What do you do with a bad review?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Access
https://activerain.com/droplet/mn6

What do you do with a bad review?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/digallagher/4880167882/sizes/z/in/photostream/

 Today I called on a client who recently closed on her house.  I like to follow up with my buyers a week or so after closing to see how things are going and check in.  Luckily she loves her house and her move has gone very smoothly.  During the course of the conversation she brought up the fact that her lender sent her several requests for a survey.  She initially declined but after several (and by several, I mean like FIVE) requests she obliged. 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/6289600762/sizes/z/in/photostream/

For the most part, she was very happy with the lender, especially the final processor - this gal was awesome!  However, as far as the individual who took her application and started the loan process, the news was not so good.  Although the loan was successful his actions during the process made the whole thing very stressful for my client.  What was his error you ask?  He couldn't return a phone call or email to save his life.  He was so hard to get in touch with and failed to update us at all during the entire process we just about lost our minds.  I won't go into details because that is a completely different post.  Oh, and before I move on, this IS NOT a post bashing lenders the vast majority of the lenders I have the pleasure of working with are top o the line.  It is also not a post about communication even thought the lack of it is what inspired me.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/4773103417/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Back to my topic...

Lo and behold, my client filled out the survey and gave honest feedback.  She complimented him on the fact that the loan was successful and closed on time.  That was good.  She was, however, completely forthcoming in the fact that he really needs to improve on his communication skills (or get an assistant).

 

His response is really what this post is all about.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maroonsurreal/6288367519/sizes/s/in/photostream/

 

If I were to receive such feedback I would first of all feel horrible and second of all make darn sure I never had a client walk away from a transaction feeling like this again.  I would take the constructive criticism and learn from it.  Nobody is perfect and we all mess up.  When we disappoint a client we have to apologize and fix the problem, at least that's what I think.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/denisdervisevic/5327974794/sizes/t/in/photostream/Apparently not everyone shares my view.  What did this guy do?  He called my client back after she submitted the survey and proceeded to argue with her about the accuracy of her evaluation.  I'm sorry, but does anyone else see the irony in this?  Her one complaint was that he failed to return calls or emails during the loan process and the minute she sends a poor evaluation he is on the horn within seconds.  

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbaunach/1055569383/sizes/t/in/photostream/

 

 Sadly, this could have turned out so differently for him.  Had he called to apologize and thank her for her honesty she likely would have accepted and gone on to remember him and his company in a positive light despite the frustrations she felt during the transaction.  Instead he will be remembered as the crybaby who couldn't' communicate. 

What's your take on this? 

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Diary of a Realtor
Tags:
making clients happy
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Rainmaker
271,564
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple

some people "can't handle the truth", too bad for this lender.

Nov 02, 2011 08:45 AM #1
Ambassador
847,749
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Went thru something very similar recently.  Good at what he did, HORRID at communication.  Finally ended up calling his boss, and within minutes I had a phone call from him SCREAMING at me that he was too busy to make calls . . . did we want our loan or not?  AMAZING . . . Lenders get business from Realtors, not good to piss us off :)  I agree that almost all that I work with are good, but I gotta tell you, I wouldn't never work with this guy again because of his response.  Your example response to this client is obviously inexcusable.  And after badgering for a response, even more unbelievable.

Nov 02, 2011 08:49 AM #2
Ambassador
1,270,879
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Don't ask for feedback if you can't take it - wow, what a bozo !

Nov 02, 2011 08:50 AM #3
Ambassador
847,749
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

OMG - and to answer the first question, I would have done everything in my power to make it better NOW . . . and it would never happen again, as you suggest.  THAT goes to character . . . some people have no business dealing with other people :)

Nov 02, 2011 08:50 AM #4
Rainer
125,916
Chiara Petro
eXp Realty - Angie Cody Team - Knoxville, TN
Your KEY to Home Sweet Home - Knoxville TN

Say this isn't true (even though I do know better!). I keep asking myself what the heck has happened to customer service, and that includes communication as an extremely HUGE part of the equation to customer service.

