How Word of Mouth Is Evolving With Online Reviews
Word of mouth is huge in the real estate business, and that’s not just hearsay; 42 percent of homebuyers are referred by a friend, neighbor or relative. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over other forms of advertising. But did you know that 88 percent of consumers put as much trust in online reviews as they do personal recommendations?
Here are five ways online reviews can affect your business:
- Online reviews matter to customers —
62 percent of homebuyers are more likely to contact a real estate agent who has reviews that were clearly posted by real clients.
- You’re being judged —
85 percent of consumers read online reviews, and 67 percent form an opinion after reading six reviews or fewer.
- Word-of-mouth referrals are doing their homework —
43 percent of homebuyers perform Internet research on recommended real estate agents before making contact.
- Positive reviews generate leads — After reading a positive review, 72 percent of consumers will take action, and 69 percent of agents say that leads stemming from online reviews are relatively easy to convert.
- Negative reviews are more likely —
95 percent of customers who have had a bad experience told someone about it, compared to only 87 percent who shared a good experience.
Responding to Negative Online Reviews
Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. In fact, 68 percent of consumers are more likely to trust reviews when both good and bad ratings are shown. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Instead, take the opportunity to show the world your customer service skills.
Thank the reviewer for bringing the problem to your attention, address any legitimate concerns, and begin working toward a satisfactory resolution. Even if you feel it’s safer to take the discussion offline, be sure to follow up online so future readers can see that you cared enough to resolve the issue. After all, 53 percent of people say they like a business more if they see a direct reply from a company to a customer.
Are you giving online reviews the attention they deserve?
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