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Tips for Evaluating Online Reviews

online reviews

Last month, the Icon Student Spaces Blog shared some helpful tips for writing reviews and invited members of our apartment community here in St. Louis, MO to submit a review. This month we are following that up with tips for evaluating reviews, because in today’s world, online reviews are a good way to help ensure you are getting the best value for your dollars. So whether you want to find the best pizza in town, you’re doing research for you next big purchase, or you’re trying to find the best professors for next semester try these tips!

How to Evaluate Online Reviews

Think of reviews as being a public service. Reviews are a factor in creating change and making improvements because they bring issues to light — sometimes creating awareness where there was none. But, in order for a review to be helpful, it needs to be evaluated correctly. Here are some things to look for in a review:

  • Extreme reviews — positive or negative ones — are often not helpful. Take extreme reviews with a grain of salt. Look for balanced, objective reviews instead.

  • Look for common themes among multiple reviews. If several people are saying the same thing, it’s more likely to be legitimate. Check the overall tone of the reviews as well. Are they mostly positive or negative.

  • Objective eviews with specific detailed information are more valuable than reviews that are general, vague, and make no effort at being rational.

  • Look for reviews that are balanced, which share the pros and cons of a situation, product, or service.

  • Reviews that resort to name-calling, particularly those that escalate to vulgarity — can be discarded, they are most likely a case of sour grapes.

  • Note reviews that are well written with clear language, proper spelling, and grammar which indicates care was taken to present an honest opinion.

  • Be aware that there may be false reviews among the legitimate ones that can be used to inflate or discredit whatever is being reviewed. Take time to learn how to spot a fake apartment review.

What tips do you have for evaluating apartment or other reviews? What does a great review mean for you? Let us know in the comments so we can better perfect our reviewing processes this month.