What to do with a bad Online Review

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Suburban

What to do with a bad online review

It was bound to happen sooner or later depending on how long you've been in this business. I've got bad internet reviewsmany great reviews & like other agents I try to put them wherever they will get looked at the most. Since I rarely look at reviews personally, I was totally all wrong on where these 'gems' belong. As it turns out an answer to a response will get just as much traction as the review itself. Don't ignore this opportunity. Notice I'm not taking this as a bad thing, but as a chance to show your professionalism & let someone complain if they feel it necessary.

How the hell it all started .....

Got a google alert about Yelp which I never really go to unless I am really upset with a company or service to leave my own scathing review. I also want to mention that I also leave reviews when things go pleasantly right. How about you? Yelp shouldn't only be for complainers.

How it really went wrong ....

I have to say that I was surprised how the review spread just like a bad case of poison oak. That was my fault & just made the whole process take longer & more painful than necessary. You see, I've ignored a few of my profiles on a couple of sites that I don't like. Let's start with the first one called Zillow. I had realized that I did not keep up my profile there for probably 3 years. Not good. Even if you don't like the site, I'm sure you realize that your clients hang out there on a regular basis. Make yourself look top notch. It was actually a hassle adding my response to the bad review because I didn't have the correct email in the site & a bunch of other things where 'claiming' was involved. It was way more work than it needed to be & I thank Debe Maxwell with help on how to handle the whole thing.

Then it gets worse ....

Just like that poison oak reference there was more! That bad review spread everywhere and quickly! In Yelp I found out that I had 3 accounts, 2 business & 1 personal. Who knows when I decided that was a great idea but the seller left a review on my business account which I wasn't even aware I had!  The accounts were so old the correct emails & other things had to be reverified which took around 3 days. Time .... time ... time I kept thinking.  All the seller had to do was hit the enter key.

Oh no .... more poison oak & we're out of calamine!

So here comes Realtor.com which I have also ignored it seems even longer than Zillow!  Yikes! Nothing was correct there at all.  It just so happens that I think this site is the least horrible so why did I ignore it? Seems that I opted in for reviews to be sent there automatically - who knew!  My board offers a great review program called Real Satisfied. They were all in there which was wonderful but so was that nasty one that the seller placed in each site.  So this seller was so pissed he signed into every real estate site on the planet to dis me with the same few sentences.

I answered each one in each site & it took me about a week with password updates, verifying, etc.  As I said, it would have been much less painful if my profiles were up to date. Each site has its own set of rules & ways to go about it so I can't even give you tips on how to get it done.  I felt a sense of urgency doing the whole process as I felt the seller had a 5 day lead on me. Like 5 days = 5 miles in a foot race.

I left a good rebuttal to the seller keeping it strictly business & just with the facts. On a couple of the sites, he will be notified of my response with no ability for him to keep up the slander. Plus one for my side!

After all this I think that I should have written a thank you to other buyers or sellers who REALLY took the time (hassle factor) to write a recommendation. I think this would be a good thing to add to your internet tool box.  

Hope you learned something here from all this & good luck if you are reading this with your own bad review.


August 23rd Update:  On Yelp Business Reviews you are able to see when the person viewed your response to the complaint. That actually set off the call to my broker I believe.

Homes.com does not have the ability for reviews so no problems there.



Posted by


lyn sims remax suburban  Lyn Sims    Schaumburg IL Area    Northwest Chicago Suburbs  ●  (847)230-7324

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Bartender, Make it a Double
online reputation
online review

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Oh boy, another aspect of the internet to manage. Agents are targets when things may not go as expected. Some bad reviews are deserved, while others are clearly not. Thanks for the reminder to go and update all platforms Lyn!

Aug 20, 2018 06:42 PM #28
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thanks for sharing tthis post, Lyn.  I am going to check those sites tomorrow and check all my profiles and reviews.

Aug 20, 2018 07:25 PM #29
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Lyn Sims 
Congrat's on the Feature -- lots of good advice!
When Brad Andersohn was with AR and teaching us, he suggested answering every review received. While I wish I had followed many more of his suggestions, replying to reviews is one suggestion I did take up and follow. And it paid off... One online contact said he contacted me because I had taken the time to respond to reviews. That felt good!

OK -- I know this is long ... BUT -- several years back when talking to Brad, I mentioned how he had said one bad review makes all the others look better and that a 4.9 might be better than a 5.0 average. In that conversation, he asked me if I remembered another of his sayings - "Don't believe everything that Brad tells you!"

With fond regards to my FIRST ActiveRain friend - Lynn in Atlanta

Aug 20, 2018 07:47 PM #30
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Such sage advice, Lynn! I need to get on that and respond to reviews. I always thank them via email or a phone call but, it would be nice to publicly acknowledge the kind words and the time they took to write them.

I'm so glad you were able to get to the response - that would have eaten me up if I couldn't respond to them. I saw the review and your response and I think you did a great job!

Happy Tuesday, Lyn!

Aug 21, 2018 05:27 AM #32
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I like Real Satisfied. I'm at the point, though, where I need to decide whether to pay for the service! Otherwise, I can't use it. I hate paying for stuff, LOL.

Aug 21, 2018 06:05 AM #33
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I've never been a fan of having my business spread all over different sites. I know it's a good business practice to get your name out there, but good business practice has never been my strong suit.

I deleted my Linked-In account not too long ago because I was tired of getting the notifications. 

