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Renters Rely Heavily on Landlord’s Web Reviews

A big city with lots of apartments? It’s a big investment, and a survey found that many potential renters refer to online reviews when selecting a place to live.

NEW YORK – Consumers largely depend on online reviews and ratings websites when deciding where to rent a property, according to the 2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement survey, based on a survey of more than 1,000 adults who are searching for a rental.

“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,” says Aaron Clifford, senior vice president of marketing at Binary Fountain, an online reputation management platform, that commissioned the study.

Researchers found that online ratings and review sites are increasingly being used to discuss and share elements of a resident’s experience, from the start of the rental search to signing the lease and living at the property.

Sixty-four percent of renters said they used online reviews to search for a rental property at the beginning of their search, the study found, and most read between one and 10 reviews before making a rental decision. In addition, 85% of respondents said they looked at online ratings and reviews even if a friend or family member recommended a property.

Renters value online reviews so much that they’re even willing to pay more for an apartment that has good reviews, the survey found: 64% of American renters said they’d to pay more for a property with positive reviews and higher rankings.

Online reviews are more helpful, respondents said, when a property manager responds to them.

Source: Binary Fountain and “More Renters Going Online to Rate Their Landlord,” Real Estate Weekly (June 28, 2019)

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