This year, one of the main focuses of the Real Estate consumer is the quantity and quality of agent reviews and recommendations. For those professionals who ignore this trend, business is being lost.
The “review culture” has long been set in place with the buying public; one need only visit Ebay or Amazon to see the effect of reviews on buying decisions – “how many stars does it have?” Well, it’s no coincidence that most major Real Estate web portals have taken up the stars rankings and attached them to agent profiles. They know that their visitors want a common way to sort through the hundreds of agents serving their market.
For many veteran agents, accepting the “review culture” and moving to address it are difficult propositions. They protest the digitization of a personal, wisdom-based client relationship that they may cultivated for decades. There is little one can say to them except “change happens”… but it doesn’t have to be hard.
Consumers today are more open than ever to sharing their experiences with Real Estate agents, and in the overwhelming majority of cases that’s a good thing for the agent. In reality, all an agent has to do is just ask for the review or recommendation and they will get it. In my experience, the problem isn’t consumers having bad reviews of their agent, it’s the fact the agent never bothered to ask for the positive review. Oh and by the way, the best antidote for the unfortunate negative review is… a large number of positive reviews to ensure that the whole story gets told. I go out of my way to encourage agents to take full advantage of the goodwill they work so hard to engender with their clients.
For those of us considering a Real Estate agent to work with, having a track record of good customer reviews is now a must. For those in the business, the time to make a plan to gather them from our raving fans is now.