We know, we know, negative reviews are always bad…or are they? Have we been looking at them all wrong?
We live in an era dominated by online reviews. Whether its a product, service or company, the Internet has revolutionized how consumers interact with business in the 21st century, and real estate is no exception, with the pages of Yelp, Trulia and certain brokerages filled to the brim with consumer reviews – and not all of them good.
Because of the potential for negative reviews, many real estate agents view the online-review system with understandable skepticism. Could negative reviews, though, actually be a good thing for your real estate business? Here are three interesting things to consider:
1. Negative reviews are inevitable – Godard Abel, the CEO and founder of business review company G2 Crowd, put it best in a recent Inc. article: “No matter how good a product, someone somewhere isn’t going to like something about it.” In your real estate career, you’ll work with quite a few clients of various backgrounds and motivations, and chances are quite high that someone, somewhere down the line, will write some unflattering things about you on the Internet.
2. Negative reviews generate discussions – Because of the inevitability of negative reviews, Abel suggests that entrepreneurs see them not as a barrier, but as an opportunity for engagement. Here’s how he put it: “As a business owner you just have to be comfortable with the idea that having some complaints out there is OK. Then you can join the conversation and respond specifically to that consumer’s complaint. It just increases trust and authenticity.”
So with that in mind, why not respond to a negative review, should one pop up? Why not engage with the person, and show potential clients that you not only take the reviewer’s concerns seriously, but are actively trying to better your business? Such actions can be powerful indicators to potential clients.
3. Negative reviews are great for trust (and clicks) – Finally, the very presence of negative reviews can actually help your business. According to a recent study by Reevoo, 68 percent of consumers trust online reviews more when they see both negative and positive reviews, while 30 percent are suspicious of pages that have no negative reviews. Moreover, negative reviews generate considerable interest from Web browsers; according to Abel, negative reviews on G2 Crowd receive 200 to 300 percent more clicks than positive reviews.