(NAPSI)—For renters seeking a new apartment community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding the best place to live has come down to the three Rs—ratings, reviews and reputation.
The search for a new place to rent can bring challenges and stresses, but pandemic concerns and restrictions on in-person tours can make that search more difficult. As a solution, renters are skipping the physical tours and going digital to vet communities. As such, online ratings and reviews have become critical for many renters seeking new spaces.
“More than 85% of all renters industrywide indicate they read reviews before making a decision on which apartment they want to live in. That’s significant,” said Mike Gomes, chief experience officer for Cortland, which owns and operates more than 200 apartment communities across the country. The company benefited greatly from positive reviews, attracting new residents throughout its portfolio despite the unimaginable challenges of 2020. Through a responsive customer care team and a tenant-focused service philosophy, it has maintained its position as the No. 1 property management brand in online reputation.
“When the lockdowns started, our teams had to not only begin to care for our Cortland residents in an unprecedented way, but also quickly pivot to a leasing and touring experience that was mostly—and at times entirely—digital,” Gomes said.
Amazon, Google and other e-commerce sites have seen consumers make purchasing decisions based on online ratings and reviews from fellow consumers. It’s no different for apartment communities.
What Prospective Renters Seek
Renters who choose the top-rated properties often dive deeper and read the full reviews. Apartment communities with reviews that laud service managers as friendly and responsive, or with reviews that commend the premises for being well-maintained, will win out every time over an equally rated property with less-than-glowing reviews.
The many factors that cause renters to rate or review a community positively or negatively have some basis on the physical state of their community, such as cleanliness and available amenities. However, there are many intangible factors, including customer service and a sense of security and community, that can help drive those ratings, according to Gomes.
And according to the 2021 Property Management Report by Reputation, renters now leave more reviews than ever, “with positive sentiment centered around digital tools used by property managers and the speed at which building staff respond to various requests.”
Customers are savvy, Gomes said. “They know that the first glance at the physical property doesn’t tell the full story,” he added. “They can pass some judgment on a community’s perceived safety by driving by the community at night, but they know it’s very different from knowing if a community is a safe and quiet place to live. It will not tell them if the management and maintenance team are responsive and friendly. But online reviews from people who live in those communities will.”
For further facts and to see reviews, visit www.cortland.com.