Every real estate agent understands how important online reviews are. Good reviews can help you attract new clients, while negative reviews can be harmful. Some clients will always be unhappy, no matter how good your service is, but that doesn’t mean they won’t write a negative review. Real estate is a huge investment, and people can get very emotional about it.
It’s not always bad to get a negative review because it can show that the realtor is authentic. Although, it can also lower their ranking on some websites. Clients aren’t always willing to agree to take the review down.
The most popular review platforms are: Google Yelp TripAdvisor Facebook First, we will look at the guidelines for the most popular review platforms, then we will move on to how to address negative reviews in each case.
Real estate review sites – how much control do they give you?
Some of the most popular sites allow clients to leave reviews for your business without you being able to approve them first. These include:
- Google places
- Facebook reviews
Google and Facebook will not delete a review just because you ask them to, but if you can show that it was written by a competitor, they will delete it. Yelp runs all reviews through an algorithm to verify that they are authentic before posting them.
Some other sites enable you to request, read and approve your reviews before they’re published. These include:
- LinkedIn recommendations
- Rate My Agent
- Property Only (NZ)
Aside from LinkedIn recommendations, these are all websites specifically devoted to property reviews. Rate My Agent has become Australia’s leading platform for real estate reviews, while Property Only is the closest equivalent in New Zealand. At the time of writing, Property Only has not gained as much popularity.
Actively monitor your real estate reviews
Negative real estate agent reviews are not going away. You need to be aware of where people are leaving reviews for your business and make sure you can still access those platforms so you can respond. If you are updating any of your accounts, merge them so you only have one account to manage.
Should you turn off your Facebook reviews?
Some real estate agents have started to turn off their Facebook review options, but this is not a good idea, according to one seminar leader.
If you’re worried about a negative review on Facebook affecting your business, consider the fact that many online directories use Facebook as a source for their business listings. A negative review on Facebook could potentially reduce your online presence, so it’s important to respond in a professional way.
Responding to negative reviews
It is important to remain calm and polite when responding to tenant complaints, which is why some matters are best kept out of the public eye. Property managers likely have to deal with more disputes between landlords and tenants than real estate agents, so it is unsurprising that people might vent their feelings about their tenancy situation online.
A real estate industry communications expert recently contacted me to discuss the topic of how to deal with negative real estate reviews.
A review was left by a tenant who was unhappy with a tribunal decision. I told my friend who is a landlord that it was best to respond in a general way, saying that they were sorry the tenant felt that way.
It is better to discuss things offline, through the formal mediation and dispute resolution process, so that things do not get out of control and damage the reputation of your brand.
You should never respond to an issue when you are angry. Do your research, look back at your records, and if you did something wrong, apologize. Viewers will respect your honesty and it could bring more business to you!
Common Real Estate Review Sites and Review Removal Policies
Your Real Estate Website
Although you have more control over the reviews on your website than any other platform, it is not advisable to delete all the negative reviews. Customers will find other, more public ways to review you (for example, on Google My Business) and they will be even more frustrated than before. Take the time to answer each negative review with care, and the reviewer may agree to remove their review from your website (more details on that later).
Your AgentFire website easily integrates with every review platform so that you can have them all in the same place. This makes it easy to keep track of all your reviews and helps you make the most of your website.
Google My Business
If a business wants to remove a review from Google, it is only possible if the review goes against the site’s policies. This can include things such as harassment, fake reviews, personal information, and more. However, if a business does not agree with a review, they cannot remove it. It is very difficult for Google to determine if a review is valid, so the company will not try to investigate it further.
At the moment, you cannot delete negative testimonials on Facebook. However, you can report the review if it is spam or goes against the Facebook community guidelines.
This article discusses different ways that real estate agents can use Facebook to support their business. Real estate is a social business, and Facebook is a powerful tool to connect with others and grow your sphere. The article provides tips on how to use Facebook groups, video, and advertising to support your business goals.
If an agent receives a negative review on Zillow, they are unable to delete it. However, Zillow provides guidance on how to respond to negative reviews through their platform. If an agent is unable to resolve the issue, they are encouraged to reach out to Zillow’s mortgage support team.
Realtor.com reviews each review before it is posted to ensure that spammy or harassing comments are not posted. Negative testimonials will likely be posted, but a reply may be the best way to save face. If the review affects your overall rating, you have the option to remove your overall rating from your profile.
If you’ve gotten a bad review for your real estate business, there are plenty of ways to fix the issue. The following tips will show you how to handle negative reviews professionally and come out gaining potential clients, instead of losing them.
How to Manage Negative Real Estate Reviews
1. Verify the Review
Some people leave negative reviews to upset business owners. If the review isn’t from a client, it may go against community guidelines. If this is the case, there are ways to get the review removed. If you have to respond, say gently in your comment that they’re not a client yet, so other people don’t get the wrong idea.
2. Acknowledge the Issue
The first step to responding to a negative review is to show that you understand the customer’s issue and frustration. This way, they know that you are taking the appropriate steps to fix the problem.
3. Don’t Respond While Upset
It can be hurtful to receive a negative review, especially if you put a lot of effort into giving your clients a good experience.Before you respond to a negative review, take some time to calm down and try to see the situation from the client’s perspective. This will help you to draft a more professional response.
4. Respond Quickly
If a negative testimonial is posted about your company, it is best to respond to it quickly before other potential customers find out. This shows them that you are committed to providing quality service. If someone is angry enough to write a verified negative review, they deserve your prompt attention.
If a negative review accuses you or your brokerage of something serious, you may want to get legal advice before posting a response online.
5. Don’t Get Defensive
Both parties need to be satisfied and happy in order to resume peace. To do this, you need to be able to empathize with your clients.
6. Establish a Process for Regularly Checking your Review Pages
If you want to be able to respond to negative feedback, you need to know where to find it. Set up a system where you or your team regularly check for and respond to reviews on all platforms. Sometimes you might want to do a Google search for your name to see if there are reviews about you on forums you weren’t aware of.
7. Take Serious Discussions Off-line
If you get a bad review, try to contact the reviewer directly to discuss it further or take other actions. If you can’t find the reviewer’s contact information, leave your contact information at the bottom of your response and ask them to reach out to you.
8. Get Ahead of Negative Reviews
Clients who are unsatisfied with their real estate experience often leave negative reviews online as a last resort. Make sure your contact information is up to date across all platforms, and address complaints from home buyers and sellers quickly to avoid seeing them show up as negative reviews later.
9. Emphasize Positive Testimonials
It is part of your real estate marketing strategy to regularly share your positive real estate reviews. When your viewers see positive testimonials on your website, social media platforms, and other forums, it will not have as much of a negative impact.
If you want to increase the number of reviews you have, remember to ask your clients to leave a review after you have completed working with them. You could include a review prompt or CTA in your thank you letters and email signatures as a reminder. If you have not sold many homes yet, ask people you know to write positive character reviews about you to help build up your reputation.
. If you’re looking for ways to get more real estate testimonials, this article can help. It provides tips on how to get testimonials that are both genuine and impactful.
10. Always Be Thankful and Appreciative
You should be thankful when somebody criticizes you because it means they care about your improvement. If the criticism is constructive, take it to heart and try to improve upon that imperfection. Always express your thankfulness in your response, and let the person know that you are taking steps to address their concern.