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Forest Village & Woodlake is an off-campus housing property located in Columbia, Missouri, that caters to the student demographic at the University of Missouri. Upon joining the Campus Advantage portfolio, Forest Village & Woodlake had an Online Reputation Assessment (ORA™) score that floated between 60–64, which is right at the industry standard — a score primarily due to the property’s reactive reputation strategy. An ORA score is critical because it serves as the “industry standard to measure and benchmark a property’s online reputation.”

Catalyst was contracted to conduct an online reputation management program that provided Forest Village & Woodlake with personalized communication, ORA score monitoring, detailed responses to reviews, and operational insights to improve customers’ experience.

The Solution

Catalyst spoke directly with property owners and their on-site staff to find out how they were approaching reviews and, more importantly, how resident feedback was dealt with on site. Catalyst found Forest Village & Woodlake had a great retention rate for solving problems with residents who came into the leasing office, but the same wasn’t being reflected online. There was no forward effort being given to the online picture of the property’s standards, which were very high.

Catalyst encouraged the managers to rally Campus Advantage staff, on-site managers, and the maintenance staff to become brand ambassadors for Forest Village & Woodlake. A big part of this strategy was to remind residents that when they write a positive online review about any property team member or a situation associated with a team member, they should mention their name directly as a means to help bring the reviews to life with relatable authenticity and accountability.

The results

In the month of June 2018 alone, the staff received 24 mentions in reviews, and the month prior, they received 25. This has become a determining factor for employee reviews/reports and supports the management when conducting a thorough assessment of how Forest Village & Woodlake is operating.

At the time this case study was written, the property had maintained an 80 ORA score for the past six months, and they are keeping a watchful eye on 2020 for their chance to break into the top 5 ORA scores within the Campus Advantage portfolio.