An agent who has received dozens of positive reviews on Rate My Agent has revealed the process he uses to drive the flattering feedback.
Andrew Crauford, principal of Sydney business Ray White Cherrybrook & West Pennant Hills, has 48 reviews, 97 per cent of which are rated as positive.
Mr Crauford told REB that he recognises the value of independent testimonials and so has created a system to drive the maximum number of reviews from both clients and buyers.
The most important thing he does is to actually ask his vendors for a review – this is done face to face, or over the phone. He also alerts them to expect a survey to land in their inbox.
“There are so many emails that people get bombarded with, so you need to advise them of the feedback service you work with and explain that it’s an email that you’ve generated – that their email address hasn’t been picked up without their permission,” he said.
Mr Crauford asks for feedback within seven to 14 days of the sale becoming unconditional. If the client doesn’t respond, he asks again at settlement.
Vendors generally respond positively to requests for feedback because the question only gets asked once the relationship is solidly established, according to Mr Crauford.
The numerous testimonials Mr Crauford has received on Rate My Agent portray him as a professional, reliable and trustworthy agent who delivers excellent customer service.
“We can tell future clients how good we are as often as we like, but it’s never ever deemed to have the same impact as when someone else says it,” he said.
“Having one or two clients say how good you are is not as good as having 20 or 30 say how good you are.”
Mr Crauford also requests testimonials from buyers and sometimes under-bidders, although he doesn’t tell them in advance to expect an email.
One of the downsides of ratings websites is that every agent will receive a negative review sooner or later, so Mr Crauford has established a system for that as well.
Mr Crauford said his strategy is to “jump on the front foot” by calling the unhappy person, discussing their grievance and working out a solution.
He said it’s important to respect the fact that their issue meant enough to them that they would go to the trouble of posting a review.
He added that he doesn’t like to respond to critical comments on Rate My Agent, because words can be misinterpreted.