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The review culture is here to stay

10 March 2011

As many readers will know, I am an unashamed convert to Twitter, and I am always struck by the effect it has had on consumer behaviour. It is now the norm for consumers to use the internet to comment on brands, products and services, and their reviews can then go on to have a significant impact on a company’s reputation.

This is a profound cultural change that has been ushered in by social networking. However, it represents a new challenge for companies as they have no control over what might be written about them.

So how should estate agents approach the potential minefield that is social media? While the first reaction of many would be to try to ignore it, in fact I would argue it is essential that agents are part of the debate taking place about their own service.

The only credible response to the new reality of the consumer review culture is to embrace it: If you can’t beat ‘em, join them. If people will be commenting on your service come what may, it clearly then pays to be part of the debate, highlighting good customer care, confronting and resolving negative comments and publicising positive reviews, rather than crossing fingers and hoping no-one says something negative.

When we launched Agent Tracker, there was certainly some scepticism. Now however, agents are realising that if they offer a good service, the positive customer reviews which follow can help generate new instructions. Highlighting high standards in the industry might also finally do away with estate agents' undeserved bad reputation and instead demonstrate how essential they are to the home buying and selling process.

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