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  • Online reputation management

    Lately we've had a couple of bad reviews on YELP...sometimes, even though you try to work with a tenant about an issue, they're going to make your life tough. So what do you do? I've not heard good things about how YELP does business, unfortunately, and I'm not interested in having an account with them. But we can't seem to get into YELP to respond to these bad reviews. Anyone have success with this? I've been told we should have a third-party "reputation management" firm help us, but we don't have a large marketing budget. Ideas? Thx

  • #2
    IMO, I would do nothing. Anyone with a brain knows how "Yelp" does business and it is one sided. You cannot please every tenant and you will drive yourself crazy if you try to. If someone reads the Yelp review and doesn't know that it is just one side of a story, then you likely wouldn't want them as a tenant. I want smart tenants, not sheep. You said yourself that you have not heard good things about Yelp. As far as I am concerned, they are yesterday's news and the best review of your facility is the word of mouth of your previous or existing tenants.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      Don't pay for Yelp. But do respond to the bad review-I'll tell you what I did successfully. I had a tenant who I helped get her things sent to AZ. She'd stored for a coupe of years, and once everything was gone I didn't think anything of it. She then called to complain that there was water stains on her linens and there was mold on her expensive mattress and other things. She accused us of having a leak in her unit. It happened that it had rained hard the previous day and my maintenance guy and I hotfooted it down to her unit-which was bone dry. She also posted about 10 photos on our yelp. (she also said that the contract was suspect and a whole bunch of other nonsense)

      I responded by saying that it had been my pleasure to facilitate her move. However the unit was dry-no sign of leaks. I added that I wasn't present upon her move in and don't know what the weather had been like, nor what weather the movers encountered on the way to her place. I added that the contract was a standard storage contract and while I was sorry her items had arrived in less than perfect condition, there was nothing on my end that could have prevented it.

      I kept it short, responded to each accusation but not emotionally, be rational and careful. NEVER admit to anything, It will be fine, ask a few good tenants to post reviews for you. (make sure that they're not new yelpers, experienced yelpers reviews are actually counted).

      An apple a day keeps ANYONE away if you throw it hard enough.

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      • #4
        A few years back one of the presenters at the ISS show in Las Vegas put up a statistic that showed that people are more likely to trust excellent reviews if there are a few poor reviews. If your reviews are all 5 star (or whatever) people become suspect that it's all false. I'm not sure whether or not this is actually true, but since then I've not worried about the 2 poor reviews I have due to chasing away "undesirables" contrasted to the 40 5 star reviews I have.

        In the case of google reviews, I just received a couple of poor ones from the friends of a tenant I caught breaking the rules. I replied to those reviews and concisely explained that 1) they were not my customer 2) they were breaking the rules 3) if you're looking for a manager that will ignore the rules in place for the protection of all, this is not your place.

        In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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        • #5
          I don't have an access list. Husband of my tenant came yesterday and wanted the gate code to the unit. He had key and knew where the unit was. I said no. He gave me the meanest look. He said he had lost his card that his wife gave him. I told him I ALWAYS tell tenants to take a pic of the card in case the card gets lost. He was pissed. I stood my ground. He eventually got the code and went in. He stopped at the office on the way out. He said he got in the unit, "no thanks to me". I am sure he will give a bad review of what happened and likely will only tell his side and not what facility policy is. When I see the wife I am going to ask her about it. When I do what I promise a tenant that I will do, I got no problems, like Storman with the friends of a tenant that gave a bad review.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Honestly, I feel there is nothing wrong with having a bad review. Just as Krismarie stated respond to the review and leave it at that. A while back I saw a commercial for a company that "gets rid of" bad reviews. IMO if a place doesn't have a bad review and has 10 good ones something is going on behind the scenes. Plus it shows you have nothing to hide. A complaint was posted you respond in a professional manner shows you are professional in handling conflict resolution.

