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Having a friend in town for a visit this week gave me the chance to see my city as a tourist. We started with an afternoon of tasting food and drinks on a guided tour of six local restaurants. I barely finished tagging the photos on Instagram when an email arrived in my inbox:

As a small business, word-of-mouth and positive reviews left by guests like you have helped Savor Seattle Food Tours reach both Seattle locals and visitors from across the globe. The single greatest impact you can have on the sustainability of our small business, while directly supporting the Pike Place Market’s non-profit social services, is to write a review on TripAdvisor and/or Yelp.

The tour, the guide, and the food made for a great day but I honestly didn’t think of writing a review until this plea for help arrived. Small business sustainability, it’s something we all care about, right? And the story does a great job of reminding me how I can make an impact. This company is playing into a desire we all have to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Savor Seattle has given me an instant purpose, a way to make life better for small businesses with a simple click.

Leaving a review is quick and painless; simply click here to access our review page. We truly hope you can take 90 seconds to leave your feedback of your experience …

Here’s the lesson for apartment managers who struggle to find the right recipe for reputation management at their multifamily property:

• Ask for apartment marketing reviews from your community in a sincere way that plays into an emotional need.

• Remind apartment residents how quick and easy it is to review your property management leasing, retention, and maintenance skills.

• Be quick to request a testimonial as soon as a positive experience occurs with a multifamily resident or prospect.

Some apartment marketers may hesitate to send multifamily residents and prospects to online review websites for fear of a negative review. However a proven strategy for improving apartment ratings and reviews on Yelp, Google+ and is to let your current positive reviews outshine and outnumber a negative comment. Consider another example sentence taken from the Savor Seattle email that gives an open door and direct contact for anything other than complete satisfaction:

If your experience was anything less than 5-star worthy, please email us directly so that we can make it right.

Why is this apartment marketing task so important? Google your multifamily property today and the organic search results will likely produce serveral review sites, usually in the top five positions on the page. Make sure you’re ready to request reviews this week with door hangers to leave after maintenance work orders, apartment review flyers to display in the leasing office and postcards to distribute to multifamily outreach partners.