The rise of Tripadvisor and how to apply the same principle to estate agents
18th December 2014
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Having had a very busy few months of valuations, I've been discussing how to choose your estate agent with a lot of prospective sellers. I always ask them how they picked the agents to meet with. Quite a few have clear reasons - recommendations from friends, previous experience and so on - but, of those that don't, I have suggested that they consider using customer reviews as part of the process.

I would bet that, when booking a holiday, you've taken into account what others have said. Every holiday website I have come across has a review component and Tripadvisor is a household name with over 45 million people using the site on a global basis.

So, when you're about to be spending the equivalent of a holiday on employing an estate agent, maybe property related reviews are worth a look?

Here are some places to start;

Estate Agents own websites - has the agent displayed any testimonials or a link to an independent review site? Of course, this is the agents own site so bear in mind the information displayed may have been carefully chosen.

Google - look for reviews displayed on the agents main Google listing, via Google Places/Maps or on Google+. This type of feedback will be submitted independently and verified via Google so should be representative.

Online directories - you may come across estate agent listings on Yell.com, Thomson, Freeindex, Cylex, Scoot, Touch Local and other similar sites. All have ratings or review components. Local media groups will have similar directories within their sites - for example, in Bath the local newspaper website is http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/

Local business networks - local business forums like here on thebestof Bath are one of the very best places to look. Created to champion the most recommended businesses in the city, these are excellent places to compare customer feedback. Like Google, these sites independently verify reviews before displaying. We are delighted to announce that, in only our 5th year since opening, Madison Oakley has just received our 50th verified five star review on thebestof Bath.

Twitter & Facebook – if you are an active social media user, ask your local online community for recommendations and experiences. If agents have an online profile on these networks, have a look to see if anyone has recently reviewed or commented on their service?

Lastly, one lady told me the other day that she had invited us out to value her home on the strength of the number of thank you cards we have displayed in our office reception area. If you're visiting agents offices, keep an eye out for similar info you can look through but make sure the cards are recent!

 

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About the Author

Madison Oakley Estate Agents

Member since: 26th September 2011

Carey Gilliland is blogging on behalf of Madison Oakley Estate Agents. Outside his busy job as an estate agent Carey is a keen gardener (he grows specialist chilli pepper varieties) and loves sea fishing.

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