There’s big news today – Google reviews are back.

Google has finally lifted the suspension of Google reviews during COVID19. If you’re wondering what this means for your property management company and its reputation, we’re answering that question and a few more on today’s blog.

The Latest on Google Reviews During COVID19:

Publishing Suspended Property Management Reviews

A few blogs ago, we talked about the Google and Yelp updates that had temporarily suspended reviews because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We didn’t really know what would happen to the reviews that were submitted during the suspension.

There’s some new information on that from Google.

It looks like the reviews and photos submitted during the suspension will gradually start showing up online. Your reviews will be dated according to when they were submitted, not when they were published.

We have been wondering about this for months, and in late April, we took a look at our reputation management software. We didn’t see any new reviews for our clients on their Google My Business pages. This week when we checked, there were reviews showing up with dates that went as far back as 1 April. These reviews will start populating on your Google My Business page, which means we are back to business as usual for the most part.

Publishing New Property Management Reviews

Suspension Lifted on Google Reviews During COVID19According to Google, brand new reviews will gradually return, based on country and industry.

Marie reviewed the property management company that oversees her apartment building in California. She received a warning message from Google advising that her review might be delayed, but when she checked a bit later, and the review was online.

Our Advice For Optimizing Your Online Reputation

With reviews working the way they once did again, you want to do the best you can to maintain or improve your online reputation. Here are some good tips and reminders:

  • Manage the expectations of your owners and residents. Don’t let your customers get frustrated with bad communication and misunderstandings. Those frustrations can turn into permanent negative reviews on your page.
    • A lot of property management companies may be doing things a bit differently since the pandemic, and if that’s the case, make sure you’re letting everyone know. It should be part of your website, emails, and social media platforms. COVID-19 posts need to be identified within Google My Business because they will show up at the top of search results when people use Google. You need to continue publishing normal posts, but if there’s a policy change or something to be communicated related to the coronavirus, you want it to be seen everywhere.
  • Be efficient with your notifications when a new review is submitted to Google My Business. Don’t let those notifications sit in an old email inbox that no one checks. You want to know when reviews show up.
    • Block time in your calendar to read each review that comes in, and decide whether the review merits a response. Be objective when you do respond. Things can get out of hand easily. Don’t stoop to the level of a negative reviewer no matter how tempting it might be.

Essentially, things are back to normal with Google. But, managing the online reputation of your property management company does not end there. Your main goal is to generate authentic, positive, and consistent customer reviews.

If you need help improving or maintaining your online reputation, or have more questions about Google reviews during COVID19, remember that’s we’re here to help you do. Contact us at Fourandhalf.