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A Renter’s Guide to Online Reviews

Riverside Renter Looking at Online Reviews on Their PhoneYou’ll certainly see numerous online reviews of apartments and single-family rental property management companies when searching for a new Riverside rental home. While these reviews can help give you an idea of what to expect from a property, it’s essential to understand how to evaluate them appropriately. Not all reviews are created equal; occasionally, they can be misleading or incorrect. Here are some tips on accurately reading and assessing online apartment reviews.

Not all online reviews are accurate

First of all, it’s important to remember that not all online reviews are reliable. Some of them might even be fraudulent, posted by trolls or the landlord or property management company to enhance their image. Some comments may also be exaggerated in either direction, positively or negatively, because of the problems unrelated to the property or even the landlord. When reading reviews, consider those that seem to be from legitimate sources, like current or past tenants with verifiable profiles. Leave the rest out.

How to read and assess a review

Once you know how to find verified reviews, it’s important to read and assess them effectively. You can assess a review by using the following tips:

  • Look at the language and tone used by the reviewer. Are they using specific, detailed examples, or are their complaints vague and general? Is the reviewer emotion-driven or providing a more objective analysis of their experience? Look for reviews that provide both positives and negatives about the property. A review with only glowing praise or harsh criticism may not be as reliable.
  • Don’t just focus on the star rating. Investigate further into the specific comments and criticisms made in the review. Are they valid concerns or simple fixes?
  • Look for patterns in multiple reviews. Do specific situations come up repeatedly? Are they primarily positive or negative? Did the landlord respond to the review, try to make things right, or thank the reviewer for their review? This can provide a better idea of the overall experience at the property.
  • Keep in mind your priorities and preferences when reading reviews. If you work from home and don’t plan on having several visitors, a negative review about noise levels may not be as critical to you. Things that are a dealbreaker for one person may not be to you as much.

Examples of good and bad online reviews

A favorable review may address individual property traits, and personal experiences, such as “The management team is very responsive and accommodating. They fixed a plumbing issue in my unit within 24 hours.”

A negative review may be extremely harsh or vague, for example, “This place is a nightmare. Do not move here.” The latter lacks clear instances or evidence to vouch for their claims. When determining its reliability, always think about the language and tone used in a review and the source of the review.

The importance of evaluating reviews correctly

When seeking a new rental property, it’s important to properly evaluate online reviews. Confusing or bogus reviews can give you a false impression of the property and bring about potential issues and dissatisfactions in the future. Before taking any action about a property, consider visiting it in person to get a first-hand look at the rental and speak with the landlord or Riverside property management company.

Overall, be sure to take online reviews with a grain of salt and utilize them as one tool in your rental decision-making process. You can make a more informed decision and possibly have a better rental experience by properly assessing reviews.


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