Elite AgentEPMEPM: Customer Service

What to do about that bad review

In a world where everyone can be an instant writer, reviewer and publisher, you’re bound to come across someone not happy with your service. Tara Bradbury explains how to generate great online reviews – and what to do when a bad one comes in.

Today I want to focus on rating websites, which is an area we all love.

There are so many to choose from, and you need to work out which ones will get you the most leverage and best position online, so you’re visible to the consumer.

The problem is how do we get the consumer to share across all review portals and websites.

And how is it that some agencies generate 200-plus reviews on all of them.

The answer is simple. They have not fallen into the trap of setting and forgetting.

I can guarantee they expect the team to be in sales mode constantly and have regular targets that must be hit each month, especially when it comes to personal review and performance.

If you have a team of 10 staff, imagine if they all secured one review each month.

That would bring in 10 reviews each month and 120 reviews over a calendar year.

When you hit those figures, you need to look at how many reviews are negative and whether you’re prepared for this as you continue to grow.

Just like losing a property management, receiving a negative review is heartbreaking and often out of your control.

Building a strong base of supporters is where you will retain your power in the marketplace and the consumer does not expect five-star reviews from real estate agents.

I encourage the people I work with to ensure online presence is demonstrating a four-star rating and up, but not to become overwhelmed by five-star perfection.

Here are my five tips to help increase your digital reviews and improve your brand awareness.

1. A week after a new tenant has moved in, request a review from them and the landlord

2. If you are in a larger organisation, set up team challenges to achieve more reviews

3. Connect with your clients through social media and share review links

4. Write reviews for businesses when you have a great experience

5. If you do receive a bad review, make sure you respond as it shows you still have a human behind the brand.

You can put a process in for generating reviews, just as you can for finding new leads to grow your rent roll.

However, even during significant growth and a period where you feel like you’re on fire review-wise, there will always be one negative one that rocks the boat.

At that moment it can be hard to control your disappointment but don’t forget about all of the other positive reviews you have received that month.

The worst thing you can do is put too much focus on one negative review.

Instead, follow the next five steps.

1. Don’t respond in rage to prove a point, even if you believe you are right

2. Find out if the team knows the reviewer or the story behind the review and get their contact details

3. If you connect with them over the phone, listen and hear them out, regardless of any personal or team opinions

4. If you can’t reach them on the phone, share a comment on the post requesting a meeting to discuss the issue

5. Offer a solution, and regardless of whether they agreed or not, you need to ensure you have commented as the business. If the reviewer agrees to the solution, ask if they are willing to remove the review.

If I think back to when I was a BDM, the social media review space was very new and our focus was collecting and sharing reviews just on our website.

While this space can be a powerful way to establish and build your brand, it can also be uncomfortable as growing a rent roll.

The key to review management is consistency.

Make sure you take every chance to generate your next review.

Note: Elite Agent Pro Members can access more about managing online reviews here.

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Tara Bradbury

Tara Bradbury is the Director of the BDM Academy sharing her business development ideas and strategies with property management BDM’s and Principals. For more information visit bdmacademy.com.au.