Thankfully we're given the option here on ActiveRain to post testimonials. So when our clients send us a note card or leave a nice review on line we can place it here ourselves and have total control of what is on our profile. On Facebook business pages we can have reviews on or off, but what about those other places, Trulia, Zillow, and Yelp? We have MUCH less control.
With Zillow I am aware that you get a inquiry phone call, but that person is not actually ever your client then generally speaking Zillow will take down a review. When you leave a review on zillow you have to be a client. Yelp on the other hand, not so much. On yelp if you aren't a paid advertiser I hear from friends that it's quite impossible to get a review taken down.
I can also tell you with certainty that if you have a great review on Yelp written by someone who hasn't written a bunch of reviews on Yelp that it doesn't show on your profile. That's pretty annoying, it was a really nice review and that lady was indeed a legitimate client of mine.
Many years ago, someone that I consider a friend, Brad Andersohn wrote a post right here in the rain. I'm not sure if that post is still up or not, but I'm not going to look for it or link to it, but I remember it and I'm going to tell you what Brad suggested and and I took note of his suggestion and think it's the way to go.
We have saying in Georgia about houses and termites... there are those houses with them and those houses that are going to get them. I didn't believe it until I got them at my office, now I'm a believer. I feel the same is true for anyone in any kind of service industry.... eventually that bad review is going to come. How do we over come that? Well I can say for sure that you don't want it to be your only review. I can also advise you NOT to engage the person on line with details even if you KNOW you did nothing wrong. I suggest the two following things...
The first is the advice Brad gave, have your happy clients leave you reviews. I've asked some to leave them on Z&T and some to to leave them on Yelp and some to leave them on Google and Some to leave them on Facebook. Reviews are important. I read them, don't you?
Donald and I bought a new television recently and we wanted a little better sound than came with the internal speakers. So I set out to find a low profile sound bar that had great sound. I read lots of reviews of various brands before I determined for the money that Yamaha offered the best product for us. I ordered it, it's installed and we're very happy. I will leave a review for the product after I've had it for a while. (test of time is important too). When I travel we read reviews for hotels and restaurants. Do you?
So it stands to reason that when someone is looking to move to an area that they would consider the reviews of the agents they might hire to represent them. If you follow Brad's advice of asking for reviews and have a good amount of 4 to 5 star reviews already in place when that bad one happens it's really not so bad.
The second piece of advice I'd like to share with you is don't engage a bad review on line. Do I mean to just ignore it? Of course not. But my response to a bad review on line would be something like the following:
"I apologize about your experience and would love to discuss the matter please give me a call at (my office number)" Because honestly when I have a bad experience somewhere I don't care about the excuses or reasons and I know from time to time I've been so frustrated with a company that I have been unreasonable. AT&T comes to mind. After enough problems you loose site of logic and it becomes a war. I certainly don't want a public battle on line so I would simply offer to discuss the matter on line and apologize (even if I truly felt I had nothing to apologize for) and ask them to reach out to me. I would also leave them a voicemail if they didn't take my call.
I've also built a page on my site and bought the url and pointed it to that page for my geographical area and built a facebook page that is title with my geographical area for real estate agent reviews. Those things lead to my ranking the top two on a google search for the term. Get in front of it... before that bad review happens.