HOW TO HAN­DLE A NEG­A­TIVE RE­VIEW Deb­bie Palmer

It can be quite a chal­lenge for prop­erty man­agers to man­age the myr­iad of on­line re­view plat­forms along­side the day job of man­ag­ing a busy port­fo­lio. But you shouldn't panic if you get a neg­a­tive re­view, says Deb­bie Palmer, the lessons you learn can be in

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - DEB­BIE PALMER

The lat­est re­view plat­form, out­side Face­book and Google, for prop­erty man­age­ment de­part­ments, is a web­site called ‘Don't Rent Me'. I rec­om­mend you check it out if you're not fa­mil­iar, to see whether you or your agency has been fea­tured on what they call ‘The Wall of Shame'. Fol­low­ing many tele­phone calls and mes­sages from prop­erty man­agers want­ing guid­ance in how to man­age these neg­a­tive re­views, here are some key points to as­sist you in re­spond­ing so that your agency can stand out as pro­fes­sion­als who care about their clients and cus­tomers.

Mon­i­tor all on­line re­views. Ded­i­cate this role to some­one within the agency to check re­views reg­u­larly. You can set up Google alerts to no­tify you when your name or your agency's name ap­pears on the web.

Don't take neg­a­tive re­views per­son­ally. As hard as this may be, you need to re­move the emo­tion from your re­sponse. There's no need to stress if you re­ceive a few bad re­views.

If it is a pub­lic re­view, re­spond as a busi­ness owner would. Stick to the facts; get­ting per­sonal will only com­pound the is­sue and will re­flect neg­a­tively on your agency. Al­ways take time to re­spond, no mat­ter how busy you are.

I rec­om­mend that you don't al­low posts on your Face­book page, only com­ments.

Res­tate the com­plaint in your re­sponse, re­mem­ber­ing that the per­son is up­set and wants to be heard. ‘I apol­o­gise that this has hap­pened' or ‘I'm sorry you feel this way…'. Be sure to high­light your strengths; don't fo­cus on the neg­a­tive.

Don't make excuses for the prob­lem, as this can send a mes­sage that you are not own­ing how the per­son feels. In­stead you could say, 'This was not our in­ten­tion or usual process' or ‘This was out of char­ac­ter for us and we would like to make it right'.

Work out the de­tails pri­vately. I rec­om­mend you pro­vide your con­tact in­for­ma­tion and ask the ten­ant, land­lord, client or cus­tomer to tele­phone or email you to dis­cuss the mat­ter fur­ther.

Most im­por­tantly, in my opin­ion, re­mem­ber that peo­ple who fre­quent re­view sites or look for your busi­ness on so­cial me­dia know that not all your re­views will be per­fect. Your re­sponse will be a stand-out in what they re­mem­ber. Fi­nally, watch for pat­terns. If nu­mer­ous peo­ple are post­ing com­plaints to your so­cial me­dia pages about slow ser­vice, rude­ness and so on, this is some­thing that may need to be dis­cussed and ad­dressed within your team. Neg­a­tive re­views some­times hurt, but they are valu­able feed­back you can use to build a bet­ter busi­ness.

NEG­A­TIVE RE­VIEWS SOME­TIMES HURT, BUT THEY ARE VALU­ABLE FEED­BACK THAT YOU CAN USE TO BUILD A BET­TER BUSI­NESS.

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