Supercharge Your Next Open House with RealSatisfied and Spacio Pro


Cookies. Balloons. A perfectly staged listing. We know the road to building a superior customer experience begins the second your prospects meet you – and your Open House could be that moment.  That’s why we’ve teamed up with the iPad app Spacio Pro to empower your paperless Open House to show what previous clients think about you as your potential clients are viewing your open house. 

Make the first impression even better:

  • Integrate your ratings and testimonials into a customized sign up form on your iPad and the Spacio Pro app
  • Capture and convert your visitors by sharing your successes with past clients

You can sign up for your FREE Spacio Pro account with one click:
Your RealSatisfied Vanity Key will be inserted for you!

(Already have a Spacio Pro account? You’re covered too. Just enter your RealSatisfied Vanity Key in your Spacio Pro profile settings and you’ll be on your way!)

Now that you have your paperless Open House all decked out with your testimonials we’ve added some additional reminders for making your Open House a success. In addition to bringing your paperless sign in with Spacio Pro, and your RealSatisfied testimonials, you should also consider bringing:

  • Listing Data
  • School Reports
  • Home Feature Sheet
  • Neighborhood Info Sheet
  • Costs Sheet
  • App Recommendations
  • Buyer/Seller Packages

Greet your prospects at the door with your iPad. And…

  • Know the Inventory
  • Ask Questions
  • Features/Benefits
  • Obtain Feedback
  • Turn All Lights Off
  • Lock Up

If you would like more info on Spacio Pro,the latest open house lead capture solution on the market available on iPad and web, here are some helpful links:

– You can login from the web here:
– For more information:


The Power of Customer Centric Business Intelligence for Real Estate Leaders

Nelson Goulart- RealSatisfied

When the discussion of tactics over strategy for a successful brokerage is happening – “must have technology” is what usually makes the cut in most strategic conversations with agents.

But what Broker Nelson Goulart from Better Homes And Gardens Signature Service in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada excels at is having a customer experience centric strategy – one that stems from the satisfied customers he and his agents have worked with. Never a perfect science, customer experience management and the business intelligence he gleans from it has turned up even more meaningful surprises – especially after recently launching a customer satisfaction platform for all of it’s agents. He initiated the process after having seen the success of the program with Better Homes and Garden Real Estate® offices in the United States. What he quickly learned is that the detailed surveys revealed far more than he ever expected.

Agent empowerment through customer service and satisfaction measurement and validation

When he started looking at the feedback from their clients a couple things popped out right away. “Having a survey/review process in place ensures two major benefits,” Nelson notes.  “The first benefit, from an agent perspective, is that it provides a real validation of the service provided, setting them apart from all the ‘supposed’ number 1’s in the marketplace.”

In watching the roll-out in the United States, Nelson had become keenly aware of the testimonials collected and customer satisfaction numbers calculated as a by product of the detailed surveys, powered by RealSatisfied, but it wasn’t until his own data began streaming in that he realized the business intelligence benefit.

“We have been able to get to information that we’ve had to guess at in the past,” He says. “For example, we had no simple way to gather data on ‘factors of influence’ in choosing a broker and agent. These surveys give us this data and they make sharing it easy.”

Broker Business Intelligence: Getting a leg up by focusing on “Factors of Influence” from clients – not disconnected tactics from conference stages

It is this additional business intelligence data collected by the detailed customer satisfaction surveys that gives Nelson and his team a leg up over brokers focusing solely on the marketing aspects of ratings and reviews. Nelson continued, “The second benefit, from a broker perspective, it that it provides a complete breakdown on where the business is coming from, allowing the broker to customize specific training for their agents to maximize where their marketing dollars are being spent, and at the same time, monitoring the service level provided by their agents.”

And this is where Nelson plans to focus his efforts – on making sure his agents are focusing on the right tools and marketing practices, not jumping at every new trick being talked about on conference stages. “It’s my job to help my agents understand what they should and should not be focusing their attention on,” he says. “It’s too easy to get caught up in the hype floating around the internet and at conferences. It is eye opening, and empowering, when you have the evidence to speak confidently to ideas that may be contrary to that hype.”

What Nelson has come to realize through the collection of his agent’s customer experience feedback is that there is so much more to this process than the focus on agent ratings and reviews can reveal. “Today’s consumers live in the age of Yelp, Google Reviews, Trip Advisor and other online review systems. Consumers can now rate, comment and critique everything in their buying or selling experience from hotels to restaurants to cars and now, finally, their real estate agents,” Nelson states.  “But what are agents and brokers really learning from that process? Not enough.”

