A long, long time ago, people spoke to one another face-to-face. If something went wrong in their apartment, like an appliance which has stopped working, they went and spoke to their landlord. However, things have changed over the years; it began with the email and eventually moved to social media. A property manager must pay attention to not only their email, but also a variety of social media platforms to gauge how their residents are doing. The downside is that learning how to respond to residents over these platforms—especially if they have complaints—is the most important part of mastering the social network. So here are some ways to social mediate over the big three networks residents may use to voice their feelings about their building: Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp.
Most (if not all) of your residents probably have Facebook. Meaning this is the most obvious platform to check on both what your residents are saying and foster an online community. By creating a page for your building, you can begin to control where the discussions are held. This also makes it easier to respond to any complaints or concerns your residents may express by funneling them all through one channel. On Facebook, residents are more likely to have a conversation through the comment section than on any other platform, so if you are going to invest your time into being active on a social platform, Facebook is the best start.
The key to responding to residents on Facebook is to keep your tone friendly. It is easy to get into a tirade on Facebook, so make sure to think before you post and edit your responses as you go. Facebook is also a good platform to work on community building. Be sure to post more than responses to residents' questions and concerns. You can post about new restaurants or events that are happening nearby to keep tenants informed.
Shakespeare once wrote “brevity is the soul of wit,” and while that may be true in poetry and prose, it isn’t necessarily true for Twitter. You get 140 characters to express yourself, and for some people that is much too brief to showcase any wit. Twitter is one of the first places people go to complain about services and 72% of complainers expect a rapid response. Customers want companies to respond within an hour; and the consequences of not responding in a timely fashion can escalate quickly. Nearly a third of complainers will continue to other social platforms to voice their disapproval if the response time is slow. Meanwhile, the reverse is true as well. If a consumer receives a rapid response and finds it to be a positive experience, they will continue to post about the interaction on other platforms. Twitter is a double edged sword and asks the question: to tweet, or not to tweet?
The key to responding on Twitter is to not respond to everything. If it has been more than 24 hours after the post, forget about it. If it is someone praising your staff or landscaping, retweet it—no need for a response. If someone is baiting you into a negative confrontation, don’t respond. However, if a user tweets out a question, concern, or constructive criticism, be sure to respond as quickly as possible. The key is to have a conversation. Ugly confrontations can only hurt you.
While it may not be the platform your current residents will be looking at, Yelp is quite possibly the first and last place your residents will look. Residents who are moving out will leave reviews, while prospective residents will look at those reviews to see if they want to move in. People who post on Yelp are less likely to add to their comments after a property manager has responded because they are no longer part of the community, but it is still important to respond. This will show prospective residents that the property manager is willing to consider and fix problems their residents might have.
The key to navigating Yelp reviews is to be polite and professional while responding. This will be the first glimpse a prospective tenant will have of the property and how it is managed. On Yelp, it’s a good idea to respond to both good and bad reviews, it shows that you care about both forms of feedback and are taking them both into consideration when looking into how you are running your property.
Of course, keeping track of all those social sites can be a challenge. That's where Reputation Scout comes into the picture. On-Site's Reputation Scout is your ear to the ground, searching the web for any mention of your community. When someone on the Internet is talking about you, Reputation Scout will let you know.