Create and Follow a Daily Ritual
The Business Side of Disney by Matt Emerson

Responding to Online Reviews


We find that many real estate agents (and other small business owners) avoid setting up some of the online sites (Yelp for example) because they are worried about getting a bad or negative review.  Reality Check…. reviews and ratings are not going away for the real estate professional!  In fact, it’s become so mainstream that you may be hurting your business if you are not fully embracing an effective strategy for getting client reviews and ratings. Prospective customers and even your referrals are Googling you and looking for ratings and reviews from previous clients when selecting an agent to hire.

It’s critical to first get powerful and complete profiles on the key sites.  Then, implement a solid system for asking your past clients for a review as we have covered in previous tips for all members and trainings in the Wanderers Club.

In this business tip, we want to discuss best practices for handling both positive & negative reviews and comments.

Respond to ALL online reviews (positive and negative)

Respond to negativity with grace!

  • Don’t over-react, get defensive or react
  • Be professional and helpful
  • Your response should display a willingness to try to fix the problem, make good on someone’s bad experience or at least express a little sympathy to the person’s point of view.
  • Don’t ignore it!

Yelp –


The Disney HEARD Technique for Handling Negative Feedback and to Recover from Service Failure

Hear: More specifically, listen. Give the customer the opportunity to tell their complete, uninterrupted story.

Empathize: Create an emotional connection, a trust that is crucial to demonstrating an authentic willingness and ability to help the customer.
Consider using phrases like “If I were in your shoes…” and “Your reactions are completely normal…” to validate the customer’s feelings.

Apologize: The power of a sincere apology should never be underestimated. You must take ownership and remember, the manner in which you apologize matters greatly — apologies cannot be scripted. Sometimes, this is all the customer is looking for.

Resolve: Resolve the issue quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask the customer: “what can I do to make this right?”

Diagnose:  Remove any personal guilt and examine the processes related to the service failure. Get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred, without blaming anyone; focus on fixing the process so that it doesn’t happen again.

Be Proactive with Getting Reviews, Recommendations, and Ratings

More positive reviews will help increase your overall star rating if you do get a negative comment or two.  In my opinion, if you have handled negative feedback in a positive and professional manner I almost feel it makes you more real and authentic.  After all, we do run into people who are just plain happy being negative. You may have to follow-up and request the review several times before your client gets it done and off their list of to do’s!

These are the key sites to request reviews and ratings from your clients:

  1. Google business
  2. Zillow/Trulia
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Yelp
  7. Facebook Business Page
  8. Your Website

Own your name, brand and the positive message that shows up when you are Googled!




Real Estate and Reality meet as co-hosts, Jan O’Brien and Matt Emerson bring you Tips, Tools, & Topics to supercharge your business. They'll share their insights along with interviews with industry thought leaders. The ethos of WBNL Coaching is helping you to align and connect so that you can prosper. The Wandering Zen segment will offer you some inspiration so that you can disconnect and recharge.

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