I recently moved, and part of my search for a new apartment involved looking at various buildings’ Yelp reviews. Here in Portland, a lot of bigger buildings had Yelp reviews, but most didn’t seem to have that many – certainly not enough to make a decision without visiting the apartment first.

Unfortunately, a lot of buildings, including the one I ended up renting, had really bad Yelp reviews. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced any of the issues other tenants had in the past. All of that is to say: if you’re a landlord, you should try and manage your Yelp presence as much as possible to make sure you aren’t losing out on potential renters. Here are some tips:

  • Figure out if you belong on Yelp. If you’re renting a single home, you probably don’t belong on Yelp. But if you’re a management company that has a few different properties and an office, you might want to at least claim your profile if one already exists. Keep in mind that businesses generally don’t control their presence on Yelp, and you can’t delete a listing entirely.
  • Claim your Yelp listing if it already exists. There are a few benefits to doing so, but one major benefit is the ability to respond to reviews. This is critical, because a responsive property manager can appear engaged and listening to concerns, even if the reviews aren’t stellar. The responses also give prospective tenants an idea of what to expect if an issue arises.
  • If you have great reviews, promote them. Yelp offers a variety of badges you can put on your website – some that highlight the number of great reviews you have, even if the overall average isn’t as high – and will mail you a physical sticker if you meet a certain review threshold. It’s a great way for potential tenants to see, at a glance, that people like your property.

Generally, Yelp advises against asking for reviews, so you’re better off avoiding that. But by making it clear to your tenants that you’re checking and responding via Yelp, they may be more likely to leave a review on their own. The bottom line is that, in many cases, prospective tenants are already looking for you on Yelp, so you might as well manage your presence there.

Of course, you can also help ensure great Yelp reviews by providing excellent service to your tenants. One way to do that is to use Cozy, property management software for independent landlords, that lets you take online rent payments, screen tenants, run secure credit checks, and more.