Top Tips for Your Apartment Search: Reading Reviews
Okay, so if you read my first post of the series, you already know the importance of addressing your deal breakers early on. Now that you have eliminated apartments that you know won’t work, it’s time to do some research on the ones that might work. The best way to do this is by reading reviews.
Reading reviews is a great way to get an idea of what it is like to actually live at a community. There are some things that can be hard to access when you are touring an apartment community. Often, these things end up being the most important once you move in. Here are some questions I recommend focusing on while reading reviews:
Are residents satisfied with the maintenance staff?
Are services requests completed quickly and properly?
Is the management staff friendly and accommodating?
Are the grounds consistently well maintained?
Does management continue to update and upgrade the community?
It’s also important to look beneath the surface when reading reviews. Here are some important things to consider while interpreting reviews:
Am I getting a consistent message across multiple reviews and review sites?
It is important to look for patterns. Any business can easily get one really great review or one terrible review. When reading reviews, don’t focus on any single review or even review site. There are a ton of review sites, and each has its advantages and limitations.
Yelp has strict guidelines to make sure reviews are legitimate and unsolicited. Facebook has the most users, which means more posts, pictures, and interactions. ApartmentRatings, and other apartment-specific sites, break down reviews into helpful categories like neighborhood, office staff, maintenance, and noise. And Google, well Google's just convenient...
When were the reviews posted?
Management staff can change. That's great if all the residents loved the community 10 years ago. But, it's not a very good indication of what you can expect today. The most recent reviews will most closely reflect the current staff. Often, brand new apartments can have a rough start. So, don't let a few negative reviews when the community first opened worry you. But, if there are quite a few recent negative reviews, this should raise a red flag.
Does management respond to the reviews?
How (and if!) management responds to reviews can give you insight into their customer service. If a negative review is posted, does it seem like measures have been taken to rectify the situation? When you are reading reviews and responses, imagine that the review was yours. Would you be satisfied with the response the reviewer received?
Now that you've read the tips, it's time to start reading reviews! Don't know where to start? Camden has some of the highest rated communities in the entire nation! Find a Camden community in your area.
Have tips of your own? Share them below in the comments section!
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