Resident Retention: 3 Tips for Turning On-Site Gratitude into Positive Online Reviews


Want to improve resident retention at your apartment community? Maximize the “good” that’s happening every day.

Want to drown out those negative online reviews and comments? Start by asking your satisfied residents to stand up and be heard.

Here are three simple ways a property management team can improve resident retention by generating on-site gratitude for positive online reviews.

Step 1: Revisit and Respond to Older Online Reviews from Residents

Respond to every review that has ever been posted to your ratings page. Even those that were left for the previous manager or property management company.

Sample response for old online reviews:

Although this comment was posted x years ago, I feel everyone who takes the time to leave their feedback deserves a response. I’m sorry that your experience was less than stellar at community name and I can assure you that wonderful changes have taken place to improve the level of service and resident satisfaction. If you are currently a resident, I invite you to meet with me directly if you still have any concerns. If you are no longer a resident, I encourage you to stop by community name for a visit. We’d love to show you the changes in person.

Step 2: Give Residents Something Good to Talk About Your Apartment Community

Residents have two reasons to post online reviews about your community or property management staff: 1. They have a problem/issue/concern that has gone unresolved; and 2. They want to sing your praises. So, is living at your community worry-free or worrisome? Is there a common thread among the reviews (i.e., outstanding maintenance issues, property management staff is unresponsive, etc.).

Listen to what these online reviews are saying and make the necessary changes. Sometimes, the changes are as simple as putting a new procedure in place (for example: setting a deadline for returning calls and emails). More often than not, these changes have no financial impact on your community budget.

Step 3: Ask Residents for Online Apartment Reviews

Did you just get a “thank you” from a resident? When a compliment is received, acknowledge the feedback and let the resident know you plan on sharing it with the rest of the team. Then, take it a step further and ask the resident if they would be willing to repeat their great experience on your ratings and review page.

Provide the resident with the direct link to your online reviews page (either by email or a pre-printed card). Happy residents will gladly post a positive review. All you need to do is ask!

Another option – if you have a business center – is to bookmark your ratings page on one of the computers. Encourage your residents to post their comments before they have a chance to leave your property management office.

Remember, what happens on site could end up online. Make sure you give residents something good to talk about.



Vice President of Education and Consulting, SatisFacts Research

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Lia Smith career in training, property management and marketing began in the mid 1990′s. Lia began her training career at Nextel Communications, where she was responsible for training over 1,000 Customer Care Representatives. She then embarked on a new career in property management as a Leasing Associate with Lincoln Property Company, and steadily moved up the ranks. Lia was able to merge the worlds of training and property management when in 2006 she became Director of Training and Marketing at SPM Property Management, a 14,000+ unit portfolio; this included creating SPM Academy and a Learning Management System. She also developed and managed SPM’s resident feedback program, and was responsible for providing post-survey action planning support for property teams and management. Lia has proven experience in solving training and resident retention challenges for market, affordable, senior, tax credit and student communities. These experiences have helped Lia relate to both onsite and corporate associates. Lastly, Lia has presented at key industry events such as MultifamilyPro Brainstorming on topics related to developing the operational and service skills of onsite and executive level teams. Lia Joined the SatisFacts team in 2011 as VP of Education and Consulting.

2 responses to “Resident Retention: 3 Tips for Turning On-Site Gratitude into Positive Online Reviews”

  1. Michelle P says:

    We just concluded a case study that found that you are 63% more likely to get a positive review – as opposed to a negative or no review – if you are proactive and ask for it. Companies like Testimonial Shield provide a system where they automatically ask your customers, or in this case, residents, for online reviews…

    • Thanks Michelle P! I would love to see the results of your case study. I agree that it’s time for teams to become proactive in asking residents for reviews. Can you please tell me who provided the research for you?

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