Only 14 percent of people trust an advertisement, but 80 percent of people trust the word of others, even if they do not know them. Online reviews – and how your company deals with them – can bring people into or keep people out of your front door.

Only 14 percent of people trust an advertisement, but 80 percent of people trust the word of others, even if they do not know them. Online reviews – and how your company deals with them – can bring people into or keep people out of your front door.I’ve depended upon other people’s online reviews to make decisions on everything from something as simple as where to get my nails done to life-changing decisions like where to apply for colleges. With over 3 billion people on the Internet, I am certainly not the only person relying on the input of others to make my decision easier for me.

If people turn to the Internet to ask things like where they should buy their next ice cream cone, why wouldn’t they turn to the Internet to find insight on what will be the biggest purchase of their lives – their new home?

Only 14 percent of people trust an advertisement, but 80 percent of people trust the word of others, even if they do not know them. Online reviews – and how your company deals with them – can bring people into or keep people out of your front door.

Think of online reviews as the welcome mat to your virtual model home. Just like walking up to a real model home, people are surveying the surroundings, making their decision before they even see the inside of the home. What others say about your company online is the first thing people are going to see before they visit your website, let alone visit your sales center.

Turning your notifications on for Facebook and Yelp will allow you and your team members to monitor and respond to these reviews – whether they are negative or positive – as soon as they are posted. Responding to reviews – positive and negative – is vital to your online reputation. Just as you maintain the exterior of your model home, you need to manage the mess that may come up in your virtual welcome mat. Brush out those leaves and twigs.

An immediate response to any review not only shows that your company is conversational, but it also shows that you are hands-on and ready at a moment’s notice to confront any pros, or cons, that come your way. Before your possible homeowners even speak with you, they will see this response as proactive and will result in a great first impression.

Now your first reaction to a bad review may be to delete it into the abyss of the Internet never to be seen again by the eyes of your audience, but pause for just a moment before doing so and think – how can I use this review in my favor? Impossible, you say? Not at all. Behind those unsatisfied complaints is simply just a homeowner or client that wants to be heard. You may hear them, but like our parents have always told us – you also need to listen.

Make them feel at HOME – be helpful, open, mature and empathetic.

By being helpful in your response, you will prove to the client/homeowner, as well as the potential customers reading your response, that you are open to not only listening to their suggestions but also further assisting them with their needs. Just by responding to any negative reviews your company proves that they can handle these complaints in a mature manner rather than looking over them as if it was just another scratch on paper.

Last but certainly not least, treat every response with empathy. Take a moment to think about your own home, your own nail polish/ice cream experience.

Have you ever felt slighted by a company? It’s not a great feeling. It’s an even worse feeling when no one takes the time to listen to the problem you had. Treat every complaint as if that experience actually had happened to you and your family.

Reviews, good and bad, can always work in your favor when managed and responded to in a positive manner. Your potential homeowners are about to step all over your virtual welcome mat – are you ready to make them feel at HOME?

GROUP TWO ADVERTISING is a full-service advertising agency specializing in homebuilder marketing solutions. The agency has 40 years of experience in the homebuilder industry, combined with expertise in evolving marketing and internet trends. Group Two provides an all-inclusive social media program for homebuilders and specifically tailored marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and traffic. Group Two helps homebuilders better communicate with prospective buyers by helping them to stop thinking like homebuilders and start thinking like buyers. For more information on Group Two, visit or contact President Mollie Elkman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 215-561-2200.