Whether you like it or not, just about everything you do is one click away from Yelp and other online review sites. You could just sit there feeling happy or sad depending on what reviews you get, but a better choice is to leverage your reviews to keep growing your real estate business. Closely monitor your reviews and take action each time a new review comes.
Learn From Your Reviews
If you’ve had more than a handful of customers, you know that some people are just impossible to please, and others will think you’re the best no matter what. That doesn’t mean you should just ignore the grouches while hoping the angels lift up your rating. Each review should tell you something. If the customer leaves specifics, it’s easy to take notes and repeat what gets you good reviews and avoid doing what gets you bad reviews. The trickier situations are where they don’t leave a meaningful explanation. In those cases, try to think about the point in time where the customer’s attitude when dealing with you changed or whether anything went unusually well or poorly in that particular transaction.
Respond to Positive Reviews
Customers aren’t expecting a response, and most prefer to be anonymous online even if it’s very easy to figure out who wrote the review, but don’t just bask in glory when you get a good public review. If the site allows, write a short note highlighting a particular aspect of your business that ties with the review. Example: “I’m always happy when I can help make the difficult financing process easier.” The reviewer will likely never see your note, but future customers will learn a little more about you.
Trying to Get More Reviews
Be very careful never to directly ask for a good review. Any customer may take it as presumptuous, and an unhappy customer who learns you’re soliciting positive reviews from other people will twist that fact against you in their negative review. However, if there’s an appropriate time, such as in a final email, to add a line along the lines of “your feedback would be appreciated at (insert review site your customers look at),” take the opportunity to do it. Even if it leads to a few negative reviews, you should be able to use that feedback to better your business in the future.
Address Negative Concerns
Negative reviews may hurt and even be just plain wrong, but you should never take them personally. If a customer writes a negative review, do respond to:
- Offer to correct the situation as appropriate
- Clear up misunderstandings (but never to pointedly correct or call the customer a liar)
- State how you will use the feedback to improve in the future
But Never Bribe
The one thing you must NEVER do is directly offer compensation in exchange for removing a bad review. The odds are high that “and they tried to bribe me to lie about their terrible services” will be added to your one star review. If you do believe some form of compensation is appropriate in light of a negative experience, offer it with no strings attached, hope the customer does the right thing, and note what you did in your response.