Potential vendors and would-be buyers rely more now on online review platforms to help them make decisions than they ever did before. One digital expert says that there are four powerful ways reviews can shape your success in real estate.
CEO and co-founder of RateMyAgent Mark Armstrong said that the real estate industry has traditionally been based on numbers — “I sell this much; therefore, I am the best”.
But, he said, the problem with numbers is that they don’t tell the story of experience.
“This is the real power of reviews, sharing the story or experience,” he told REB, adding that unlike numbers, stories are open to interpretation.
“An example of this would be a holiday I was planning recently with my wife. We were searching online for a resort and, out of what were mostly positive reviews, we came across one really poor rating, which we just had to read.
“It said, ‘Terrible, terrible service. Ordered a towel from room service and it took almost an hour to deliver’. I thought, ‘Nope — you can’t get mad over a slow towel, you’re on a holiday. Relax’.
“Point being, reviews have the power through storytelling, and can be filtered if people’s views don’t align with your own.”
2. The digital interview
Reviews are all a part of “digital interviews”, Mr Armstrong said.
“Digital interviews happen every day; whether you’re searching someone on Facebook, or looking at someone’s profile on LinkedIn, you’re conducting a digital interview in some way or another to learn more about them.
“For real estate agents, positive reviews, including through digital interviews, are the most powerful marketing tool they can earn.”
3. A direct link between customer and client
Mr Armstrong said there is an opportunity to turn around bad customer experiences, as you are able to communicate with people who leave negative reviews.
He said that his advice to an agent recently in the wake of getting a poor review was to call the reviewer up and invite them for a coffee.
“They caught up, the customer addressed their issue, and he agreed with them and understood where they were coming from. After that, they rectified the issue, resulting in the customer being so impressed they deleted their review.”
4. The Spaghetti Man
Reviews are a precious asset, said Mr Armstrong, but they’re no use if no one gets to see them.
“If they’re stuck on one website it’s like they’re stuck in concrete.
“You need that review to be waving its arms around madly like the roadside Spaghetti Man, demanding attention, impossible to ignore as consumers move between websites and social platforms.”