How to HEAR, Respond, and Win Back Negative Reviewers


The following is our real estate marketing winning “HEAR” strategy for turning negative reviewers into happy customers.


As an active REALTOR® or broker in your community, there is always someone talking about you on the Internet, likely through online reviews. Positive reviews can help you gain a competitive advantage and win potential customers right away. Negative reviews, whether they are posted on Facebook, Yelp, or Google, can be costing you business. Negative online reviews sour potential customers towards your business and even shut your business down if left to fester long enough. 

No one is saying you must maintain a five-star reputation. No business is perfect and many consumers understand. It is only when there are more negative reviews than positive ones that you will have to take major corrective measures.

The following is our real estate marketing winning “HEAR” strategy for turning negative reviewers into happy customers. We guarantee that once the issue is resolved, the consumer will edit the contents of the review to include the positive:

  1. Hear Them Out!

With online reviews, the message is clearly laid out for you. Read the message in its entirety. Make note of specific keywords that customer used because they will be helpful for the reply you are about to give.  Make sure you understand what the customer is trying to convey and why they are feeling the way they are. 


If the message is not clear, ask a friend or an online reputation management company to read it and provide you with their interpretation. Ask customer for clarification as last resort or if no explanation is provided.

  1. Empathize:

Always begin your reply with a message that conveys your deep understanding of how the customer feels. Make it seem as though you are happy that they brought their concerns to your attention and that you are committed to making things better for them.


Sample Message: “Thank you for providing us with feedback on our [specify the services] services!  Such feedback is important to our growth, our understanding of customer needs, and creating more meaningful customer experiences.”

  1. Apologize:

An apology must always be sincere. Use the opportunity to acknowledge the standard of care in which the customer feels you have fallen short with. As well, make mention of the standard of care that you strive to provide for all customers that walk through your doors.


Sample Message: “We are disappointed that we fell short of your expectations when [use the opportunity to customize the message specific to the customer]. We are prepared to work even harder to regain your confidence and trust as we are committed to [customize message with values, mission statement, goals etc.]”

  1. Lead the Customer to a Resolution:

One way to lead a customer to a resolution is by asking questions. For example, “What can we do to resolve this issue for you?” There are risks in asking an open ended question such as this, but most people just want their complaint to be heard and acknowledged. In case the customer asks for something you are not comfortable doing, you can say, “I appreciate that you would like me to do that for you. I am, unfortunately, not in a position to do that. What I can do is…” And be prepared to follow through on your promise.


Why respond to negative reviews?

The reality is that potential customers trust online reviews as much as their friends, and negative real estate SEO on top can persuade them not to do business with you. This is especially true as mobile technologies make it a simple matter to check these reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Google. In many cases, all your would-be customer has to do is point their phone at your sign. Who wants a negative review to be the first thing a potential customer sees?


Did you enjoy this blog post? 

Reach out to one of our Online Marketing Specialists to learn more about how we can help you grow your real estate business online.

Real Estate Marketing



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  • anon
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    Jan 29, 2019

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