Don’t Let Negative Online Reviews Derail Your Real Estate Brand
Real estate is an incredibly personal industry; oftentimes, you are your brand. Whether you conduct business solo or work with a larger brokerage, you know how important it is to cultivate happy relationships with your clients to gain referrals and repeat business.
But what happens if you or your real estate company have been receiving negative reviews from online sites like Yelp and Google+? It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick, but there are ways to bounce back from a less-than-great online reputation. Get more positive reviews, learn from the feedback and turn that bad reputation around with these tips and strategies.
Respond to all reviews, not just the negative ones
Responding to all reviews is the first step in your online reputation management plan. Thank clients for their positive reviews and their business. If you’ve been receiving negative reviews, don’t just read them and move on with your day. Respond to the feedback thoughtfully. If any mistakes were made be sure to acknowledge them and take full responsibility. Always ask the unhappy client, “Is there anything that I can do to make this right?” The goal is to show that you care about the client and their experience.
Never, ever respond to bad reviews if you’re angry or feeling defensive. Instead, wait til you have a clear, rational mind. And, no matter the review, try your best to learn from the feedback.
Request reviews and feedback from satisfied clients
You should always ask for reviews and feedback from your real estate clients, but those positive sentiments are even more important when you’re trying to bounce back from a poor online reputation.
A good tactic is to use your email newsletter to ask clients whether they would recommend you or your brokerage to a friend. Track the responses and follow up with the people who said yes. Ask them to write a review on Yelp, Google+ and other online review sites.
If you receive some “no” responses, consider following up with those clients as well. If they’re willing to provide feedback, you can learn a lot about ways to improve your client relationships and your services.
Focus on building your online presence
Being proactive is key to building a positive online presence. Build your website, spend time developing and cultivating relationships on social media, consider writing a weekly blog that provides value and monitor where you’re being mentioned online to get ahead of your prospective clients. The goal is for them to see your materials when they initially search for you online and to demonstrate that your business is professional and competent.
Good reviews won’t matter if bad reviews keep getting written
Be patient as you work to rebuild your online reputation and your efforts will pay off. If the time commitment needed to turn your reputation around is too great you can also hire companies to help protect and manage your reputation online.
It’s important to remember that you can’t bury bad reviews with good reviews, especially if those bad reviews are being written regularly. If negative online press has become a problem for you or your real estate business, carefully evaluate the reasons behind the feedback and make an effort to fix the underlying issues. If you want to develop a sterling reputation in the real estate world you have to first be worthy of the praise.
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