Ratings and reviews

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Mr. Bill Szczytko wrote an important piece over on his blog BSitko. The gist of the post speaks to a ruling handed down in a Virginia court this past week. In essence it calls into question identity of a reviewers’ as a relates to leaving malicious or false remarks about one’s products or services. The court ruled that Yelp must turn over the identities of people who left negative reviews on the basis that they were not true customers of the business who brought the suit.

I don’t care anymore

It got me thinking about the last time that I actually used a review to consider a purchase. It was on Amazon. I took the time to read a couple of reviews written about a book that I intended to buy. I remember getting to the end of the narratives and deciding that I really didn’t care about reviews anymore.

Half of them sounded like sales speak. That is to suggest that somebody who had an interest in selling more books was reviewing the literature in a very positive light. Another group railed against the literature and/or supported it in a way that was just borderline mindless. And still others sounded like – I-need-to-keep-my-review- quota-up-so-I-will-say-a-few-nice-things.

Prediction

At some point in the next three to five years people will revolt against ratings and reviews; writing them off as just another platform overcome by savvy marketers. Gone will be the need or want to know who said what because nobody will care. And gone will be the day that ratings and reviews carried any merit at all.

Your writing ratings and reviews off three to five years ahead of its time MultiFamily Maniac,

M

RealPage acquires MyNewPlace: Marriage made in heaven?

Today’s post comes from our friend Bill Sitko over at Bsitko ; his content is ripe with great wit and keen insight. Today’s guest post is exactly what we expected and we love it…

 

First before I even begin I wanted to thank Mike for allowing me to blight his blog with some of my own prose. I hope to do him and his blog justice.

“Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks; he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other” ~ Pietro Metastasio

A curious thing happened on the way home from work yesterday. I was parked at a light and as usual decided to glance down at my phone to see what had changed in social media since 5 minutes ago. Luckily I had TweetDeck up, I refreshed it and that cool looking blue background with white text announced that RealPage had acquired MyNewPlace. If you’re hearing this announcement for the first time right now your first reaction is probably WOW. I know mine was. My second reaction was “Are they planning on buying EVERYTHING?” but I digress.

MyNewPlaceGetting married!!!RealPage

Who are the players here?
MyNewPlace has been a player in the Internet Listing Services market for years. We used them several years ago with little conversion success (and it left us with a pretty drained pocketbook). The majority of us know RealPage and what they offer. MyNewPlace, on the surface, seems to be a perfect match for RealPage. They currently have no paid listing offerings and this acquisition will certainly give them presence there. In addition MyNewPlace has RentEngine which will give RealPage access to social media tools, a Craigslist posting tool, reputation management, pay per click campaigns, some great search engine optimization tools and a partridge in a pear tree. MyNewPlace will also be an integral part of their recently announced LeaseStar Marketplace. One thing that I find interesting about this new product is it will enable customers to talk or chat with a live leasing associate through their LevelOne service, and utilize their already robust leasing side package including 2D and 3D floor plans, some interactive site maps, beautiful pictures and a booking engine that can help check availabilities. MyNewPlace will be the lead generation channel that will power the LeaseStar Marketplace.

Press releases are lame.
The truth is this latest press release and acquisition from RealPage will attract plenty of attention but will it all be positive? Is RealPage becoming a little too big with too many product offerings that have the ability to shut out the competition? As with a lot of RealPage purchases, they will probably leave the MyNewPlace name alone but make the normal branding and integration changes so it plugs into their other offerings. That’s the way they’ve done it for most of their previous acquisitions, namely LevelOne, OpsTechnology and Lead2Lease. Is RealPage willing to change the ILS game? Will they use their power and money muscle to give Property Management companies more flexibility in branding and choice? Will they utilize social media to CHANGE how people find apartments? How successful will their SEO efforts be? Can they jump the organic board and launch MyNewPlace into the top 5 for results in lots of major markets?

What does this all mean?
I wish I had a crystal ball to get these answers, as well as the winning lottery numbers for tomorrow. I’m more interested in hearing what you think about it. Will RealPage change the game or will they just conform to it? Will this just be something else for them to monetize and charge a little extra than everyone else for or will they convert this service into something more powerful and revolutionary? Stay tuned…

Want to read the RealPage/MyNewPlace marriage vows? You can right here.

Happy renting everyone.