By Brook Furniture Rental – http://www.bfr.com

In today’s rental market, it is not surprising that online ratings have become an important element in maintaining a community’s reputation and attracting quality tenants. However, many landlords wonder how important apartment ratings really are to new renters. According to a survey conducted by Kingsley Associates, seven out of 10 people searching for an apartment use ratings and reviews to research prospective communities.

The survey The Influence and Impact of Online Ratings and Reviews on Apartment Searchers sponsored by Apartment Guide received responses from over 29,000 apartment seekers, and the results show that online ratings do influence the choices that renters make.

Most Important Factors for Apartment Ratings

While many factors are considered during the apartment search, the survey respondents cited location, price, and an in-person tour as the most important aspects. In addition, online ratings ranked slightly ahead of the traditional word-of-mouth referrals, which were once a leading influence in the apartment search process.

  • Location: 75%
  • Price: 70%
  • In-Person Tour: 24%
  • Website: 14%
  • Ratings and Reviews: 11%
  • Word-of-Mouth: 9%

Positive versus Negative Apartment Reviews

 Obviously, positive reviews are what every apartment community would like to see. The survey shows that 83.7% or respondents would consider a property with all positive reviews, but interestingly enough, 86.2% say they’d be more likely to consider a community with almost all positive reviews with some negative reviews mixed in.

 How Many Reviews do You Want?

One isn’t going to do it. Generally speaking, apartment seekers want to see between six and twelve reviews for any community in order for them to be used in the decision making process. A generous amount of reviews can also be a powerful knowledge base for property managers looking to gain insight into how well the community is doing and what might need improvement.

 Responding to Apartment Reviews:

Keeping on top of your community’s reviews may be a challenging task, but it is important to note that almost seven out of 10 respondents, around 69.5%, expect communities to respond to online reviews. Reaching out to the reviewer shows that you are care about the reputation of your community and creates a level of trust with current and prospective residents.

 Top Sites for Apartment Reviews:

A recent report published by J. Turner Research stated that Apartmentratings.com, Yelp, and Google stood out as the three top sites for ratings and reviews. However, it seems social media does not play a major role, as only 13% of respondents mentioned Facebook or Twitter as a research tool.

It is no surprise that an in-person tour ranked in the top three factors with location and price. For property managers, effectively staging a vacant unit can be an effective way to maximize renter appeal and justify a premium price. Vacant rental units are often a hard sell to prospective tenants because they seem stark. But by staging an apartment with stylish furniture and accessories from Brook Furniture Rental, multifamily communities can make an apartment and the price appeal to renters, as well as your online reviews.

Brook Furniture Rental makes the staging process easy. Contact us today to learn more about the furniture renting process and our staging furniture options, or visit the home staging section of our website.