Is there an appropriate time to receive negative comments?
Writing what you think on the Internet requires a certain amount of courage, as it leaves you exposed to attacks, often disrespectful, from those who disagree with you.
Everyone loves to criticize and this is especially true when it comes to the blogosphere. Even if you probably don’t happen to read the often bad comments on YouTube or other portals, it is likely that starting a real estate blog, you will be subjected to the judgment of those who read your content.
If in real life we can choose to avoid those who do not like us, in the virtual world it is totally impossible! And failing to handle a stream of criticism can have serious consequences for your blog.
But there are good reasons to appreciate some negative feedback. In fact, allowing your users to express their opinion can be more than just a backlink source. However, most of the time real estate agents bloggers comment only to get noticed and only a very few understand the importance of this activity in forming lasting relationships with clients and adding value to your real estate agency’s website.
Furthermore, for some, negative comments are an incentive to improve their posts, for others they are simple provocations and do not deserve attention. Whatever the case may be, responding to negative comments is an art that requires a cool head, diplomacy and education.
As a real estate agent, how do you handle negative comments?
This article will provide you with useful tips for dealing with any type of negative judgment. You will probably learn something useful and start seeing negative comments from a different perspective, but… definitely more constructive!
Blog comments: when are they useful or harmful?
Real estate bloggers, whether they are brokers, consultants, business brokers or property finders, have a love-hate relationship with their comments section, for several reasons. Although the number of comments is useful for credibility, it is often not an indicator of actual readers, but of how much they dislike your post or article. In fact, 90% of readers do not actively participate in your blog but are limited only to reading what you publish.
Despite this, comments (whether they are negative or positive comments) can be very useful in achieving important benefits. Here are some of them:
- Discover new channels
Often and gladly you will find websites, links, information and downloads that are useful not so much through real online searches, but thanks to what people write in the comments. Also, a comment with a nice reflection on the topic will prompt users to visit the commenter’s website.
- Receiving further information on the subject
With a post, even if well structured, it is not possible to say everything you would like, while the information that users can add with their comments makes the content more organic and comprehensive.
Participating in comments on your blog shows the world that you are not a hermit and a one-way street. One-sided communication never works. You have to be willing to meet people outside of your social circles to gain some notoriety in the industry.
- Having Easier-to-Follow
Conversations Lots of conversations social media marketing strategies, sure, but they’re not always easy to follow. Some might be on Twitter (where following a discussion is like chasing the tail of a kite on a windy day), others on Google+. With blog comments, however, the whole discussion takes place in one place. Enabling the comments section thus makes it easier for readers to follow a discussion, allowing even latecomers to see what has already been saying.
- Having testimonials for your blog
If you see a list of four posts, three with “6 comments” listed and one with “145 comments” listed, which post will you read? Probably the post with 145 comments. Clearly, it is an interesting discussion and many people actively participate in it. We like to see what others are talking about, and we are more likely to participate in conversations where enough people are involved.
- Collecting new ideas for new content
Has this ever happened to you? Write a post that receives comments that seem like real themes. You will soon think that it is better to write a new blog post because the topic has expanded, all thanks to the comments section… which becomes a real source of inspiration!
- Create Direct Writer
Interaction The blog comment section is the best place to interact with the author and get feedback directly from the source. Having direct communication with the writer allows you to be much more involved. The comments on the blog in fact dispel misunderstandings allowing readers to have direct contact with the authors of the posts.
- Increase customer engagement
The comment theoretically also increases customer engagement, leading them to subscribe to the newsletter or even buy a property after requesting information.
What you have to avoid, however, is to accept comments such as “Nice post” or “Wow a great guide”, which do not add any kind of value. In fact, having a blog that is full of similar comments has serious consequences such as:
1. The loss of a competent commentator
When there are 10-20 comments in a post such as “Great post” “Useful post” and so on it is not worth spending 5-10 minutes to add a comment. Users prefer to switch to another blog that has smarter and more engaging comments.
2. The uncontrolled
increase in web space How many agents complain about the increase in management costs related to the size of the website database? Certainly not many, given the reluctance of Italian users to comment on real estate blogs, but there is the possibility that this occurs mainly due to the useless comments that are piled up in the blog posts day after day.
For this you can resort to remedies for example by implementing comments only through registration, and this will help you to have a screening of the subscribers to your website. This will also allow you to have more involved and better-profiled users, with the possibility of working with them in subsequent phases in terms of real estate web advertising in order to profit even directly.
7 good reasons to treasure negative comments on your real estate blog
Now that we have seen the importance of intelligently managing the often uncontrolled flow of comments, let’s try to deepen the advantages of also having constructive criticism, deriving from negative comments on your real estate blog. In fact, we have found seven benefits that negative comments can bring to your content marketing strategies for real estate agencies, here are:
1. They help you not to rest on your laurels
When you need to create compelling and coherent content at the same time, it’s easy to overlook your own sources of information along with the topics covered. Enabling comments ensures that in case you are neglecting the quality of your work, someone else will be there to tell you about it, and nothing can motivate you better than a critical reader.
2. They give you a second chance
Imagine that, despite your best efforts, you failed to impress one of your readers. Without the ability to comment, that person will likely no longer follow your blog, and you will have lost an important lead. Enabling comments will keep skeptical readers on your blog long enough to respond and prove them wrong.
3. Show that you listen to your readers
By enabling the comments section on your real estate blog and also dealing with negative comments, you are showing readers that you are interested in their opinions. By participating in the first-person conversation, you demonstrate that you are willing to leave your ivory tower and confront the audience. In any case, you are becoming more human and empathetic and readers prefer to do business with people who listen to them and respect their opinions: personal relationships in the real estate world count and not a little!
