Consumers are increasingly relying on online reviews and rating websites when it comes to choosing a rental property, according to a new survey from Binary Fountain.
The reputation management firm’s 2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement survey of more than 1,000 adults searching for a rental home, found that consumers are increasingly using online rating and review sites to discuss and share experiences of renting a home. People are interested in every aspect of the process, from searching for a suitable place and signing a lease, to actually living at the home.
“It is imperative that U.S. property owners and managers carefully monitor and evaluate their online reputation if they wish to remain competitive in today’s dense real estate market,” said Aaron Clifford, senior vice president of marketing at Binary Fountain.
For example, around 64% of renters said they have used online reviews to search for a rental home at the start of their search. The average person reads between 1 and 10 reviews before deciding whether or not to apply to rent a property. Moreover, 85% of survey respondents said they have looked at online reviews even after receiving a recommendation from a friend or family member.
The value of a good review is not to be ignored – 64% of consumers say they’re even willing to pay more for an apartment or home that has good reviews, the survey found.
Online reviews are even more helpful, respondents said, when a property manager responds to them, especially if a review has been critical.