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    Small Businesses Can Reap the Benefits of Online Comsumer Discussions

    Thanks to the advent of the Internet, even the smallest businesses have a chance to get some great advertising and exposure. It seems like everyone is on the Internet today with social media booming in popularity and Internet usage growing across the globe every day. People are exchanging opinions, writing reviews and creating open discussions about businesses of all kinds, including their local real estate agent. There are both good and bad aspects of creating an open line of communication with your real estate clients.

    • Clients can promote their properties online while you gain traffic through shared links back to your website.

    • Happy clients can tell their friends and families about the experience with your team and recommend you for their real estate needs.

    • However, clients who have had negative experiences may report their experiences and opinions online, which could harm your business.

    Many people love to create long and open discussions about certain aspects of businesses in online forums. It's a good idea to get a handle on these discussions to help gain more brand followers and prevent bad word of mouth. It's important to let customers do all of the talking while still providing them with honest and quality customer service for several reasons. Customers Are Always Writing Reviews on Companies Potential customers now frequently turn to reviews on the Internet to get a good understanding of whether or not they should use the products or services of a specific company. With the mass amounts of reviews available on the Internet on a majority of businesses, they can easily find them. Good reviews and ratings are prime opportunities to help keep your name in the minds of anyone looking to buy or sell a property. Personal Recommendations Boost Business While strangers may find seek the opinions of people they don't know for opinions, the strongest influences come from friends and family. Nielson's report, Trust in Advertising, concluded that 84 percent of people prefer the recommendations of a trusted friend or family member over any advertising that you'd see in modern media. It certainly makes sense as advertisements are meant to be as appealing as possible with little to no interest in showing you the downsides of their business while friends and family will be more fair and honest in their opinions. Real estate is a business with plenty of client involvement, and today's market is seeing plenty of motivation and interest from both property vendors and buyers. Making the most of this advantage will help improve customer relations and increase sales. Positive Reinforcement Lowers Risk A big risk involved in the real estate business is trying to get the best price as quickly as possible. Getting low bids, few offers or little activity in a long period of time only makes customer relations and sales as a whole suffer. Positive feedback from friends and family can reassure people that your company can handle everything involved in making a good sale in a reasonable amount of time. Lack of Control Over Discussion Online discussions are mostly unfiltered, unrestricted and honest. You have no control over how these discussions go, but you can still be a part of it. It means a lot to customers when a company cares enough to respond to reports of bad experiences, problems with service, suggestions on how to improve and more. The Influence of Bloggers Many people now get their news and additional information from bloggers. A blog can give anyone a strong voice to spread their opinions and create tight-knit communities. The subject matter of these blogs varies, but staying on top of buzzing blog posts and popular blogs as well as trying to get into these blog posts can help spread word of mouth. Creating Connections with Social Media One of the strongest channels that you have available to you on the Internet is social media. There are several social media websites out there that are exploding in popularity such as Facebook and Google+. They offer you the chance to create a more personal line of communication with customers. You can keep up with the latest news and discussions about local real estate and your competition while also encouraging visitors to speak with you about their opinions, questions, concerns or suggestions about your business or even just the topic of real estate as a whole.

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