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Negative Online Reviews: Real or Fake?

By Janelle D. 2 min read |

You're enjoying your real estate career when you notice someone posted a negative online review about you. Oh no! You start wondering if you can have it removed, if you should comment on the review, or reach out to the reviewer. Let's look at real and fake real estate agent reviews and how you can handle them in the best possible way without negatively impacting your real estate business.


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Reasons people write negative real estate agent reviews:

  • You didn't provide enough service to deserve the commission you earned
  • You wouldn't let them out of a buyer representation agreement
  • You were unavailable and didn't make time for them
  • You made false claims when representing them


Ask around your office, and you'll likely run across an agent who has received a negative review. Bad online reviews are rare, but they take the wind out of your sails when you receive one. When you receive a terrible review, start by determining if it's fake or real.


Research the Reviewer


When you receive a negative review, look closely at the reviewer's name. Don't recognize the name? Look for them in your CRM system, and talk to your real estate team to see if this person is a client or lead. Research the reviewer to learn as much as you can about them, including if they've made other suspicious reviews.


If you determine that the review is fake, you may be able to have it removed by contacting the company where the review was posted. Send them your information and what you've discovered about the reviewer.


Unfounded Review From a Client


Sometimes negative reviews are posted by upset customers but are unfounded. Let's say you represented a homebuyer who had difficulty finding a home in their price range because of low housing inventory. After searching for months, your client decides to wait a year before looking at more homes hoping that the market improves. Within days you see a negative review online from your client.


"I do not recommend working with Sally Agent. She was lazy and did very little to find me a home. I feel like the time I spent looking for a house over the last two months was a waste of time. I could have saved time and money working with a more professional agent who knew what she was doing."


Seeing a review like this from a client, you thought you left on good terms is most unexpected and troubling. You worked hard for this client, showing homes every week, emailing housing market reports, and chatting on Zoom calls every other day. It is imperative that you politely reply to their review, asking them to email you details about their experience and let them know you'll follow up to resolve the issue.


Display integrity and show everyone you're willing to make things right when replying to a negative online review.


Whether the review is fake or real, you display integrity and show everyone you're willing to make things right by responding to it. Remember, your customers and other viewers won't know if the review is real or fake, so it's vital to respond to it as if it's real.


Believe it or not, negative and fake reviews can be beneficial as they balance out a high number of positive reviews. Too many positive reviews can leave consumers feeling suspicious about your business. No business or professional is perfect with 100% 5-star reviews.  Be proactive when you receive a negative online review, and leave the reviewer with a positive frame of mind.  This may be the last time you see a negative review written about yourself.  Cheers to that!

Thank you to everyone who has shared a positive Reazo real estate review!

Stay tuned for our next article about how to respond to negative and fake reviews effectively.

Janelle D.

I've worked in the real estate sector for more than a decade and enjoy sharing my knowledge on the subject and researching the latest trends. In my free time I like to craft, spend time with my family and dog, participate in outdoor activities like hiking, and I'm passionate about photography.

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