 

Nov 02, 2011 08:56 AM #5
Rainmaker
189,003
Jeanna Martinez
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX

Chris and Maria - Ain't that the truth! =)

Mimi - I completely agree! Would not ever recommend this guy to anyone...and some people have no idea how a sincere apology can go a long way!  Sometimes it is much better than any defense :-)

Susan - you said it!  Hopefully he will learn and grow from it but somehow I don't think he will!

Chiara - Communication is sooooo important!  Even if its just to communicate that you don't have an answer but are working on it...

Nov 02, 2011 09:03 AM #6
Rainmaker
769,996
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Stick that guy on the top of the referral list.... NOT! 

The reason for these surveys is so we can improve the experience.  we have all had clients that may not be reasonable and we did everything for them - they just did not realise what was happening behind the curtain..  communication is the key to any relationship...

Learn from it, correct the fault, and move on.

Nov 02, 2011 09:39 AM #7
Ambassador
489,846
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

Ahhhhh! That's hilarious.  I DESPISE anyone in any profession that doesn't have the courtesy of answering a phone call.  I will accept a text, email or even an assistant saying "hey! we are working on it!" THAT's it! That's not hard is it?

Nov 02, 2011 09:40 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,294,572
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

The only way anyone can improve their level of service, is to be given feedback. At one time or another all of us have been give a below average report. That is how we learn. Communicate is extremely important, without it, problems will always show up.

Nov 02, 2011 09:49 AM #9
Ambassador
2,910,404
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

WTHeck was he thinking.  First of all... I too do surveys.  Of course if I don't get them back I don't send it FOUR more times.  Sometimes I second... just in case it went to junkmail.  And if I get back anything other than a "fully satisfied" I call that client (mine or one of my agents) and ask ...

"What could we have done differently or better to make you fully satisfied?" 

A skill I learned while waiting tables in college from a super manager.  I should look him up and thank him.

 

Nov 02, 2011 10:08 AM #10
Ambassador
2,910,404
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

ps- thanks for the subscription.  You are # 200.  I am honored. :)

Nov 02, 2011 10:09 AM #11
Rainmaker
916,029
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Constructive criticism is good for everyone, taken the right way.  This guy didn't get it.

Nov 02, 2011 01:20 PM #12
Rainmaker
246,751
David Pylyp
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., - Toronto, ON

Recently had a listing that wasn't getting enough attention   So obviously no offers.

Seller called all in a snit about the Pictorial for the house and the Virtual Tour.

Initially I was going to dig in and argue ( defend myself) then I just drew in a long breath and said...

"I Know I can do better"

Absolute silence....

 

We reshot the video and Stills...  Property Did eventually sell.

Whats the Lesson?  Stand Up for what you do.  Own it.

 

Thank you 

 

David Pylyp

Living in Toronto and Loving It!

 

Nov 02, 2011 03:07 PM #13
Rainer
194,547
Stephanie Stringer
First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764 - San Antonio, TX
Mortgage Loan Originator

Jeanna,  Wow.  Very unprofessional that the LO called the client to complain to her for the honest feedback given on the loan process.  I wonder if he thanked her for the good comments that were given regarding the loan closing on time?  I am very grateful when clients take the time to complete a survey on me and my support staff.  It allows me to see how I am doing and to see where I can improve on.   That LO needs take advantage of the not so good survey response and turn it into something positive by learning from his not so good marks.  Surveys are great training tools.

Nov 02, 2011 05:16 PM #14
Rainmaker
189,003
Jeanna Martinez
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX

Robert - Exactly!! We should always learn from our mistakes!

Kristin - It shouldn't be that hard! But I guess for some, it is...

Right Trac - I completely agree...none of us is perfect but if we don't accept criticism and learn from it we will never get better!

Tammy - that is exactly the response I think we all should have to bad feedback...mistakes should turn into opportunities to learn, not get on your high horse =) I am honored to be #200 of your subscribers!!

Kay - yep...he definitely did not get it at all!

David - as hard as it is to do, sometimes swallowing pride and calling a do-over is the best way to handle an unhappy client.  Even if we may not be 100% wrong =) well done!!

Stephanie - from my conversation with my client, I am pretty sure there was no thank you.  I couldn't agree more that while sometimes painful, the bad feedback can actually be much more helpful to our professional growth than the "rah rah you done good" ones!

Nov 03, 2011 05:44 AM #15
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Jeanna Martinez

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