MHN Executive Council: Quick Tips for Reputation Management

Whether it's what your residents are saying about your community or how people view your company as a whole, reputation matters. Here are ideas to manage it!

You can’t control what people say about you, but you can control how you respond. This month, the MHN Executive Council shares their best tips for reputation management strategies for how people think about your property and company.

Mary Cook

Mary Cook, president, Mark Cook Associates

Be Excellent to Each Other

The best approach to reputation management is to do an exceptional job the first time. Promise clients what you’ll deliver and then deliver that and more. We manage expectations up front and lay out a process that includes ongoing communication and responsiveness. At each project’s completion, we do a face-to-face walk through to ensure we’ve exceeded expectations. Then we check back to see how the project is delivering—what we call Return On Environment (R.O.E.)™.  We find out what behaviors the new residents are exhibiting, inquire about how the leasing is going and get other feedback on what’s worked particularly well.

The other ingredient to an outstanding reputation relies on building connectivity and gratitude with all those behind the scenes who go the extra mile to help get the job done on time. Whether it’s an artisan or a vendor who jumps through hoops for you, a heart-felt thank you goes a long way in creating a strong, collaborative relationship. —Mary Cook, President, Mary Cook Associates

Todd Watkins, COO & General Counsel, RailField Realty Partners

Respond Right Away 

Always respond to online comments within 24 hours. People understand that there will be negative comments but if you don’t respond, it looks like you don’t care or you’re unaware. —Todd Watkins, COO & General Counsel, RailField Realty

Stephanie Anderson, Senior Director of Communication & Social Media, Grace Hill.

Stephanie Anderson, Senior Director of Communication & Social Media, Grace Hill. Image courtesy of Grace Hill

Get Engaged

Aside from the most common directive: Be present online. Respond to all reviews and DMs and engage with all tags, shares and comments, here are my top 3 (sorry, I couldn’t pick just one!):

  1. Be authentic! Your brand’s voice should be relatable and real. (Humanize the internet.)
  2. Set brand standards and then follow them consistently.
  3. Invest in social listening. What you think people want to see and hear (and even what they are saying), isn’t always accurate. The data doesn’t lie! —Stephanie Anderson, Senior Director, Grace Hill

David Meit, Principal, Oculus Realty

Cultivate Reviews

Respond to reviews within 24 hours and be truthful, even for poor reviews. Engage a professional platform like SatisFacts to drive reviews to ApartmentRatings and other social media sites. They also have an excellent responder feature. Good luck! —K David Meit, Principal, Oculus Realty

Lili Dunn, president & CEO of Bell Partners

Lili Dunn, president & CEO of Bell Partners. Image courtesy of Bell Partners

Consistency is Key

Providing proactive, consistent, and transparent communication is critical to maintaining strong relationships with our investors, partners and associates. Particularly in times of uncertainty and volatility, strong communication provides great comfort. —Lili Dunn, CEO & President, Bell Partners

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