The entire edifice of a good brand reputation depends on online reputation management. A positive online profile will lead to referrals, leads, and sales. At times, due to a high reputation and brand visibility, there will be a waiting list of people waiting to join the multifamily community or at least minimal vacancies in the apartments. On the other hand, an online presence that is not properly maintained is a surefire cause for a business disaster. In today’s connected world, a bad reputation will spread very fast, and the brand will go south rapidly.
ORM, or Online Reputation Management, is an important and basic tool that an investor should pay close attention to. In the business world, the defining image of a business is brand identity, and it carries a lot of weight. Those who do not pay attention to ORM do irreparable damage to their public image and the investor’s image becomes a liability instead of an asset.
The three fundamentals of ORM are:
1. Managing online reviews. One of the mainstays of a brand is its reputation in the eyes of the public. There are important reasons for this. More than 80% of people who do online research of a business read 10 or more online reviews. Such reviews are very important to the reputation of the brand. This applies in a very big way to real estate businesses.
2. Monitoring social media regularly. Online marketing today depends heavily on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Since social media platforms are largely unregulated, it is easy to be the target of negative reviews. If social media platforms are monitored regularly, negative comments and reviews can be dismissed immediately before they take hold of users’ imaginations. Once a user gets a negative mindset, it becomes difficult to change the perception.
3. Routinely updating SEO. Due to its technical nature, doing SEO on your website may be more difficult, but it is essential. This is very important for real estate investors, as your site must have a high search engine rank, and at the same time, potentially negative information should be kept at bay. If the help of an SEO professional is needed, it will be money wisely spent. A website that pays close attention to SEO will develop a good online reputation and the time and money spent will be worth the effort.
How Does ORM Help a Multifamily Business?
A business is judged by its online reputation. Customer comments, reviews, opinions, and a satisfactory resolution to complaints count towards a business having a good reputation. For real estate investors to succeed, it is a very important factor.
The Trust Factor
Since the success of a real estate business depends on relationships and the trust established with the customer, a solid brand identity goes a long way in being successful. A happy customer will lead to good reviews, comments, and referrals. It will also increase the number of leads that come your way since the business has a solid online reputation. Trust is crucial in building business credibility and needs a lot of continuous attention to maintain it.
Because real estate is very much a relationship-based industry, one of the biggest assets an investor can earn is trust. The trustworthiness of a brand goes a long way in the real estate industry. Establishing a solid brand identity will benefit investors for years to come. In addition, a reputation laced with trust will lead to referrals of your services and also serve as a critical step in building credibility.
Improved Word-of Mouth-Marketing
If the online reputation of the business is good, then the news will spread by word of mouth. A good name will be an added bonus in the bag of an investor. New business opportunities, by way of new partnerships or useful contacts, are usually found by way of word-of-mouth marketing.
Assistance in Identifying Opportunities
A good, solid online reputation will bring a whole host of opportunities to an investor. Opinions and comments can be turned into opportunities, but be prepared for some not-so-helpful comments. When an investor pays close attention to the opinions about the business online, the business can be fine-tuned to magnify the positive comments and minimize the negative ones. Take on board the suggestions received online, or at least give them some thought. You may find a hidden gem or two, which may give your business a boost. Be sure to handle negative comments with respect and equanimity.
A good brand reputation holds enormous positive power for a business; however, the flip side is that negativity can be damaging. If negativity can be handled correctly, it too can help build brand reputation. Brand reputation has to be considered from a long-haul perspective, and constant attention has to be paid to maintain it.
About the Author:
Veena Jetti is the founding partner of Vive Funds, a unique commercial real estate firm that specializes in curating conservative opportunities for investors.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.