As the age of technology and shared personal information advances, the apartment industry now finds itself faced with a new challenge. The use of consumer review webpages and social media for product research is becoming more prevalent than ever. According to Itimar Simonson & Emanuek Rosen in a recent “Units” article, “the new information environment around us allows consumers to predict much more accurately the experienced quality of products and services they are considering.” So if your product is good, then naturally you will benefit.
There is good reason to believe that as these type of sites increase in number, there will be even more consumer reliance on them. Most consumers are more likely to be influenced by a review from someone who has an actual experience with the product as opposed to traditional advertising vehicles. So it is safe to say that reviews will continue to influence the apartment world in the future.
Rosen offers advice on how to manage this new flow of information. He essentially wants to embrace and promote it. It obviously starts with product quality, but receiving a consistent flow of positive reviews can help protect a property from the occasional bad review. So inviting customers to review the product could play an integral role in the reputation and prospect perception of a property. Ultimately this could be the deciding factor in reaching leasing goals. He offers a final piece of advice which is to not overreact to negative reviews. He encourages businesses to fix the problems and use this information to learn what the consumers want. It seems as though the days of smoke and mirrors are dissipating, giving way to a pure form of product research and consumption.