Apartment Raters: Friend or Foe?

Everything can be rated online these days. Movies. Restaurants. Plumbers. College professors. And, yes, even apartments. There is a public evaluation space for almost every apartment development in the nation. Shopping for an apartment? Log on to one of these spaces and get the cold hard facts about the place from folks just like you: renters.

But just how much credit should these sites receive?

On the up side, rate-that-apartment sites keep management companies on their toes. Sites like these are very popular and too many smudges can seriously tarnish any property manager’s good name. They keep ’em honest, if you will, because anyone with computer access (virtually everyone) can blast the dirty truth all over the web.

Any business transaction requires integrity in order to work and renting an apartment is a business transaction. You want to know you’re giving your money to people who will hold up their end of the deal and deliver what they promised.

But! (There’s always a “but.”) Apartment rating sites are not the end-all, be-all in apartment quality. In fact, I give these sites absolutely no weight whatsoever. And I’m in the apartment rental business.

Here’s why: You’ve just eaten at a wonderful restaurant. The whole way home, you and your friend ooo and aah over every taste. When you get home, do you log on and post a rave review? Maybe. But most people don’t. Most people march in the door after a BAD experience and fire away at the offending establishment with the best weapons they have: words.

Most people, not all, but most people review when they have something nasty to say. They need to vent. They need to get revenge and that’s the only way.

That’s not to say their opinions and experiences aren’t valid. They absolutely are. But if you really want to know which apartment communities are the best, ask your leasing agent. We have the inside scoop. We know which management companies are bankrupt or down-right sketchy. In fact, I only deal with property managers who are professional and honest.

So don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. But when reading apartment reviews online, think of it as gossip. Because that’s really all it is.

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