Before Web 2.0, if you provided good service it was widely regarded that people would tell a handful of their friends about their great experience. But, if your service was poor or you did something wrong then they would tell 20 people.
Well, what used to be Word of Mouth, has now become World of Mouth, simply because it is now very easy for people to share their customer experiences with their friends over the web.
One of the most powerful examples of a customer using Social Media to complain about receiving poor service was a song written by Dave Carroll, uploaded to YouTube about United Airlines breaks guitars.
Whilst I appreciate that customer reviews over the internet aren’t a recent thing & understand that people have been posting reviews about products & services on the web via blogs, forums & social networks for quite some time.
For example, here’s the real estate section of an Australian site called Product Review.
However, recently I’ve noticed that there have been some important developments regarding customer reviews which could have a big impact on real estate agents.
1. New Australian Real Estate Agent Review Site:- Realty Ref
A new site has just been launched called Realty Ref where the site asks customers to share their real estate customer experience.
The site is currently asking consumers to share their experience based on…
“Feel cheated? Tricked or pressured? Lied to? Warn Others: Or Recommend Great Service.”
Unfortunately, with the public perception of real estate agents still below par, as per the annual Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey, real estate agent review sites like this are likely to become an online real estate complaints department.
2. Customer Reviews Located At The Top Of Google Search
The other day I was checking the ranking of a real estate agent’s site in Balmain & searched Google for the keyword “Balmain Real Estate Agent”.
At the top of the search Google came up with “Local business results for real estate agent near Balmain NSW”, plus a map & a list of 10 real estate agents identified from ‘A’ to ‘J’.
Amongst the list of agents that appeared, 2 real estate agencies had customer reviews appearing right beside their listing on Google.
Whilst the reviews weren’t bad reviews, one was definitely better than the other & could impact which agent a potential customer selected.
3. Customer Reviews via Mobile Phone.
There are a couple of major developments that are happening in the world of Augmented Technology that I read about in a post by Jeff Bernheisel.
Augmented Reality allows places to be identified using a collection of data that has been uploaded onto the web.
Augmented ID uses similar technology to identify people’s faces. Here’s a quick video from TAT demonstrating this mobile phone face recognition technology.
Imagine going to a Listing Presentation & before signing the agency agreement, the potential seller points their phone at you to check you out. Alternatively, imagine being able to use Augmented ID via your mobile phone to identify the people visiting an open home.
Whichever way it happens, customers armed with easy access to customer reviews, whether they be good or bad reviews, will have an impact on our industry as we move forward.