Today we're joined by guest blogger Chris McIntosh who as well as being an Ealing local, is the owner of The Best of Ealing website where you can find all sorts of local businesses. Here Chris shows how online reviews can help you find an estate agent. Over to Chris…
Guest blog by Chris McIntosh
Selling or renting your house out can be a stressful business. You’re likely to be dealing with your biggest asset and you don’t want to make a mistake by choosing the wrong agent to help you with your transaction.
Think about what’s most important to you. If you’re looking to sell your house:
Whatever approach matters most to you, the key is to ensure that you find a good match with your estate agent.
It’s all very well knowing what sort of estate agent you’re looking for, but how do you go about finding them? Rather than jumping in with both feet and choosing one at random, you need to start with some research. Spending a bit of time at this stage is likely to pay dividends further down the line.
If you’re lucky enough to know someone who has used an estate agent recently, ask them how they found the experience. Were they pleased with the agent they used? However, bear in mind that they may simply have been lucky or unlucky.
If you don’t know anyone who has used an estate agent in your area recently, all is not lost. You need to check to see what (if any) reviews potential estate agents have received. When looking at customer reviews there are various things that you should consider.
1. How many reviews do they have?
Obviously, the more reviews that a company has, the more likely it is that you can trust the majority opinion. Reviews are like surveys: the more people that are surveyed the more useful the results are likely to be.
2. Have the reviews come through an independent source?
While it would be nice to think that no company would stoop to making up positive reviews, it clearly happens. Therefore, look to see how the reviews have been collected. For example, reviews on Thebestof Ealing website must be verified by an e-mail address before they can be displayed. This is to ensure that they are genuine.
3. Are the reviews dated?
If the reviews are undated, it could be a sign that they have been sitting on the website for years and may no longer be relevant to the level of service you may receive. Likewise, if the reviews are dated and are old, it’s not a good sign.
4. Are the reviews positive?
The chances are that not every review will be positive. This isn’t necessarily a bad sign. It’s not possible to please everyone all of the time. What is more important is to read why the customer is unhappy and how (if at all) the company has responded to the negative review.
5. Are the reviews local?
If you’re dealing with a national brand, it won’t be terribly relevant to selling a house in London if the reviews relate to service in Liverpool. Therefore, check that the reviews relate to the people you will be dealing with.
Remember: companies can pay for great advertising, but they can’t pay for quality reviews.
Who is Chris?
Chris McIntosh owns and runs Thebestof Ealing, which provides marketing advice and promotional services to businesses within the borough of Ealing.
As a former lawyer, Chris knows how difficult it is to juggle marketing with your day-to-day work. However, this experience provides invaluable insight and informs his strategic approach to marketing. He is committed to helping local businesses raise their profile and optimise their marketing.
Thanks for your advice Chris on using reviews to find an estate agent that is the right fit for you! You can find plenty of our reviews online using Google+ and we'd love some more up to date reviews on The Best of Ealing. If you've used our services lately, please consider telling us about your experience by clicking the link for The Best of Ealing.