Apartment Living BlogFeatured › 8 Ways to Build Your Property’s Reputation for a Strong First Impression

Erica Campbell Byrum

 

Think of your online presence as a digital version of your curb appeal. Shoppers need to find your property easily, be impressed by the exterior and landscaping, and greeted by friendly leasing office staff. Just the same, if online shoppers can’t find you and there are no online reviews to shape their opinion of you, they will move on.

 

Your property’s reputation continues to be a fundamental piece of a brand’s identity. And, like any other multimillion dollar asset, a property’s reputation should be managed comprehensively to protect that investment. Modern marketing relies on consumer behavior trends like peer reviews, and mobile and real-time access to evaluate their purchase decisions.

 

So, how would you rate your online branding strategy based on a renter’s search experience? Take some time to assess your online presence and perform your own personal apartment search to measure your strengths and weakness and plan opportunities for improvement. Your prevalence in business directories, customer ratings and reviews, and social media presence significantly contributes to how search engines score you and shape consumers’ impressions of your community.

 

It all begins with the online search for apartments in your area. In fact, 85 percent of consumers are searching for a business online. If your community isn’t prominently positioned in search results and competing properties are dominating, it’s time to address those deficiencies.

 

 

Businesses and digital marketers should have a solid understanding of what drives local search results and how to shift gears to enhance those rankings. The 2017 search engine ranking factors study (Moz) breaks down what search engines believe are the most important local search ranking factors. Here’s a rundown of the what these signals actually mean for your property’s local search strategy.

 

 

1 – ‘Google My Business’ signals. This is a free and easy-to-use tool to manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. 73% of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when an online listing shows incorrect information (Placeable). By verifying and editing your information, you can help customers find you and tell your story. Your proximity to the location that is searched impacts your placement, but relevancy is also key. Therefore, accurate listings are considered to be an essential component of the local marketing stack.

 

2 – Link Signalstop placement will consider external links to your website as a measurement of your credibility and quality of your domain. Partner with a vendor or other influencers to cross-promote each other and enhance your trustworthiness.

 

3 – On-Page Signals – this is where optimizing individual web pages through relevant content and HTML source code helps you rank higher and earn more related traffic in search engines. This also includes the presence of your name, address and phone number (NAP), keywords in titles and other factors.

 

4 – Citation signals – search engines evaluate your online authority through online references to your property’s NAP. This includes links to your website along with your presence in business directories and the consistency and accuracy of your information in these directories.

 

5 – Review Signals. Measure different aspects of a company’s review profile online. The more reviews you have, the better. Plus, the number of sites that have reviews for your property matters especially if posted on credible, third-party sites not owned by Google.

 

Ninety-two percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business (BrightLocal). Your property’s ratings and reviews have a direct impact on local search results and the quantity and context of those ratings ultimately sway apartment shoppers’ perception of you. The good news is that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to (BrightLocal). Adjust your strategy to generate more reviews from your residents through positive customer service experiences.

 

6 – Behavioral Signals. This is measured by the user’s search behavior. This includes the rate at which users click-through on a given search listing, the amount of time visitors spend on a page after clicking on the listing, and the bounce rate, which is the rate at which visitors click, view, and return to search results for more information.

 

7 – Personalization. Search results are tailored to match the consumer’s location, so make sure your site is relevant to that location through content and keywords and your NAP. Also, a user’s search history influences these results based on other sites that they visit regularly.

 

8 – Social signals. This equates to your level of engagement on social media including the volume of likes, shares, retweets, pins, or views on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media sites. The search engines flag these as signals that consumers are interacting with particular pieces of content and rank them accordingly. Having an active presence on these channels indicates that people are talking about your brand, which improves your ranking because they’re viewed as trusted recommendations. Plus, engaging with residents here improves retention and promotes a good environment and lifestyle for apartment shoppers who are evaluating your community.

 

If you really want to know how your reputation ranks, get your free assessment from our Snapshot Report. This custom online presence report is simple and only asks for a few pieces of information to then calculate your property’s score. It’s very comprehensive and details any gaps and inconsistencies within your property’s listings in business directories, customer feedback from review sites and social media pages, showing you how you level up to multifamily industry standards. Remember, your brand’s reputation is an asset that requires constant fine tuning. The Snapshot Report is a valuable and free tool you need to optimize and sustain a solid first impression.

 

About Erica Campbell Byrum: Assistant Vice President of Social Media for ForRent.com. Co-Author of Youtility for Real Estate. Speaker. Perpetual Hostess. Wine Lover. Wanderlust. @ericacampbell

 

Erica Campbell Byrum

About

Erica Campbell Byrum, assistant vice president of social media for ForRent.com®, is a real estate marketing expert with more than twelve years of experience, co-author of Youtility for Real Estate, a recipient of the 2014 PR News Social Media MVP Award, a recipient of the 2015 Sarah Malone Award, as well as, President’s Club winner for 2016. Byrum is a well-regarded speaker at both national and state apartment associations. Byrum is responsible for developing and managing the corporate social media road map and has pioneered ForRent’s strategic social media path through the launch of Social Concierge, a complete social media management, reputation management, and resident retention offering.

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