Hotness Rating: 0 (Points Deducted for Rat Poo)

Believe it or not, it is already time for students to sign up for next semester’s classes.  As they decide what they want to take and which professors they want, I’m sure the traffic on will skyrocket.  Instead of blindly choosing their professors, students want to know what they’re getting themselves into: impossibly hard tests, long nights of homework, eye candy at the front of the classroom (ie: the hotness total as indicated by the red chili pepper symbol).  Although it is clear that occasionally those who are leaving comments are just holding a grudge about a bad grade that they really did deserve, for the most part you can get a pretty good feel for what the class will be like.  It’s even possible to find out that your professor father tells the same corny jokes in the classroom that he does at home.

People love to talk about their experiences, and when marketers caught onto this phenomenon they labeled it “word-of-mouth marketing”.  While it can be one of the driving factors in a business’s success, it can also be the downfall.  In the apartment world, websites such as are king.  And yet, from the looks of it, apartment managers are having a hard time catching on…

black mold

(A picture posted by former residents of a slight mold problem in this Iowa apartment building.  As an apartment manager I would think that seeing this posted online would be like seeing a picture of myself on People of Walmart.)

“Really, I didn’t have too many complaints….There was a stabbing in the parking lot once……I did have a horrible time trying to find a subleaser….When people found out it was *Apartment X*, they couldn’t run fast enough.”

For this particular apartment building, there were only 3 “positive” posts.  The above quote came from one of those posts which is titled “Tolerable.”  Makes you wonder what was said by the people who didn’t recommend the apartment building.  Of course, even the best marketing plan can’t battle word-of-mouth marketing as demonstrated by a post titled “Seems They Pay More For Their Advertising Than They Pay For The Maintenance Of Their Property”.


(Maybe they do this for residents who have just moved from out of state.  You know, so they don’t forget where they live now…)

“No one likes a floor covered in rat poo.”

Aptly put, anonymous resident.  A good message for apartment managers everywhere!  (And you can go ahead and assume that this means there was a rat problem in the building.)  If I move to Brooklyn anytime soon, I can pretty much guarantee you that I wouldn’t move into this apartment.  Of course, if I was moving to Las Vegas, I probably wouldn’t move into an apartment building that received a comment with “Run Away!!!” as the title.

Recently Judy Bellack wrote an entry for the Apartment Finder blog that discussed the power of telling a story and asking for the sale.  But what you have to remember when you’re asking for the sale is that your former residents are out there and can’t wait to tell a story about their experience.

Have you had an interesting experience with word-of-mouth marketing for your apartment?  Share it with us at


2 Responses to “Hotness Rating: 0 (Points Deducted for Rat Poo)”

  1. 1 Heather Blume October 20, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    You know, WOM marketing is one of those double edged swords. It can slice your competition in to ribbons or stab you right in the heart, depending on how it’s aimed.

    One thing’s for sure though; it keeps a lot of us honest. VERY honest in some cases, which is pretty scary for owners and managers of apartments like those mentioned above. Online reviews are a lot like a three year old: they always repeat in public what you should have said ( or done) in private.

    Great Post!

  1. 1 Hi-Five FAIL « No More HomeMade Flyers Trackback on October 20, 2009 at 8:48 pm

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