Gotcha! Yelp Cracking Down on Paid Reviews, Making Review Management Critical

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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Review based websites, like Yelp and TripAdvisor, have always been popular with customers when it comes to picking products and service. They give the customer the opportunity to read what people just like them think of something. They aren’t hearing the bias reviews of the company; they are hearing it from the people who actually use the product/service. 84% of Americans say online reviews have an influence on their decision to purchase a product or service. This statistic makes review management that much more important.

review websites

Although most companies do not like these types of review sites, they are necessary and are not going away, so they need to respond in an appropriate manner to negative reviews. Instead of investing in legitimate brand management companies, like chatmeter, some places like to cheat the system and buy reviews, which ultimately is deceitful and deceiving for the consumer. People will read the fake reviews, thinking that they are from real customers, and may make their decision whether to buy or not. These tactics are not only unfair to the consumer but they are also unfair to the competition. This is a form of “black hat” review management and Yelp is taking a stand against it.

Yelp has always had review filters, which weeds out fake reviews through an algorithmic process. Unfortunately, real reviews are sometimes picked out by this process and tagged as fake reviews. This can be incredibly frustrating for businesses because the filter deletes their hard earned reviews and makes review management even harder. Yelp’s first priority is ensuring that the customer gets the most legitimate information so sometimes it’s the business that loses out.

In an effort to stop these fake reviews, Yelp will start posting a “consumer alert” that will say, “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews for this business.” The alert will be posted on the offender’s page for all to see. It will have a link showing the consumer exactly which reviews are fake, as well as the company’s emails trying to hire reviewers. Yelp says the alerts will be posted for 90 days (longer of the company continues to post fake reviews).

Businesses need to know that buying positive reviews is not the only way to improve your online reputation. Although they may think it will help them, being caught will hurt them even more.  Consumers will remember that they were a deceitful company and take that into consideration when looking for that product/service again. Ignoring the negative comments and trying to bury them with positive ones is only a quick fix to their online reputation and there ultimately a bigger problem with in the company. Companies need to understand that they can’t sweep their problems under the rug and pretend that everything is perfect. Companies need to respond to negative reviews and let the unhappy customer know that their comments will be taken into consideration in the future to help improve whatever needs to be fixed. By responding, it shows that you care about their feedback and that you are actually going to do something about it. This is what managing you online reputation and a business is all about.



As the first Local Brand Management (LBM) platform, we help large franchises and agencies with hundreds of locations measure and improve their marketing effectiveness. This is actionable local intelligence that has never been available before. With the fragmentation of local search marketing today, it’s become impossible for agencies and national retailers to properly manage the brand at the local level. The chatmeter service measures the online marketing effectiveness for each location by analyzing its online visibility and reputation, benchmarks its performance against other local competitors, and provides personalized recommendations for improvement via a simple dashboard and daily email alerts. Armed with this information, marketers can understand which locations and channels to focus their efforts. By taking ownership of online visibility and the customer experience, marketers can have can have a significant positive impact on reaching new customers.


Four Reasons to Ditch the ‘Gimmick’ Phone Greeting

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By: Rommel Anacan  |  The Relationship Difference

If your employees answer phones onsite with some variation of these greetings:


“It’s a GREAT day at Quail Run Apartments!”
“It’s a BEAUTIFUL day at The Enclave!”
“It’s an awesome morning at Eagle Creek. Home of world-class service, 24 hour apartment maintenance, Satisfaction Award winner for 3 years running, fresh-baked cookies, and the best coffee outside of Seattle…!”

After Sandy… Now What?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

7 Suggestions to help you plow through the Chaos

By: Nick Frantz

In October, Hurricane Sandy slammed the east coast and wiped out entire communities. Sandy, the largest Atlantic mega storm on record, caused 100 deaths; an estimated $50 billion in damages; demolished hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses; and left millions of households and businesses without electricity, heat, water and provisions.

If you’re struggling with the aftermath, there may not be a lot that’s within your control. But sometimes, even one or two adjustments to your recovery plan can make a difference. Here are seven ideas that may give you some command over the chaos.

1.  Do you have a crisis team? Although your entire staff may be in crisis, assemble a crisis team anyway and assign specific responsibilities: civil and resident communications, utilities and supplies, property repairs, street and transportation updates, etc. Bring your team together in a physical location, conference call or social media site for daily updates. Let them know your expectations and maintain regular contact with them.


2.  Get frequent updates from FEMA, state, and local recovery teams. Google “FEMA updates” and choose from several options. Do the same for your local municipalities and utility companies. Stay updated on:

– How long your area will be affected; when utilities and services will be fully restored and when to expect outages

– Local status of transportation, street conditions, tunnel and bridge openings, availability of provisions and supplies, etc.

3.  Commit to regular and frequent communications with your residents. Send short, direct messages to keep them updated on every aspect of the recovery efforts (for your property and your local area). Keep your messages simple, but provide specific details. Whether they’re on your site or not, your residents want to be kept informed.

4.  Use as many communication mediums as possible. Communications may be erratic for you and also for your residents. Use as many contact numbers and mediums as possible: land lines, cell phones, email, websites and social media sites.

5.  Set up alternative communication sites using social media. During Sandy, when communications were overwhelmed or failed, social media became the reliable go-to medium. Set up go-to sites on social media to ensure that you can communicate with your staff and your residents.


6.  Protect your records and your data. It’s your responsibility to protect sensitive data and documents (bank records, account numbers, social security numbers). Make sure you subscribe to a data backup service. This is a good time to rethink what types of hardcopies you really need to keep.

7.  Prepare for a long recovery period. Stay prepared for intermittent power, water and supply shortages and outages. Budget these resources and always keep your cell phone charged. Always get the important things done in case you unexpectedly lose power. Conserve your water and other supplies in spite of recovery progress.  Shortages may suddenly occur.

If your property is in a recovery zone, you’ll be facing enormous challenges in the months ahead. The steps you take now to take charge, stay updated and keep others informed will help your recovery and hopefully ease frustrations for yourself, your team and your residents.

About Nick Frantz

Nick Frantz is the National Sales Manager for Property Management Solutions at One Call Now, where he has worked since March 2011. He specializes in Property Management solutions – commercial and residential – assisting in communications between property managers and staff/residents. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University.

One Call Now 726 Grant St. Troy, OH 45373 |  Phone: 937-573-2331

Industry News: Apartment Market Expansion Continues as Growth Rate Moderates

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

“Even after nearly three years of recovery, apartment markets around the country remain strong as more report tightening conditions than not…”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Apartment markets improved across all areas for the seventh quarter in a row, but the pace of improvement moderated according to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. The survey’s indexes measuring Market Tightness (56), Sales Volume (51), Equity Financing (56) and Debt Financing (65) all measured at 50 or higher, indicating growth from the previous quarter.

Doing More with Less

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

5 Tips for Facing the Unrelenting Challenge

By Nick Frantz

“We need to do more with less.” At work, at home, in our communities… the mandate is unrelenting. It’s a challenge; but it’s also a reality. So let’s approach it with a positive mind set. After all, doing more with less means becoming more efficient.

Identifying Human Trafficking

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

How Property Managers and Multi-Family Employees Can Help Identify Human Trafficking

By: Elizabeth Whited

To be honest, have you ever considered your role in your community when it comes to helping to uncover and end human trafficking? I had to ask myself the same question, because until I began working for my company, I was unaware of the extent of this issue, and how professionals in the Real Estate Industry have the ability to change it.