Reviews have become ubiquitous. Whether it’s a product purchase or a restaurant visit, you’ll likely check for online reviews before making a decision. And typically, the bigger the cost, the more time you’ll take to research ratings and reviews. Since signing a lease is likely one of the most costly decisions you’ll make all year, reviews are important. But it’s also important to know how to really get the most out of them.
Why renters should check reviews
You can look at apartments’ flashy promotional materials all day long, but at the end of the day, you probably want a less biased source of information. “Parking Available” might actually mean “Enough parking for 10 percent of tenants,” and photography using good angles applies as much to pictures of buildings as it does selfies. So how do you navigate the rough and tumble world of apartment reviews?
Know what matters to you
Renters all want different things in a new place. By looking at the complaints and compliments in the comments of reviews, you can hone in on topics you care most about when finding the perfect new rental.
Mind the extremes
Reviews might seem confusing or overwhelming since they’re often divided between glowing and horrible. Rent.com data shows that 75 percent of renter ratings are either 1 star or 5 stars. This, of course, comes from the fact that emotion is often the catalyst for leaving a review at all. If something is just good or mediocre, you likely won’t think twice about it. Review sections often have an outpouring of conflicting good and bad emotions to sort through, and apartment building reviews are no exception.
A good rule of thumb is to look for the 2-, 3- and 4-star reviews so that you’ll likely be getting more thoughtful responses from people who aren’t in the throes of emotion.
Why you should write reviews
Rental reviews provide some accountability and peace of mind when buying and selling things online. Have you ever been reading through a product review before purchase and found yourself saying, “Thank you, kind Internet stranger?” You could be the very person getting that good karma next time you go to lease a new place.
Another reason you should leave apartment reviews is for accountability. If you’ve had a great experience, isn’t writing a quick positive review the least you could do? The story told about each rental becomes more accurate and complete with higher quantities of reviews.
Whether your experience has been good, bad or just ‘meh’, writing the review puts the information out there so another renter can at least have the details to make a more informed decision.
When Nine+Eighteen is open, we hope our residents will help spread the word about us through reviews! In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions about our property by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep up to date on our construction progress through Instagram and Facebook.
Read the original article on rent.com.