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 many 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.