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  • Encouraging Online Reviews in our office

    Good morning Friends!

    We purchased a new tablet recently to implement eSign leases during Move Ins (hooray!) instead of using so much paper to print everything out. Exciting.

    The other reason the owner wanted to get a tablet in here is to encourage our HAPPY Tenants to leave us glowing online reviews (aka the ones who say such Nice Things when they pop in the office, or who are obviously delighted with their experience at Move Out -- which frankly is Most of our Tenants, thankfully!) Google Reviews seem to pack the most punch these days, but I am wondering if anyone has come up with a clever way for Tenants to leave you online reviews if they don't have a Google account? since you have to log in as yourself in order to leave a review.

    Another idea I had is to ask Tenants who agree to leave a review to type a quick review on some other page (maybe just an MS Word doc?) and then we can upload it later to a new "Testimonials" page on our website.

    The owner said she heard recently that it is totally legit for us to offer a $5 gift card (Starbucks or Jamba Juice, for ex) to any customer who agrees to leave us a review. Is anyone else doing this? I personally feel this is teetering on the edge of Bribery lol but if that will get an already Happy Tenant to take a few moments out of their busy day to leave us a review, maybe it's worth it!

    I've been here about a year and a half and when I started the owners and I agreed that we did NOT want to encourage online reviews bc there were some problems we needed to clean up first! (As we all know, negative online reviews carry a ton of weight and are definitely worse than none at all!!) We have achieved a lot since then and we hear a lot of praise from our customers, new and old, so the time seems ripe to capture their Positive Reviews online.

    All ideas are welcome and appreciated, thank you !!

  • #2
    I would be leery about the gift certificate for a review. That smacks of bribery, as you said. I was at a sub shop last night and they had a new check out screen at the counter. I used my debit and the lady spun the screen around to me and that screen asked if the total was correct and would I like to leave a tip? The options were "none", 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%. I always tip but I don't do percentages. I said no and left a $1 bill for a tip. It was almost like forcing me to say no or it was their way or the highway. Not exactly like the review bribery option but I just think a review should be a choice instead of a prompt/bribe. I too take negative reviews personal, especially when the whole story is not told, but they are going to happen. Anytime you tell someone something they do not want to hear, no matter how right it is, they get butt hurt. Try running auto repair shops for 35 years and see how thick your skin gets. But, Absolute, glad to hear things have turned for the better and have great luck in the future.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      I would not offer any gift card for a tenant to give my facility a review.

      I do however, will ask when they are vacating, if they feel that I have provided good customer service, I ask them to go to our website and lave a review there.

      Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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      • #4
        "The owner heard it was legit to offer a gift"? Google specifically says that is not permitted and can be punished.

        Tablet in the office? NOT a good idea. Google tracks where the IP address where the reviews come from. Always the same, like your tablet at your office, seems to be sure to set Google into action if there are a lot of them.

        The safest and easiest way to get reviews to Google is to make it easier for the customer to do so. I send an email to the customers email account. It has a link to the exact page where google shows my business on the right. All the customer has to do is click the link and click WRITE A REVIEW. It is just two clicks and they can write that review.

        You can create that link for your facility by doing a google search for the name of your facility and town. Just copy the address from the address bar and insert it into your email.

        It is long. Here is your link ---- https://www.google.com/search?q=abso...hrome&ie=UTF-8

        I am not sure if that caounts as a Google review but every one of my reviews show up on the Google review page. Be sure to reply to each review you geet,especially a bad one.

        Comment


        • #5
          I wouldn't offer a gift card for a review. Although it might seem like a nice thank you it could be considered bribery.

          In addition to Google ( which probably is the best ) we encourage our website, Facebook & Yelp.
          The future depends on what you do in the present.

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          • #6
            excellent input, huge thanks to All !! especially the reminder that Google tracks IP addresses so we don't want all our reviews to come from the same tablet in our office (duh) as if we are generating all our own fake reviews! thanks for that. i really like the idea of emailing them a link with options for leaving us a testimonial for our website or a review via google/yelp/etc.

            thanks again !!

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            • #7
              ps i google Google's review policies (haha) and it turns out not only can we not offer any form of compensation to reviewers, we are not supposed to set up a station inside our business for reviews. good to Know !!

              Conflict of interest: Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. If you own or work at a place, please donít review your own business or employer. Donít offer or accept money, products, or services to write reviews for a business or to write negative reviews about a competitor. If you're a business owner, don't set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.

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              • #8
                The REAL sweet spot is ---- Google did not say that is was against the rules to actively pursue reviews from people we know that like us a lot.

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                • #9
                  That is because that scenario is a given. Facilities will ask for reviews from tenants that they truly believe will give a favorable review. IMO, that is why I do not pay attention to reviews. They are tilted wrong. That is like a druggy asking the pot dealer if the pot he/she is selling is any good. DUH! "Sorry, no mister/miss drug user, this pot I want to sell to you is actually crap but I was hoping you would buy it anyway". "Just because I am a nice guy/girl".
                  "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                  • #10
                    As a buyer, Pac is right. As a business, SHHHHHH don't tell anyone.

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                    • #11
                      Like the waiter at the restaurant. "Oh waiter". "Yes, how can I help you"? "Waiter, there is a fly in my soup". "SHHHHHHHHH, don't talk to loud or everyone will want one".
                      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I hope Google/Yelp doesn't read the above about paying for reviews.

                        Lenmay has hit it on the head here.

                        The IP address is the biggest reason we don't you E-Sign for in person leases. There's no proof that you as manager didn't sign them up with stolen information. It sounds crazy but think about the society we live in.
                        Chasing Perfection to catch Excellence

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                        • #13
                          And there is no way that you as a manager didnt hand sign a fake name???? Your logic is so flawed its not funny. This is the world we live in... You cant trust anyone to do their job? If you have staff that you think would openly screw your.. FIRE THEM, dont limit your business from getting on board with what is inevitable (paperless).

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                          • #14
                            Whoa mmidgley, Esign literally is computer cursive. It's not like signing their name like you do at the grocery store or else where on to a pad and it's transposed into the form. Because of that there is literally no way to proof they signed it.
                            At least in person there is pen to paper so you can match a signature.

                            I do trust my employees/co-workers, as much as possible. I don't trust the public. What happens when you auction a unit and it becomes contested. The tenant says, "that's not my signature". I've learned quickly in this business and as an owner to only trust so much. I take everything the good and bad with a grain of salt.

                            If you've been in business, not even storage, things can be great until they aren't. We choose the better safe then sorry route.
                            Chasing Perfection to catch Excellence

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                            • #15
                              I expect the worst and hope for the best, so many times. Didn't used to but in this day and age, I do it a lot. That is why I NEVER EVER take a c/c number over the phone. All I have is a card swipe and a security camera in the office recording the transaction. The tenant can pay at the web site but they also have to know their unit number and password to log in. If I rent a unit at the web site I also let the new tenant know they do not enter my property unless they have current picture I.D. and I get their signature at the counter. Too many people are looking for a way to get over on someone.
                              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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