All the "password" and updating you had to do must have been such a hassle. As you stated, maintenance of the sites would have prevented that part of the nightmare. Happy to hear you got it all resolved, and your story will serve as a warning to others to get their sites in order. 

Aug 21, 2018 06:44 AM #34
Paula Zaluski
Action Realty - Sebastian, FL
20 years of Real Estate Experience.

I know exactly what your saying. I've been working on all of my profiles, what a pain. I've found it's easier to pay someone that likes to work with that. I also try not to sign up with to many and If I have to pay, I'm very particular.  P.S. I can't stand Zillow. 

Aug 21, 2018 08:18 AM #35
Ron McCord
RE/MAX - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Residential/Multi Family Sales S. Florida

I received a fake review because I commented on a sports site about football. One of the fans tracked me down with their fake profile and wrote a false review...... 

Aug 21, 2018 08:53 AM #36
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc. - Camden, NJ
28 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area

Wow, what a fiasco! I must say that I admire your tenacity and determination.

Reminds me that this is something I really need to do for myself.

Aug 21, 2018 09:02 AM #37
Denise Copeland
Mirsky Realty Group - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Jupiter Abacoa Sales & Beach Front Luxury Homes

I received a 1 star rating on my Facebook business page from someone I don’t even know. I reached out to my customers, friends and family who thankfully responded with positive feedback and helped bury a bogus negative review. The internet isn’t easy to control!

Aug 21, 2018 09:25 AM #38
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

You present a fantastic and timely reminder for us all, Lyn Sims ... so thank you.  And as you say, it's only a matter of time.  Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc. is 110% right.  You can't make some happy, no matter what you do.  You viewed this from the right perspective ... and acted positively. (With some real perseverance and grit too, I may add).  It was a learning experience ... one we all share in ...

Thanks again for sharing,


Aug 21, 2018 12:57 PM #39
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Postings of reviews on the Internet, whether positive or negative IMO is useless. How does anyone know if the poster or review is legitimate? It could be posted by a marketer or competitor and you wouldn't know, wouldn't you?

Unknown referral sources should not be used to determine the authenticity of performance by service providers or product satisfaction. Millions of people use the reviews to help make decisions, yet, would you seek opinions from others to select a forever partner? For small purchase decisions, it might be ok, however, I choose to make all my decisions from people I know. 

Aug 21, 2018 01:45 PM #40
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is a good reminder!  Fortunately I haven't had to deal with this. When I read an unfavorable online review of a business--if it's especially nasty I try not to let it influence me too much. If there are several reviews complaining about the same issue...that's different.  Good post

Aug 22, 2018 08:59 AM #41
Chuck Tanner
Keller Williams Realty - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker "Let's Get You Moving"

I stay away from Yelp they are way to powerful. If someone writes a review about you on Yelp and you don't have an account with them they will send you an email and ask you if you want to claim that business. I had an REO listing about 5 years ago. Appraisal came in low, bank said no, buyers aggreed to come out of pocket but not all the way to the sales price, could not give the buyers an answer because the bank was away at a conference, (sorry for the runons trying to shorten my story) When the bank came back into town they agreed to take the buyers offer but the buyers had alread found another home. They were mad and wrote a review on Yelp, not attacking me but the process plus they had a negative agent. Yelp sent me an email and ask me if I wanted to accept Chuck Tanner Solid Source Realty, I said sure not really knowing who Yelp was. BIG MISTAKE! When someone googled my name it came up #1 on Google with a one star review. I had 6 clients post positive reviews and Yelp hid them. I sent Yelp 2 letters and thankfully they removed the negative review as I had never met those people and they said that review did not conform to their guidelines.....Whooo!  Now Yelp is trying to follow me to another Company. I told them I did not claim the new business address and want no part of them. They still have it up (not the negative review but my name with my new Company, no reviews). I only claimed the one business Solid Source. I am no longer with Solid Source. 

Aug 22, 2018 09:26 AM #42
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Lyn, so sorry for your experience and yet we all have them.  There are too many sites to keep up with and you can't ignore them either.  I try to keep up the best I can but also don't sacrifice working with clients.

Aug 23, 2018 04:34 AM #43
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Lyn... so glad you made it all work out in the end. I always knew there was a reason I've kept all my on-line profiles up to date with at least an annual review... I just didn't know how much it could help in a situation like this.

Aug 23, 2018 04:35 AM #44
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Lots of recent posts about the negative reviews.  The way to handle these seems well thought out by everyone here in this community.  

Aug 23, 2018 12:28 PM #45
Missy Banks
Allen Tate Real Estate | AgentBecky.com | MissyBanks.com - Charlotte, NC

Great post.  Bound to happen as it is always the unhappy person looks to write reviews.  

Aug 23, 2018 01:54 PM #46
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Ouch!  What a painful process for you to log-in and rebut those comments.  Thanks for the advice on keeping those sites current :)

Aug 23, 2018 06:23 PM #47
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Lyn Sims 
Enjoyed reading about your journey!
BTW - I learned this from Brad Andersohn ---
"As it turns out an answer to a response will get just as much traction as the review itself. Don't ignore this opportunity."
ll the best - Lynn

Oct 10, 2018 02:35 PM #48
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Lyn Sims

Schaumburg IL Real Estate
Need help with Schaumburg Area Real Estate?
Spam prevention

Additional Information