Leading reviews website AllAgents.co.uk has urged agents to engage with customers who give them one or two-star ratings and revealed that only 25% of agents who receive them post replies.
The website says more agents are doing it – nine years ago only 5% of its agents responded to poor or critical reviews.
These comments were made to The Negotiator after we ran a story earlier this week highlighting a Countrywide agency in the South of England who had decided to change its policy and begin engaging with poor online reviews.
Several agents have said they are surprised by the agent’s previous online reviews strategy, including Guy Hodge who is now runs an industry recruitment firm but used to run his own agency, Lords, until 2014.
“As a former estate agent, I read and replied to every post that was made about my firm, positive or negative,” he says.
“I thanked those who gave us a positive review, and always looked at what we may have done wrong to receive a negative review.
“We tried to look at a negative post from the poster’s perspective and examine what we could have done better and how we could improve our service.
“We found that in most cases, our failing was usually one of a lack of communication rather than a failure of process, but we would always respond to the poster and address the issues raised.”
AllAgents’ director Martin McKenzie (left) says agents should reply to comments both for customer service reasons but also because agents who respond to criticisms have their AllAgent profiles automatically raised up Google search results.
“If they do answer poor reviews – or good ones too – then they are therefore more likely to be shortlisted for instruction,” he says.
“Comments from customers and replies by agents are moderated because if we didn’t do that then other agents could pretend to be competitors, and they have to do it via their website domain address for that to happen.”