            I make travel arrangements for a few different associates at my company. When it is the first time reserving hotel where the guy is going I read through the reviews & I use hotels.com and always take the bad reviews into consideration if there are several. 1 or 2 here and there could be someone who is just very particular or just flat out unrealistic. Same goes for office products - shopping for executive desk chairs, chair mats, & even just yesterday I was looking at 3 different label printer machines.
            Canton, OH - Hall of Fame City

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            • #7
              You have to respond. I usually try to break it down point by point to explain what happened. YELP is awesome, excuse me, AWFUL, HORRIBLE a PAIN IN THE..oh any ways you get my point. But you must reply so they know that you are listen and understand their situation.
              Chasing Perfection to catch Excellence

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              • #8
                Respond to the review yourself and let it stand unless it's blatantly false. Explain what was misunderstood by the reviewer and thank them for the feedback. Now if you get a really outrageously bad review you can write to Yelp or Google, explain what transpired, note what evidence you have etc. If it's really bad, they will remove it for you. It may take an hour or so to draft up letters or replies, but it's better than paying through the nose for something you can do yourself during the course of the day. And always, sleep on what you've written and have an un-involved third party review your response or letter before you post it.
                Gina 6k
                twitter.com/GinaSixKudo
                VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
                storagebizhelp@gmail.com



                You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
                I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

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                • #9
                  We got our first 1 star review on Google by a tenant that had an RV. We are expanding so we sent out letters to all 47 RV tenants letting them know they had 45 days to get out (we put it nicely of course). His review stated that we should have let him know 4 months in advance. I responded to his review stating that I wish his review would have reflected the service he had received over the past few years of storing with us and that we even had other facilities that we partnered with (no commissions involved) to help the transition. Our letters even had a list of facilities accepting our misplaced tenants (one less than a mile down the same road). Of course he waited until the very last minute to come get his RV in a snowstorm lol.

                  Point is, no matter what you do, someone will easily leave a 1 star review for one little thing that pisses them off, and wont ever let you know when you are doing well.

                  As for those asking about places with lots of 5 star reviews, we have one in town that "bribe" their tenants to leave them a 5 star review and they get rent credits. They have over 50 reviews compared with others with between 5-10 reviews. We don't at all agree with that, and yes I would be very suspicious of any business with that (especially when the 5 star reviews come in large groups of 20 reviews in a 2 week period)

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                  • #10
                    A facility if the real bad part of town has close to 500 5 star reviews. Some of the reviewers that had glowing recommendations of their facility, then had a glowing recommendation of a restaurant in the Bronx, then a glowing review of an auto care place in Houston ect. ect.

                    The best review we have received was from somebody we auctioned off. Most of the reviews are from people we refuse to do business with.

                    One of the best reviews I have read for a storage facility was one in Tucson where the person complained that the manager was discriminating against those who need marijuana for medicinal reasons....I guessing the manager was probably craving Doritos after trying to deal with that guy That guy had the same complaint against a lot of Tucson business.
                    --
                    Ron

                    http://advancedministorage.com
                    http://zolezzistorage.com
                    http://laws.stocktonstorage.net

                    email ron at advancedministorage.com

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                    • #11
                      I think that you can't really do much once a review goes down online. The only thing you can probably do to rectify the situation with this is try and reach out to those tenants to try and smooth things over if you think that's an option. Oftentimes you may just be better off leaving things alone. People will get that as a service-oriented business, even though it's just storage, there are bound to be some tough cookies in our line of work sooner or later!
                      storage Inner West

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                      • #12
                        I also think an "emotion free" reply is a good idea. I read that if you get a really outrageous bad review, then you can reply: "it sounds like we didn't meet your expectations" or "sorry to hear your expectations were not met" -- that way the problem is their expectations and not your service, but it still sounds like you are responsive. I would also explain / correct the review for example: "we understand you are frustrated that can't access your unit, but access to the property is granted after rent is paid. acceptable methods of payment include..." I also agree with other commentators that when every review is 5 star and the same tone/language is used in every review it's obvious to most people that the reviews are fake and/or generated by a service

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                        • #13
                          commentators? not sure if that's word but I think you know what I mean

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                          • #14
                            Always respond to a bad review and reply with correct facts if the orginal poster has falisified information.
                            Scott Simon
                            St. Louis area resident storage manager

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                            • #15
                              Simon, are you still managing facilities?
                              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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