Can you trust online reviews of real estate agents? Episode #311

Hello. Welcome to Todd Miller TV. The subject of the video today is, are online reviews for real agents reliable? So, if you’ve noticed in the past, most real estate agents have used testimonials on their website as their social proof that they’re a good agent.

So, you’ll go on to an agent website and you’ll have all these things that are just written into the website. “Oh, we loved our agent. He did a great job. Bill and Susie R.” Right? And you don’t know if that’s really a person or if the agents just wrote all that down there. OK. And of course, if somebody said something negative, they’re not going to put it on the website, right?

So, we have these online review sites now for real estate agents. Yelp is a big one that people use for a lot of other things. But Zillow and Trulia are really the biggest ones especially Zillow. Zillow is the largest for reviews. So I’m going to talk about those individually and why for the most part they are, they are accurate. This is why.

If somebody has a negative experience or not a really good experience with an agent, they’re going to go find out and they’re going to hunt them down and put on their social media sites and stuff a negative comment, OK? So, if some agents have 30 positive reviews, they’re all five stars. This is what happened. What that means is that if that agent called all of their past clients, he’d say, “Hey look, there’s this thing now. Can you go on the site and write me a good review?” And they’d sent them the link. And you’ll notice that the agent may have just signed up like two months ago on one of these sites, Zillow or Yelp and all of a sudden, they got all these reviews but – and they’ll even say in the review, “Oh, I bought the house five years ago.”

But that’s – see, that’s not a bad thing because anybody who’s had a bad experience that is paying attention is going to go find that and say, “Hey, wait a minute. I want to dispute. I want to put my own comment in there.” So, a couple of things to look for, one, if like it’s January 1st and all the reviews were all written in December, maybe there hasn’t been enough time for people that have negative comments to put them. But if you look back and see reviews from like a year ago or something that is a good indication.

Can you trust online reviews of real estate agents?

Also, if all the reviews were like done on the same day, that’s not necessarily terrible because like I said, that probably the agent or their assistant sent out a blast email to all the past clients and all the past clients went on roughly at the same time and did it. So – but over time, this process will be even better because you’ll be able to look back over years and years because right now if an agent did something – didn’t treat a client very well ten years ago, it’s very hard to find that out.

But now, it’s much easier because of social media and agents market their social media. And the agents will say on their website, “Look at my Zillow reviews.” And if you have a bad experience, that’s actually incentivizing a person to go in there and give a bad review.

So even more so, if the agents are putting themselves out there saying, “Hey, I’m doing a great job. Here’s a proof of it. And by the way, if you don’t like great job I’m doing, go write something negative and I’ll dispute it if it’s not valid.”

I did a video blogging for three years. I’ve never had a client go on and write something negative. I had somebody who worked with another agent who couldn’t find anything on that agent so they posted all the stuff about this other agent on my thing and the review sites took them down because I said, “Hey, this isn’t me.” It even says in there it was an associate or another agent.

So my take is that review sites are valid. So if you’re on Zillow or if you’re looking on Yelp and you see reviews, that they are legitimate and that they’re not made up. They’re actually the people that bought a house with that agent and so I think that’s – I think that’s a good resource anyway. And that doesn’t mean that if an agent doesn’t have reviews online that they’re not a good agent. It just means that they’re not – maybe they don’t get it or they’re not using that type of thing to get people to understand their business.  Can you trust online reviews of real estate agents?

So having been done this for three years, it’s – I’m easy to find out about and all that. So it’s just a path I’ve decided to take. I don’t think a lousy agent would do that, put themselves out there like that.

So anyway, I just thought I’d share my opinion with you about online real estate agent reviews. And that’s my update and hope to see you on another video. Thanks.

Can you trust online reviews of real estate agents?