Like buying a car, buying or renting a home/apartment is one of the most expensive and far-reaching decisions you will make; until now, there was a massive imbalance when buyers went about their decision – the car industry honed over decades a myriad of ways to inform about models, makes, performance and other metrics and all of this is readily available via printed or online publications.
Until now, deciding on a home has been very trying; you needed to visit the place, make inquiries, rely on agents’ feedback, etc., and were never as informed as you wanted.
Since February 2019, this has received a massive boost from HomeViews – an online dating service, with feedback published – similar to hotels – by tenants, sharing their views concerning location, facilities, management, design and value.
Those metrics are obvious to prospective tenants and buyers and give a fair amount of information from the community living at such properties. This is a game-changer, similar to the advent of Tripadvisor for the hospitality industry – since its introduction in February 2000, the site has published over 760 million reviews of restaurants, hotels and attractions and has 490million visitors that post 270 reviews per minute – wouldn’t you say this is powerful stuff?
If the Home Views reviews are positive and your organisation has met the expectations and delivered a positive experience, all is well – but what happens if that is not the case? Negative reviews are seen by thousands of potential customers influenced by reviews and how they are reacted to.
You, as a landlord, should answer any reviews to mitigate further publicity issues; this requires a new way of thinking: your response is on one side, addressing the problems at hand but is also communicating your brand values and ethos (i.e. how you deal with “stuff”) to a broader audience.
Responding to HomeViews comments pays: Research released mid-December 2019 from Ipsos Mori in partnership with TripAdvisor has revealed that customers are more likely to book after seeing owners react to online reviews. A poll of 23,000 travellers and diners worldwide showed that 63% of respondents said they would be more likely to book a hotel or restaurant if the owner responded to most reviews.
When a property owner leaves personalised responses to reviews, over three-quarters (77%) of TripAdvisor travellers said they are more likely to book. Even among respondents who stated they tend to focus less on online reviews, over half were still able to book if the owner responded to reviews. Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents agreed that they find it helpful when they can see the context of negative reviews and apologies to guests from management.
In this new residential model, the primary source of revenue is the individual resident or customer generated through rent and services. This places BTR firmly in the consumer market culture, where keeping the customer happy and loyal is critical to securing ongoing revenue.
In good BTR schemes, the customer is central to design, operational and income generation dynamics.
MORICON Consultants Ltd. can help landlords not only to finetune their operation, but also to optimise their tenant’s score via HomeViews and create a more positive brand image:
• Root-cause analysis of issues through a detailed review of tenant comments.
• Detailed audit of standards or creation of new standards – based on extensive hospitality knowledge to streamline front and back-of-house operations.
• Review of existing customer complaints processes.
• Interviews with tenants to analyse existing complaints.
• Training workshops for your concierge team.
• Guidance in response writing based on your communication brand standards.
• Creation of benchmark operations standards to underpin your business