Online reputation management, or ORM, is a growing area of interest for real estate companies, so many people are starting to ask the question: What is ORM, and what does it look like in multifamily?
If you’re unsure about what ORM is and why it matters, take note because it is an increasingly important tool for multifamily real estate companies looking to maintain a good reputation and grow their business.
In fact, your online reputation matters a lot in today’s digital world! Customers and prospects rely heavily on online reviews, ratings, and social media when making leasing decisions, so multifamily companies must monitor their online reputation and take steps to ensure they present a positive image.
But with so many different forms of communication and social media, you might be left wondering how to stay on top of it all. And that’s where ORM lifts a heavy load.
ORM is the tool companies can use to help protect and improve their reputation, so in addition to answering the question, “What is ORM,” let’s also explore the risks and rewards of ORM and consider best practice applications for its use.
What is ORM, and why should multifamily companies care about it?
Word of mouth is no longer enough to make residents interested in your community. Renters search online for reviews, social content, and other information about your property long before coming to visit in person.
This change in behavior means it’s crucial for multifamily companies to maintain a positive online reputation if they want to attract new residents. With attention to ORM, multifamily companies can boost their brand by responding quickly and efficiently to any reviews or comments made by current or prospective renters.
Quite frankly, it’s not an area that can be overlooked, and it’s essential that multifamily companies take time to craft an effective review management strategy that actively engages their target audience and shows potential renters why they should choose their property over the competition.
With a strong review management program in place, multifamily companies can monitor their brand image while also taking advantage of opportunities to expand their reach through networking and collaborations with other industry professionals.
Put simply, ORM provides multifamily companies with the necessary tools to build a positive reputation and attract renters who will be loyal and satisfied with the services offered.
Best practice for managing your company’s online reputation.
ORM is a powerful tool for multifamily owners. Software solutions can make processes easier, but to be fully effective, they also rely on employees working in tandem to support and enhance an online presence.
So whether you use an ORM platform or not, here are three best practices for effectively managing your company’s online reputation:
- Be proactive.
- Respond to reviews and social posts promptly.
- Make your online brand authentic and representative of your culture.
Take Action: Implementing review management tools enables you to track feedback on all major review sites in one place to respond quickly and accurately. ORM also helps create brand recognition within the rental housing industry by showcasing what makes your business unique.
Don’t Delay: Your responses should be timely, well-written, accurate, and, most importantly, helpful. Doing this shows potential tenants that your business takes its reputation seriously and that they can trust you with their rental needs.
Stand Apart: Where someone chooses to live is an important decision; it’s more than just four walls and a roof over your head. People select communities for a variety of reasons, including the community qualities and culture of a property that resonate with the prospect.
To reach more potential residents and showcase your brand, you should have a content marketing plan that includes the following:
- Regular social media updates and posts
- Search engine optimized content
By delivering valuable content to different audiences and through various channels, you can build a strong presence in the rental housing industry and establish your company as a reputable source of information.
With a well-planned ORM strategy in place, multifamily real estate companies can differentiate themselves from competitors, increase resident engagement, and gain an edge in their market.
Are you risking your online reputation?
In answering the question, “What is ORM,” it’s equally important to understand why ORM matters. ORM is not simply a strategy for the “big guys.” Whatever your company’s size, managing your online reputation is critical to your future success.
When you forego having an ORM strategy, here’s what’s at risk:
- Resident loyalty
In fact, the effects of a negative online reputation can be devastating if unmanaged. Even the slightest blemish to your company’s reputation can cause you to lose current residents or put off prospects. For example, unaddressed complaints can lead to decreased loyalty and further damage your reputation.
An ORM strategy is crucial because without it, you won’t know what’s being said about your company or property until it’s too late to respond appropriately or effectively.
For instance, if you have limited resources, ORM actually can provide greater reach with less effort by leveraging existing channels, such as social media platforms, to help promote your message in a more timely manner.
But it’s not just about navigating what people say about your business online. When you fail to manage your online reputation, you miss out on valuable feedback that could help improve your services and increase occupancy rates.
Most importantly, the right ORM strategy helps you identify issues quickly and address them effectively, allowing you to retain residents, boost loyalty, and maintain and strengthen your positive reputation.
Are You Ready To Take This Next Step?
ReputationBuilder is Grace Hill’s answer to online reputation management for multifamily companies. Our solution provides an all-encompassing snapshot of the following:
- Reviews and sentiment analysis
- Social media activity
- Search ranking analytics
- Competitive benchmarks
- Listing accuracy
By consolidating this information into an easy-to-understand report, your multifamily business is empowered to respond to reviews, monitor competitors’ digital efforts, and more.
Now that you know what ORM is (and isn’t) and understand its importance to your multifamily business, the next question is this: Is your business sufficiently protected and positioned or not?.
If you are ready to prioritize online reputation management but need help figuring out where to start, we can help.
Grace Hill has an industry-specific ORM solution that can make the process easier. Talk to one of our multifamily experts about how ReputationBuilder can help support your ORM goals.