The Spoke is an off-campus housing property located in Davis, California, that caters to the student demographic at the University of California, Davis. Upon joining the Campus Advantage portfolio, The Spoke had an Online Reputation Assessment (ORA™) score of 38, which is far below the industry standard. Therefore, a strategy was needed to significantly and quickly turn the property’s reputation around. 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 The Spoke with personalized communication, ORA score monitoring, detailed responses to reviews, and operational insights to improve customers’ experience.
Catalyst’s first step was to identify trends and insights from the existing reviews to help determine why The Spoke’s reputation was decreasing. Catalyst found the amenities and a la carte charges assessed to residents were presenting the largest hurdle for reputation online.
Catalyst and the operations team at Campus Advantage thoroughly discussed how to remedy negative trends, and created proactive campaigns to invite residents who enjoyed life at The Spoke to leave positive reviews. In addition, the owners of the property continued to monitor the reviews while also following in tandem with efforts on site to fix amenity issues and eliminate unnecessary charges to ease the financial tension with residents, which was a root of the property’s poor reputation.
After four months of heavy campaigning on site and across multiple platforms (Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Apartments.com), Catalyst’s efforts helped move the ORA score needle to 56. Given this score is defined through multiple platforms online, it was imperative that Catalyst focused on each one. At 56, this was a huge gain for the property and only four points away from the national average. The Spoke continues to see an organic trickle of reviews come through, and the property owners have made an effort to broadcast Catalyst trend reports to their staff every month. Ownership also continues to express Catalyst’s successful process of reputation management to their other housing properties.