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9 Things You Need to Know When it Comes to Home Builder Reviews

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Once you decide to upgrade into a brand-new house in a welcoming neighborhood, the next step is to find a builder who shares your vision.

Perhaps you’ve driven by homes created by a particular builder in Virginia Beach and you’d like to learn more about their work. One way to accomplish this is by reading online reviews of the builder. Look at nine factors to keep in mind while reading these reviews.

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  1. Read at Least a Dozen Reviews to Get a Fair Impression of a Builder’s Work
  2. People Who Have a Negative Experience Are More Likely to Leave a Review
  3. Look for a Response to a Review from the Builder
  4. Satisfied Customers May Not Leave a Review
  5. Consider the Online Location of the Review
  6. Factor in Possible Motivations of the Reviewer
  7. The Star Rating System Means Different Things to Different Reviewers
  8. Not Everyone Knows How to Leave Reviews Online
  9. A Negative Review Doesn't Change Despite a Solution to the Issue

1. Read at Least a Dozen Reviews to Get a Fair Impression of a Builder’s Work

Reading at least 12 reviews helps you to form a balanced opinion about a builder. In fact, you may want to skim through more to get an even better picture. The goal is to form a general consensus after reading a large sampling of reviews.

2. People Who Have a Negative Experience Are More Likely to Leave a Review

Unfortunately, a person who has a negative experience with a builder is more likely to post a review than someone who had a great experience. A person who feels they’ve been treated unfairly is likely to be angry and moved to write a post describing the situation. In short, don’t make a quick judgment about a builder based on negative reviews.

9 Things You Need to Know When it Comes to Home Builder Reviews Comments Image3. Look for a Response to a Review from the Builder

Some builders take time each week to respond to reviews from past customers. They may thank customers for posting a positive review. Or, if a past customer posts a poor review, the builder may express a desire to make the situation right. Either way, builders who respond to reviews are showing they’re concerned with nurturing a good relationship with every customer.

4. Satisfied Customers May Not Leave a Review

A customer who is happy with their new home and all of its features may not think to leave an online review of the builder. The person may intend to post a review, but in the process of packing, moving and settling into the new house they may forget about it. The customer may convey their satisfaction to the builder and not consider how much it would help the builder’s business to share their experience online.

5. Consider the Online Location of the Review

The best places to find online reviews of builders are on websites that don’t edit the reviews. A person can post a review and it goes up on the website immediately. When you look on a website or social media page belonging to the builder, there is a chance reviews will be edited or even left out if the builder doesn’t like what he or she sees.

6. Factor in Possible Motivations of the Reviewer

Another rule of thumb to remember when reading reviews of builders is to consider the possible motivations of the reviewer. Someone who writes a negative review may make a scenario sound like it was the fault of the builder when it really wasn’t.

As an example, a person writes a negative review of a builder after a certain upgrade wasn’t included in the home’s design. However, the customer didn’t ask for the upgrade up front and it wasn’t possible for the builder to add it on late in the process. This would be an error on the part of the customer and not the builder. Posting the negative review was an effort to punish the builder unfairly.

9 Things You Need to Know When it Comes to Home Builder Reviews Ratings Image7. The Star Rating System Means Different Things to Different Reviewers

Some websites posting reviews have a star rating system but don’t explain the value of the stars. This can mislead someone who is reading a review of a builder. Maybe there is a great review of a builder posted on a website, but it only has three out of five stars filled in. The person writing the review may think three stars stands for excellent work while someone reading the review takes the three-star rating as a sign to avoid the builder.

8. Not Everyone Knows How to Leave Reviews Online

Though we’re well into the 21st century, not everyone knows how to write and post a review of a builder on a website or social media page. Someone who is very pleased with their brand-new home may write an email or a note to the builder expressing their gratitude for the work. This person may convey recommendations of the builder in more traditional ways like word of mouth.

9. A Negative Review Doesn't Change Despite a Solution to the Issue

When a person posts a negative review of a builder, the builder may get in contact with them and solve the issue. But, even though the issue was solved, the original review remains online without a follow-up letting visitors know the rest of the story. Keep in mind the possibility that the issue in a negative review may have been solved or addressed to the satisfaction of the customer.

Lastly, it’s a smart idea to take every online review of a builder with a grain of salt. If you're interested in learning more about the quality of a builder’s work, then arrange a meeting to get the full picture of what the builder can do for you.

Originally published May 21, 2019

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