I work as an online/digital marketing specialist for a property management company, and part of my job role is brand reputation control, which includes reading and responding to bad reviews online.
Frankly, the number of libelous lies that are written is astonishing. I can’t go into specifics for obvious reasons, but if the company elected to go after these people in the courts, it would be an easy win as the former resident’s claims are unsubstantiated and we have folders of evidence to disprove their claims.
The reality behind most of these bad reviews is that the resident is far from innocent. Often these residents have multiple lease violations issued and evictions filed against them. They think they can make up a completely fictitious story to excuse their behavior and make us, as a company look bad.
Some of these bad reviews have an element of truth to them while others are 100% false. Some claims that are made are not even in the same ZIP code as the truth, so outrageous that it’s almost like a rejected B-movie script. I really wish I could name and shame these people and tell some of the truths behind the lies posted online. Sadly, I represent a professional company and have to respond accordingly.
My stock response is to say that we don’t comment online about individual cases and request that they call our office to discuss their issues in private. However, this often ends in these people being very aggressive and threatening, verbally abusing our front-line staff because we don’t tit-for-tat argue online.
Sadly, most happy residents never think about posting their opinion of the company online, 80% of the reviews posted online are negative, dragging our star rating down into the doldrums. However, this is just a side effect of advertising and making yourself visible online, the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Bottom line, not everything you read online is truthful, there are many keyboard warriors out there. Don’t judge a company solely based on what you read online, 95% of our residents are happy with the service we provide, unfortunately, the 5% are the loudest, the silent majority do us a disservice in that respect.