In this day and age, online reviews are often visited and can carry a good bit of weight with readers. However, something to keep in mind when looking for a place to rent is that not all online reviews are true and honest. That’s right, some companies pay people to submit positive reviews. Some companies make up online profiles and submit the positive reviews themselves to maintain a good online reputation. And please do not forget that many people do not make the time to leave a positive review for a community.
Typically, someone scorned or utterly disappointed will hop on any bandwagon to post their dissatisfaction. So how do you know when the reviews are true? Take a look first of all, at the quantity of reviews. Are there hundreds or more like twenty? Twenty reviews for a normal sized rental community are not enough to formulate a good opinion. One hundred may be. The next thing you need to consider is the time frame in which the reviews are being posted. Of the one hundred reviews, are eighty of them in the past year? If only about ten are from the past year, you may not be getting a true picture. Communities, especially those that are not functioning well, may change management companies and really turn things around in less than a six month time frame.
The next thing you need to do is look at numerous review sites for the same community. Internet search engines have made this really easy to do and not very time consuming at all. If you have three or four sites with a large number of reviews in the past year that are highly positive, chances are the community deserves a look. On the reverse, if the community has terrible reviews across numerous sites, you may want to mark it off your list.
After looking through the online reviews, visit the actual community. Keep in mind some of the negative information you read and consider it as you tour the community and surrounding area. Never be afraid to ask the leasing associate difficult questions. This is, after all, potentially your future home. You do not want to move in and later find out you should have been more inquisitive.