Top 10 Most Valuable Elements of an Online Review



The Online Renter Study published in January 2024 by SatisFacts Research provides unbiased, raw data directly from renters on a range of topics impacting the multifamily industry.


One topic from the study that plays a significant role in a renter’s decision to contact or tour a community is Online Reviews. It is well known that a majority of customers search for and read reviews before making a buying decision, and this is definitely true for renters. 76% of renters say they research ratings and reviews before contacting a community directly.

Understanding what renters are actually looking for when it comes to review research plays a key role in standing out from the competition and securing the tour.


Top 10 Elements of an Online Review that are Most Valuable to Renters:

  1. The review contains detailed information
    A whopping 80% of renters say they prefer to see written content that helps them identify if the community is a fit for what they want in their apartment and surrounding community. If there is only a star rating and no content, they’re likely to move on to another community where they can learn relevant information to make their decision.
  2. The review is from a verified resident living at the community
    Buyers are aware of review deception and 72% say they want verifiable, trustworthy information rather than the unknown of AI or other deceptive practices giving a false representation of the community.
  3. The apartment community has responded to the review
    Review response has played a major role in the perception of customer service for many years. It is still in the Top 3 with over 70% of renters expecting to see that the review was responded to within 2 business days of the review.
  4. There is a video or photo attached to the review
    As Gen Z becomes a relevant group in the rental market, it is important to recognize the shift in what is important to young(er) renters. 46% of renters would like to see a video and/or photo along with their detailed info in the review. 66% of Gen Z prefer to see a photo or video.
  5. The review describes a positive experience
    39% of renters are looking for a positive experience in the review. This is a great opportunity to incorporate QR codes to ask current renters what they love about the fitness center, dog park, etc, so renters can see bits of “real life” at the communities as they’re reading review content.
  6. The review is from a verified prospect who toured the community
    Weighing in at 35%, renters want to see verifiable information from prospects who have toured the community. Offering surveys after tours is a great opportunity to generate more reviews and tell future prospects about what they can expect in their tour experience to stand out from the competition.
  7. The reviewer is named rather than anonymous
    While a strong majority prefer a verified review, 32% want to see a name associated with that review as well.
  8. The review mentions employee names that work at the community 
    The #1 most important element of a review is detailed information, but only 31% of renters prefer to see employee names mentioned. When thinking about what is going to capture the tour, it may be more important to focus on gamifying specific elements of the community and neighborhood rather than a specific employee.
  9. The review is free of grammar and spelling errors
    While we should always put our best foot forward, renters care more about the quality of the content rather than misspellings or grammar errors, with only 28% rating this as an important element of a review.
  10. The review has a 5-star rating 
    Coming in last at 23%, is the star rating. It is evident from all of the other elements that renters find valuable, that their focus is on quality, not star quantity. In fact, the average star rating renters say they need to consider a community is just 3.82