Online Surveys - Are They Real

One of the greatest tools when searching for a service provider, restaurant or pretty much anything else you may want to spend your hard earned money on is researching for free online.  It's where the majority of people start even when a business was referred to them by someone they trust.  You know that sometimes these reviews or surveys may have missed the mark when you jump in on a decision solely based on an online review. 

Being a huge fan of Yelp, it's the first place I look when in a new city and looking for something to eat.  While usually the reviews are spot on, there are some times where things are a bit off or completely wrong.  What I have figured out is to look at places with higher scores and alot of reviews.  Then I read the 1 star reviews and can usually figure out if the reviewer only likes home cooking or had a bad service experience...which may be due to the server bad customer experience!

In the mortgage industry, one of the items that clog my socials - both FB and LinkedIn - is the self promoted reviews that pop up by some of the survey systems that are paid for by companies.  The tool makes it easy for a closed client to respond to a quick survey, check off the amount of stars and leave a quick review.  This makes it easier than say Zillow or Google, where a user name and PW need to be created.  And easier means more reviews which is great.

Can You - the Conmsumer - Trust These Reviews?

What you can trust is the comments and the stars given are accurate and done by the client.  When you see reviews from 4 - 5 stars on each one of these automated posts to the socials, you would think you found a great company to work with.  What you may not know is, the same company that pays for this service, also gets to choose the threshold for what reviews will be published.  So, if the marketing department of ABC Mortgage (ABC Mortgage is completely ficticious in this use!) decides that they only want unknowing consumers to see reviews with 4.2 and above, then that is all you will see - both on the social feed and the website it posts to.  

What Reviews or Surveys Can You Trust?

I concentrate on Google reviews.  Google does not let you dictate what the consumer has visible when doing their research.  If a client had a bad experience, they are free to leave a review and Google will leave it up for the world to see.  Like I mentioned before, you need to create or have a Google account to be able to leave a review, which I believe makes them more accountable.  In the mortgage space, Zillow also requires a user name, which cuts out the jokesters.

I hope this helps you navigate online reviews - especially in the mortgage space.

* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with the mortgage advisor for more information.