Do Online Reviews Matter to Renters?

Could a poor review stop a potential resident from touring your property? This month MHN and Kingsley Associates partnered to find out how renters really feel about online reviews.

Could a poor review stop a potential resident from touring your property? This month MHN and Kingsley Associates partnered to find out how renters really feel about online reviews.

“Everything about the apartment makes it #1 in our search, but the online reviews are so poor we will be very reserved in hastily making a decision to move there.” —Plano, Texas

“The listings on Craigslist were old and no longer accurate in terms of pricing. We feel like we wasted our time because those listings were not taken down in a timely manner.” —Hackensack, N.J.

“I saw this apartment on Trulia and wondered if the pictures were Photoshopped! I went to visit the apartment and the photos were real! The place is beautiful, and I can’t wait to move in!” —Wilmington, N.C.

“After touring possible apartments, it was clear that what the website and online marketing portrayed was not what the apartments actually look like. Not only is this deceptive, but it also looks bad for the management company.” —Louisville, Colo.

“The prices on Apartments.com were much lower than what I was quoted onsite. It was about $200 more per month to lease.” —Sanford, Fla.

“Everyone needs a place to live, and I made the wrong choice without looking at the online reviews first. The reviews accurately represent the issues I have experienced since moving in and management’s lack of concern for these problems.” —Gaithersburg, Md.

“The community seems beautiful, but upon further investigation, there are extremely poor reviews online about roaches, smoke smell, rude staff, maintenance issues and deposit issues. There were countless negative reviews and we do not want to risk having similar issues.” —Columbus, Ohio

“After reading through some online reviews, I was concerned that smoking was allowed in the building. However, from management’s responses to these reviews, it looks like the building is becoming non-smoking this summer, so I am not concerned anymore.” —Chicago

“I am leasing a place here based on online reviews, ease of application and apartment availability. Since I am out of state, I have to rely on others’ opinions and the ease of applying offsite.” —Reno, Nev.

“We were looking online and found many apartments in the area, but we never found this one online. We were lucky to have driven past it since that is the only reason we found the place. It is a great community but needs to be better represented online.” —Atlanta

“There are tons of negative online reviews and the slew of recent positive reviews came with an incentive for current residents, which seems deceptive and unethical to me. The whole operation is sketchy.” —Sherwood, Ore.

“Very poor online reviews were ultimately the reason we decided to lease elsewhere. I’d recommend looking at those reviews and seeing what issues current or previous residents have had. Issues with resident retention is a red flag for me!” —Columbus, Ohio

“I checked Facebook and Apartments.com and there were many comments about mice in the apartments. When we looked at the apartment, I asked several residents if they like living there and they all commented on the mice. There is something to be said for the honesty of online reviews.” —Oaklyn, N.J.

“The moving process was great and very smooth! I’m glad I didn’t read into the negative Yelp reviews and gave the place a chance! I love my new apartment.” —San Ramon, Calif.

“I had to search for an apartment all online and via phone since I was moving from out of state and did not have time to travel and visit complexes beforehand. I found other residents’ reviews very helpful when making the decision remotely.” —Boulder, Colo.

“Overall impression of the property was very good. However, the online reviews are not good and management does not respond to complaints. If management replied to negative reviews with genuine care, I would be more willing to consider the complex.” —Chicago

“The Apartment Finders listing needs to be updated to reflect accurate availability. I drove about 100 miles out of my way because your listing said “available now.” When I arrived, I was told it would be at least a month before anything was available.” —Odessa, Texas

“The property manager should not remove negative online reviews from residents. This creates a hostile relationship by dismissing a bad experience. They should be left online for a true review of the property.” —Englewood, Colo.

“I found the apartment using Zillow, but Zillow listed the income-restricted price as the lowest price. This has to be fixed and feels a lot like bait and switch. It may not be illegal, but it is definitely bad marketing practice.” —Seattle

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