Word of mouth recommendation can be the most powerful marketing tool there is, for any business – including estate agents. This extends to leaving feedback on a reviews site, as well as recommending a business to a friend or neighbour. However, a surprising number of organisations are undervaluing or ignoring the effect these reviews can have on their marketing efforts.
BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2016 found that 74% of people will trust a business more if they read positive reviews, and 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as they would a personal recommendation. A huge 90% of consumers will make up their mind about a business after reading less than 10 reviews.
What does this mean for estate agents?
Statistics like this show that customers looking for all kinds of businesses and brands are placing more importance on review sites than ever before. A positive review of your services can work wonders when it comes to winning consumer trust and building your brand reputation – as well as bringing in new business, of course.
Some review sites are more credible than others, however. Websites such as Which? and MoneySavingExpert for example, are well respected by consumers. These have the authority and credibility of being independent reviewers, rather than aggregated and unverified customer reviews. If you can win a good review on these sites, or avoid a bad one, you could see a surge in new business.
Just as crucial as winning positive reviews is to respond properly to negative ones, especially when you’re an estate agent with lots of competition to contend with. Commenting on a recent Property Reporter article, social media expert Peter Watson from agency Chatty Imp warns against ignoring bad reviews:
“Unfortunately, bad reviews are a fact of life for agents. There will always be occasions when a client is unhappy about the service they have received and will take to the net to complain about their experience. The important thing for agents to remember, is how they respond to the bad review is very public. Potential new clients will check out reviews and look at how bad reviews are handled. This gives them an indication of how good the agent’s customer service is.”