The Challenges of Customer Reviews in the HOA Industry
Like in many other areas of the business world, reviewing the HOA industry has its challenges. Actually sitting down and typing a review isn’t tough, but rather getting positive reviews for HOA service providers to stick on sites such as Google, Yelp and Facebook is challenging. This blog explores this notion.
“Much of the time their pages are filled with unsavory reviews.”
While there are many review platforms available, we’ll use Yelp as our example. Have you ever taken a look at the Yelp pages for HOA management companies, landscapers or roofers? Much of the time their pages are filled with unsavory reviews. You see long rants, ‘one star’ ratings, and harsh commentary. Generally, this is not because the companies themselves are bad. If they really were as unprofessional as the reviews make them seem, then they would not have been able to stay in business for very long. Rather, people write reviews when they are unhappy with something. This action by many people can bring down Yelp ratings to unfairly low levels.
“Companies that provide satisfactory services may not get any reviews from happy customers at all.”
Think about it. Do you always leave gleaming reviews for every positive experience you have with any given business? Typically, people will write a good review if they have an exceptionally good experience. Companies that provide satisfactory services may not get any reviews from happy customers at all. Take a roofing company, for example. If you are happy with your new roof, which you expected to be, however perfect or “above and beyond” the roofing job was, you may not feel the need to declare how great of a job it was. You just kind of move on and forget about it. On the other hand, if the roofing job was poor and leaks begin to appear shortly after installation, you might become angry and vent your dissatisfaction on the company’s Yelp page. Of course, a bad roofing job is a big deal, but perhaps the imperfection you are noticing is due to an honest mistake. One would not know this from the roofers Yelp page, however, because the few mistakes they made over the years have plummeted their ratings and those many other happy customers have never left a review about their satisfactory experience to balance out the bad reviews.
“At CAP Management, we strive to make raving fans out of everyone we come into contact with.”
The same might go for a HOA management company. While they could be satisfactorily (or exceptionally) serving thousands of doors, their Yelp page might be filled with ‘one-star’ ratings from those who have received late letters, notices of covenant violations, or perhaps had unexpected snowfall cover their driveways at an inconvenient time. At CAP Management, we strive to make raving fans out of everyone we come into contact with. We have gotten some great reviews from these fans, but we have noticed that Yelp doesn’t ‘recommend’ some reviews because the authors are not regular Yelp users. Un-recommended reviews do not add value to a page. Per Yelp’s standards, one cannot create a Yelp profile to leave a one-time review and have it be recommended, or at least valued over a bad review by someone who reviews regularly, regardless if it is a positive or a negative review. Even good reviews would not lend themselves to higher ratings for the company in this instance.
We hope that this blog has been useful. We’d love to see companies in our industry rated fairly. All too often we find HOA management is largely a thankless job, even though we and our business partners are so passionate about what we do.