4. They improve and expand your content
Responding to comments is very different from writing content for your blog. In a way, it’s simpler: certain types of comments, for example, can provide you with a wide range of ideas to inspire you. However, comments require some diplomacy when writing, which is not the case in articles. Responding to negative comments also gives you a chance to develop your most critical part, which can come in handy when dealing with controversial topics with your customers.
5. They earn you the esteem of the readers
It may sound unpleasant, but providing quality criticism in the comments of other users’ posts can earn your audience’s esteem and create backlinks to your content. Just remember to be as respectful as possible and focus on the most followed blogs, otherwise, it will seem that you are only getting angry with the small audience. Alternatively, you can also grab the attention of the writers you admire by coming to their defense, thereby increasing your chances of getting publicity or having a guest post.
6. They give you more credibility
It turns out that the best thing for consumers is not to see negative reviews but to read transparent and trustworthy reviews. Seeing some negative ones is physiological, the consumer often goes to look for those: the user sees maybe 10 thousand reviews, but wonders what those who have not been satisfied with the service have to say. If he then sees that the agent has behaved well in case of issues, and has publicly responded to the review, then he will be more convinced to take the next step.
7. They help you check customer reviews
If you don’t let customers comment, it doesn’t mean they don’t comment on other websites. Customers also comment, often negatively, on other channels, so the agent will still have criticisms without being able to control them. When you receive negative comments, in addition to having useful information to improve your business, you also have a way to recover the relationship with the customer.
How to deal with negative property reviews and comments
In real estate transactions, constant follow-up and communication is required to satisfy customers, all while dealing with many customers at the same time. Sometimes, when things go wrong, customers can use other channels to communicate their frustration, which could make you think your business could be falling apart at any moment. Don’t let that happen! Here are some ways to avoid falling into total despair.
1. Keep calm and show users that you are listening to them
Most of the time, negative comments are used as a last resort by customers when they think they haven’t been heard or understood. Maybe it was a simple misunderstanding, or a bad day, or a text that was misread and misunderstood … In real estate, business is stressful and you, as your clients’ trusted real estate agent, need to try to keep calm. If you come across negative reviews or comments, you should always reply. An unanswered bad review becomes true in the eyes of the buyer. The most important thing is to let him know that you are listening to him and reading his feedback.
2. Respond quickly and kindly
Be proactive with your responses online. Think before you answer, and don’t be rude. This kind of professionalism shows that you care about your customers, regardless of the communication channel they use. For example, you could say:
“Hello, Marta! We are sorry that you had a bad experience with our service when buying your home. We have been operating in the real estate industry for over 25 years and have served hundreds of sellers and buyers in our city, always striving to offer the best possible experience to our customers. Clearly, we have let you down on your path, we apologize, let us know what we could do to fix it. “
3. Turn negative into positive
If you think customers are dissatisfied, try offering them a small gift card, a couple of tickets to a show, or a donation to a charity of their choice.
4. Make sure that reviews are under control
The best thing you can do to proactively check your reviews online is to ask for customer feedback within 7-10 days of completing a transaction. Offer them a way to write comments and communicate with you. Be available and provide simple means of communication.
5. Recognize the reader’s point of view
If a customer says something you disagree with, go out of your way to listen to them. In other words, create a “yes … but” response, writing at least one paragraph about why he is partly right. People always want to be right.
6. Ask questions to find out why the user doesn’t think the same way you do
Focus on statistical facts (data, data, data, with a minimum of emotion) and show how you reached your conclusions. Try to understand why the user has a different opinion from yours.
7. Always keep the discussion on the subject, not on the people
If you still disagree with whoever commented at the end of the discussion, acknowledge that you have a different opinion. Never tell a user “You are stupid” but “Your answer is not smart”. If the user persists in responding aggressively, stop responding to his provocations.
8. Use the “feel, felt, found” technique
When you fight back, talk about why your user is wrong: “I understand how you feel, but this is why you are wrong.”
9. Answer the most negative comment first
Answer the most negative comment first, remove your tooth right away.
10. Acknowledge your mistakes
If you were wrong and your mistake angered the user, admit that you are wrong. Do not attract the ire of other readers and do not be too proud, you risk driving users away from your blog.
How to increase comments on your real estate blog
To get more comments, you need to ask your users to comment!
At the end of each article, ask readers to share their opinions, experiences, and provide suggestions for improving your blog posts. Various studies have shown that using “open questions” or explicit requests generates more comments.
Monitor your comments and provide valuable responses.
If you want to increase the comments on your website, do your best to provide your users with useful and comprehensive answers.
Also, when you write comments, write them correctly, double-check what you wrote, ask questions, and always address the user by name.
When replying to comments, you show users that you care about their opinion. Cite industry bloggers and maybe let them know about your post or comment. This approach can lead to profitable collaborations and higher traffic volumes for you and your partners.
Simplify the process for commenting
If you want to increase the comments, you need to make the process as simple as possible. Avoid having systems on your website or real estate blog that require users to log in before leaving a comment.
Give space to all the opinions of your users
Create a real community and welcome the opinions of users. Perhaps, these may not agree with what you wrote in your article or with a comment you left. However, try to welcome them in a positive and constructive way. But be careful: this type of comment is different from those left by so-called “trolls”, users who often leave offensive responses both to you and to other readers.
Remember, therefore, that not all negative reviews are harmful, and knowing how to respond correctly becomes an opportunity to show that you care about customer satisfaction, which will have important results in your real estate business. Hopefully, this article will help you deal with comments that are, so to speak, not quite friendly.
As a real estate agent, have you had experiences with negative comments that you would like to share? Tell us your story in the… well… comment below!