ATLANTA, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PRIMEDIA, the parent company of Apartment Guide, Rent.com, and Rentals.com, today launches its Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews℠ service for property operators, the first free-of-charge online ratings and reviews service compiled from certified residents. Developed in partnership with Kingsley Associates, a leading real estate research and consulting firm, this new service allows for reliable feedback exclusively from active renters. With the initial introduction of this new online reputation management service on ApartmentGuide.com, PRIMEDIA's digital platforms are further solidified as the most complete and trusted source of information for prospective renters looking to discover the ideal place to live."We are excited to launch PRIMEDIA's new Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews service along with Kingsley Associates, as we recognize the importance that property operators place on renter feedback to improve the apartment living experience," said Arlene Mayfield, senior vice president, PRIMEDIA and president, Apartment Guide, Rentals and Homes divisions. "The rental industry has evolved over the past few years and the importance placed on understanding a two-way dialogue between properties and their renters has never been more essential. Now, property operators can use content from ratings and reviews to prioritize the feedback and make ongoing improvements to customer service."
Industry research shows that property owners and operators desire balanced, trustworthy reviews and today's consumer trusts online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In addition, Steve Lefkovits, President of Joshua Tree Consulting and Executive Producer of the Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference added, "Ratings and reviews represent the democratization of consumer purchasing. Residents gain confidence from reviews supporting the rental process, making it easier to find a home that fits."
The Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews service not only helps property operators manage online reputations efficiently, but ensures authenticity of the feedback:
- Collection of Reviews: Apartment Guide's more than 20,000 multi-family customers (more than 5 million apartment units) will be able to opt-in to generate free market research about active residents
- Rating Scale: Certified residents will rate properties on various attributes focused on creating a summary rating based on a 5-point scale
- Certification Process: Reviews will be certified to ensure the resident is active and that content is not inappropriate or offensive
- Authenticity of Certification: Posted reviews will include a badge certifying that feedback is from a current resident
The potential value of Apartment Guide's Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews℠service is recognized by a number of leading apartment operators across the nation, including AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Holland Residential, Pegasus Residential, ZRS Management, LLC., and Home Properties, Inc.
"I'm pleased to see that Apartment Guide and Kingsley Associates have developed this service; it's clear that a great deal of thought has been put into the Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews program," stated Rosemarie Cook-Manley, Vice President of Marketing with Home Properties. In addition, Holland Residential's Director of Marketing, Josh McDonald, commented on the multifamily industry's trend towards embracing ratings and reviews, stating, "It won't be long before every prospect has read a rating or review prior to making a renting decision." And Jeremy Brown, Vice President of Marketing with ZRS Management added, "ZRS embraces consumer ratings and reviews, and is delighted that Apartment Guide is adding this to their consumer experience in such a relevant and meaningful way; we look forward to the positive benefits this content will undoubtedly drive to our participating communities."
Once ratings and reviews are collected from certified residents (by Kingsley Associates), renters will be able to search for an apartment on Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals.com, based on individual preferences and robust search capabilities including relevancy, rating, and timeliness.
"We are very excited about this new partnership with PRIMEDIA as it benefits the apartment industry at large," states Steve Kingsley, founder, Kingsley Associates. "Over the past two years, our clients have become increasingly concerned with how to best manage their online reputation and this partnership provides owners and managers with the best opportunity to engage with customers in an un-biased, solutions-oriented manner."
The service will also include a free dashboard, allowing property operators to manage their reputation on an ongoing basis and respond to reviews. To increase efficiencies, owners and operators can optimize renter responses and property performance by viewing individual statistics, metrics and company-wide trending information, all of which can promote meaningful community reviews.
PRIMEDIA helps millions of consumers nationwide find apartments, houses for rent or new homes for sale through its category-leading websites and mobile applications, including ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com, and NewHomeGuide.com. PRIMEDIA continues to simplify the consumer home search and drive leads that result in occupancies for property management companies, landlords, new home builders and real estate professionals. For more information, visit www.primedia.com.
About Kingsley Associates
The most successful firms in real estate rely on Kingsley Associates for cutting-edge business intelligence solutions. Kingsley Associates' services include annual resident satisfaction assessments as well as event-driven surveys focused on specific life cycle interactions (prospect, move in, renewal, work order and move out). In 2012, Kingsley Associates surveyed in excess of 1.5 million current and prospective renters on behalf of its clients and is home to the deepest and most sophisticated benchmarking tool, the Kingsley Index. Kingsley Associates also provides: client perception studies, strategic consulting and operations benchmarking services. To learn more, please visit our Website www.KingsleyAssociates.com or our blog www.kingsleyinsight.com.