We’ve all been there. You get that Facebook notification on your business page and think “hooray, my followers are engaging with me!” and then you see the dreaded negative comment or review…now what? Don’t panic, nearly every business deals with a negative review or comment now and then. It can be scary since Facebook is a very public platform, but how you handle it can help improve your appearance (or hurt it if not done gracefully).
Here are our 6 tips for responding to negativity on your real estate Facebook page:
1. Respond in a Timely Manner
Ideally, your response time should be within 15 minutes, but anywhere under an hour typically makes a good impression. The reason you should act promptly is really two-fold. First, social media is extremely public, so these comments (good or bad) are instantly viewable for your other fans and followers. We’ve all seen companies that simply ignore these less-than-stellar reviews and can’t help but wonder if the company cares at all about its customer.
Secondly, the longer you wait to respond to the comment, the more aggravated the person who wrote it is likely will become. Addressing issues as they arise can really set you apart from your competition. Acknowledging the concern or complaint is extremely important and offering a chance to make it right will typically go a long way. In some cases, this may not be possible but when other followers see you have tried, that leaves them with a more favorable impression of your values what your brand represents.
2. Make Your Response Public so Others Can See How You've Handled the Comment
As real estate agents and marketers, we often struggle with how public we want our response to be. While you could simply send a private message, you would be leaving your followers and potential leads in the dark as to how you handle adversity.
If you feel the situation would be best resolved through a private message or email, simply respond to then comment publicly, letting the person know that you have sent them a message privately to discuss their concerns.
3. Be Polite
As the saying goes, “don’t burn bridges behind you.” This is especially true of past and present clients. Taking the high road when it comes to dealing with complaints and concerns will benefit you in the moment and in the months and years to follow. With such wide spread use of the internet, word travels fast. If you respond in a negative way to reviews or comments, word will get out that you are difficult to work with.
Do you remember the Amy’s Baking Company debacle? In short, Scottsdale, Arizona restaurant owners were featured on Gordon Ramsey’s show “Kitchen Nightmares.” In his show, Ramsey visits failing restaurants and gives them a much needed overhaul. In this case, however, the owners were so rude that Chef Ramsey walked away from them. After that, Amy’s Baking Company was bombarded with scathing reviews on Yelp and basically any other social media platform you can image!
The owners responded to these complaints by blaming their customers, cursing and telling these patrons to never come back and even threatening to stab a customer due to a poor review! Their Yelp page instantly went viral as a result. While the business experienced a slight surge in curious customers hoping to see the drama they watched unfold on TV, not long after, the restaurant closed. They have since reopened, but one glance at their current reviews and responses show that they have learned very little.
The takeaway here is that you must always be polite and considerate. If you aren’t, you are going to create an even larger and more intense issue.
4. Keep Your Response Short
Address the problem head on and leave it at that. The wordier you get, the more room for interpretation you are leaving open. If the response requires more questions or more explanation, simply use the technique we mentioned earlier, leave a short comment and then reach out to the person directly and privately.
5. Leave Emotion Out of Your Response
As an agent, your brand is 100% you and when you receive criticism it can feel like a personal attack. Sure, you can feel hurt or maybe even a bit angry, but these emotions must never ever make their way into your responses. As the above-mentioned example of Amy’s Baking Company shows us, emotion can simply add more fuel to the fire.
If this is difficult for you, try and picture that this is someone else’s business and you are simply hired for reputation management.
6. Ask Others for Reviews
So now that you have addressed the issue, you’re likely tempted to delete the comment, but here’s why you shouldn’t. Think about the last time you shopped online and read reviews. If you saw only 5 star reviews weren’t you slightly skeptical that they weren’t even real?
We know you are thinking, but I don’t want this negative review to be front and center on my page. No worries! The easiest way to combat this is to ask other clients to leave their reviews as well. Obviously, you will want to choose those who have had a particularly positive experience with you and before long, the negative comment will be buried in a pile of positive ones.
See? Handling a little negativity on your Facebook business page is not the end of the world. It’s common to have differences of opinion or slight clashes with clients, especially if you’ve been in the real estate industry for a while. Use this as a learning experience and a chance to improve any areas of your business that might be causing a negative outlook. You simply can’t win them all, and there inevitably be someone who disagrees with you, but you can control how you react and ultimately, it can help your reputation in the long run
If you would like some help managing your Facebook presence, PropertyPulse can help build your reputation and sphere of influence. Want to see how it works?