acting on the feedback, and finding ways to solicit more positive reviews.

 

WHAT TO DO?

This isn’t an overnight fix, but there are steps you can take:

  1. Google your apartment community and see the results
  2. If you don’t see the listing like in our example above. Then you need to claim your Google local listing
  3. Look at the reviews and determine if they are what you want them to be
  4. Contact us about our Social & Reputation Booster to start taking control of your online reputation even if your community is limited on resources.

We will continue to monitor and update as Google changes the way they handle searches.