I received an interesting call last week. As a resident of a community managed by a sizable management company (I will leave unnamed), I was offered a gift card to Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy in exchange for a positive posting on ApartmentRatings.com and ApartmentReviews.net. Just print it out and drop it at the office to claim my prize! Is this community buying ratings?
The issue with most rating sites – people usually turn to them when they have a beef over some issue they did not like. For all we know, those posters could be under eviction. These sites give one a place to grind the proverbial axe. So should management counter act by paying people to post positive ratings?
Well, I asked that very same question over the last 2-weeks (market research shall we say). The feelings appear mixed when asking around to our peers in the multifamily world – many thought it was an underhanded tactic – paying people to post positive things. The nerve!
Here are my 2-cents. You are going to ask people to post that you think are happy with your community I assume. The risk is you just made them aware of the websites to vent on when their neighbor makes noise (The walls are paper thin here! – sound familiar?). Now they see you have bad reviews - they will read them. They can then make the decision to post you up or down – maybe that gift card is not looking that good to them anymore?
The thing is – we call to complain – not compliment, sad but true. The positive people we don't seem to hear from, so maybe they do need an incentive to take time out their day and post what they feel is true. Does the money really tilt the vote? Depends on the person I assume – but in my case, it was less than 2% of my rent – not a big incentive if I had an axe to grind. Bottom line, I do like the idea. Time to find the people that actually like where they live and ask them to defend their turf. Throw them a few bucks for their effort – it shows you value them.
Gotta roll - BIG sale happening at Best Buy………