Primedia, the parent company of Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals.com, has launched its “Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews” service for property managers and operators. This is a free online ratings and reviews service that provides information and feedback on apartment communities compiled from certified rental residents.
Industry research shows that 72% of consumers desire trustworthy online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. According to Atlanta-based Primedia, the Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews service not only helps property operators manage online reputations efficiently, but ensures authenticity of the feedback.
Primedia said that every review will come from an active resident currently living in that housing unit. As part of the service, certified residents will rate properties on various attributes of the properties they live in based on a five-point scale, such as a sense of security, parking availability, recreational amenities and location.
Once ratings and reviews are collected from these residents, renters will be able to search for an apartment on the three websites based on individual preferences and search capabilities including relevancy, rating and timeliness. For example, through this service, Apartment Guide’s more than 20,000 multi-family customers—featuring approximately 5 million apartment units—will have access to free market research about active residents.
“The rental industry has evolved over the past few years and the importance placed on understanding a two-way dialogue between properties and their renters has never been more essential,” said Arlene Mayfield, senior vice president at Primedia. “Now, property operators can use content from ratings and reviews to prioritize the feedback and make ongoing improvements to customer service.”
Other features the service provides users include a free dashboard allowing property operators to manage their reputation on an ongoing basis and respond to reviews. Additionally, to increase efficiencies, owners and operators will have the ability to optimize renter responses and property performance by viewing individual statistics, metrics and company-wide trending information, all which helps promote meaningful reviews.
“Ratings and reviews represent the democratization of consumer purchasing,” said Steve Lefkovits, president of Joshua Tree Consulting. “Residents gain confidence from reviews supporting the rental process, making it easier to find a home that fits.”
The guide has been developed in partnership with the real estate research firm Kingsley Associates.
“Over the past two years, our clients have become increasingly concerned with how to best manage their online reputation and this partnership provides owners and managers with the best opportunity to engage with customers in an unbiased, solutions-oriented manner,” stated Steve Kingsley, founder of Kingsley Associates about the new partnership with Primedia.