Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Humberts estate agents in administration - why no effort with Google reviews?



You might be mistaken for thinking that a business that was short of revenue might pull out all the marketing stops - especially ones that cost little besides time and effort.

This week there was bad news for the management, staff and customers of Humberts, the estate agents. They called in the administrators. So what efforts had been made to make their offices look great in search?

Here's their London HQ...




...and here is a representative selection of their offices...










We spoke to Humberts about adopting professional review management eighteen months ago. If they had come aboard then, they would have been a long way down the road to looking like this...





When this client joined they had two reviews on Google and none on their own website - put yourself in the shoes of a local competitor of theirs; would you want to be looking like Greene & Co or like Humberts?


Now, we are not for a moment saying that great review management would have saved Humberts (or would save any business) all by itself. but surely, in an intensively competitive market such as estate agency, where your reputation is your USP, staying five minutes late of an evening to encourage some clients to write reviews would not have been in vain?

Even just putting an invitation to post a review on their website - it would have shown willing, at least...




But what did they do? They adopted the solution we have constantly - and consistently - warned everyone about: an independent reviews site...





This article: Reviews sites - the unintended consequences was published eighteen months ago, coincidentally at almost the exact time we were speaking to Humberts.

And for the cynics out there who still think review management is about 'window dressing' - don't believe us, believe Google - have a long hard look at this...




...is anyone thinking what we are thinking? That an increase of 20% in calls and 30% in website visits might just have pulled Humberts back from the brink?


And finally...

We will attempt to answer the question posed by the title of this article: Why no effort with Google reviews?

And we suspect the answer was one of the following...

  • Fear - fear of receiving highly visible negative reviews where everyone would see them, if they complied with the law and invited everyone to write a review
  • Fear - fear of being seen to be in contravention of the CMA regulations if they did what many businesses - unwittingly or wittingly - do to this day: cherry-pick happy customers to invite to post reviews
  • Hope: that advertisements like this...



 We couldn't agree more - Google stars increase sales

...mean what they look as if they mean. Here is a full search on a Humberts office - any 'stars in Google'...?





Further reading...

  1. Are you selecting which customers you ask to write a review? You are breaking the law. Read this.
  2. Are you using a site that only allows customers to write a review ate a time of your choosing? You are breaking the law. Read this.
  3. Are you using a site that places the onus on your customer to prove that they have done business with you before they publish a review? Sounds great, doesn't it? You are breaking the law. Read this.
  4. Why break the rules when there's no need?



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