Even Google can't avoid the disruption of COVID-19, but signs of a return to normalcy are beginning to emerge. Back in March, the search engine giant made an announcement that there would be a temporary pause of new Google My Business reviews as the company shifted its focus to COVID-19 specific updates for business listings. Like all companies, Google took safety measures to protect the health and safety of its own employees, which led to a backlog of workload alongside a shift in focus for typical Google My Business edits. While dealing with work-life disruption and trying maintain the updates needed on GMB listings for businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19, Google has been playing catch up on the more standard edits to Google local listings- many of which pertain to multifamily communities.
Perhaps in good timing, as many multifamily management companies begin to reopen or prepare to reopen certain amenity spaces within their communities in various parts of the country, Google is getting back to providing more normal support for Google My Business Listings. To start, digital marketers are beginning to see a resurgence for newly published online reviews and review reply capabilities.
Why should multifamily management companies care?
Stabilized Apartment Communities
As your properties begin to re-open and as Google review capabilities are restored, your multifamily reputation management strategy should be on high alert. Many residents and prospects will have the returned ability to post reviews about rent collection processes, onsite communication, and amenity re-opening procedures during uncertain and stressful times. It's safe to say many will have opinions about how your communities are handling these processes and others- some of whom will go to your listing to share their thoughts. Naturally, the timing of pool re-openings will be a hot topic as Summer quickly approaches...property managers beware. Over-communicating your re-opening procedures to your residents ahead of time should help avoid an influx of negative or opinionated online reviews on your properties' Google My Business listings. Furthermore, aligning your reputation management strategy/vendor with your corporate re-opening procedures should help show current and prospective renters that your company has taken the proper measures to handle these situations responsibly. Together, these approaches should help avoid any huge hit to your online ratings or reviews on your multifamily Google My Business Listings.
New Lease Ups
If you are ramping up your digital marketing strategy for any new lease ups, this news is especially important as new developments look to claim their Google My Business listing. Verifying your apartment communities' GMB profile helps solidify your business with Google and strongly impacts SEO efforts and local map placement. We at Street Digital Media have directly experienced the turnaround time to verify Google My Business listings for new lease ups return to more normal expectations. This is extremely good news for lease ups launching their multifamily digital marketing strategies as they look to make their presence known in their local markets.