Ratings and reviews attract customer’s eyeballs – but it’s the detailed, validated feedback from clients that matters most in business leadership

The focus of ratings and review sites is necessarily skewed toward the marketing benefits. The goal is to attract consumer eyeballs. Nelson understands the value of that, but feels it’s simply not enough. He knows that knowledge is power and the more insight he has, the better he can run his business. “With RealSatisfied , I get the best of both worlds – a validated customer satisfaction ratings and clients testimonials we can use publicly, and detailed feedback that helps us make better decisions when helping our agents succeed.

“In this business we must seek to understand customer’s needs, wants and most importantly gather feedback,” Nelson confidently states. “After all, a smile and a thank you doesn’t mean a client will refer you, or use your services again.”


Telling Your Brand Story With Ratings & Recommendations: Context Matters

Brand Story (1)

Is there a consumer buying experience more complex than the real estate transaction?

It’s hard to imagine there is. We are talking about the purchase of a home. Home, a concept that elicits a wide variety of emotions. So not only is a real estate transaction complex in and of itself, it is compounded by the circumstances revolving around the need or desire to sell, the need or desire to buy and our previous experiences in a home. We bring to the real estate transaction not just our financial background, but our psychological background as well. Good real estate agents have learned how to navigate these complex waters in a way that smooths out the process for those who choose to work with them.

Compare this to going out for a pizza. Granted, I’ve eaten at a few pizza places that I can get emotional about, but the transaction itself – I’m not sure it gets much simpler. There is no comparison between buying a house and buying a slice of pizza. The only thing that is similar is how people want to use star ratings to judge those experiences. And it boggles my mind.

For ease, let’s continue the pizza parlor analogy. The owner of a pizza parlor can control almost every aspect of the experience around their food. They control the ingredients, the oven temperature, the cleanliness and the ambiance of the restaurant, and to large extent, they have the ability to control the customer service provided by their staff. Done right, my experience at a restaurant one night should be similar to my experience at a restaurant on any night. This can even be done at scale. I have an Oregano’s Pizza Bistro cup on my desk right now, because my experience with them over the last 10 years has been 100% consistent, at every location, in every city I’ve tried. Given the option, I’ll choose them every time. I’ve never been disappointed.

Compare this to a real estate transaction. There are so many variables in play. There are so many personalities in action, and so many different financial situations and potential legal hurdles to be navigated. These are the loose equivalent of ingredients in a recipe, oven temperature, ambiance, none of which an agent or broker have much control over. The circumstances, emotions and subsequent decisions made when dealing with a seller who is selling because they are about to have a baby and need a bigger place to grow their family are vastly different from those when the seller is going through a divorce and is forced to sell a home that they may have raised a family in together. To think for one moment that personalities, financial circumstances and emotions don’t play a significant role in the experience of buying or selling a home is to not really understand residential real estate at all – or the value of a great real estate agent.

Real Estate Ratings, Reviews And Testimonials Are Crying Out For Context

The real estate industry has fallen for the story that they should be like other industries when it comes to ratings and reviews. It’s a mistake. Relying on a simple star rating to capture everything contained inside of the variety of potential reactions to service inside these convoluted transactions is bordering on silly.

When I go to Yelp and read about other people’s experiences at a pizza parlor, I am able to have a certain level of expectation about what my experience might be if I go to the same restaurant and order the same pizza the reviewer has described. I am quite certain that is not the case with real estate. Your five star review of an agent tells me nothing about the context of that sale. There is no way for me to know with any degree of certainty that I will get a similar experience, because I can’t possibly order the same thing.

I’d like to suggest a way to highlight performance in a different way.  Marry your ratings, and testimonials to stories.

One of the benefits of syndicating the ratings and testimonials we collect on your behalf via RSS is that you can ingest this content onto your owned sites in a number of ways. We provide a JavaScript widget, a WordPress plugin and the raw RSS feed, and the most powerful of these is without question, the raw RSS feed. And while the concept I’m about to present does not require the use of the feed, but it would certainly make it more consistent.

Give Every Testimonial A Context

Here are the steps required if you are on the WordPress platform. If you are on a different platform, your web developer should be able to translate this into a workflow for your site, so long as you have editing capabilities at a “post type” level:

  1. custom_post_typeCreate “custom post type” for Testimonials that includes the testimonial, a place for media (photos, videos, etc) and a place for inserting each client’s unique story. The photo here represents what this might look like. I’ve used a template from Placester for the example. Just click on the image to enlarge.
  2. Import the RSS Feed and have each testimonial pull into a this custom post type and have each set to draft until you can complete step 3.
  3. Edit each testimonial and tell the story that you are allowed to tell about your experience with your client. In other words, provide the context for the experience they had with you. Each story will be unique and likely present opportunities for you to expose specific expertise and your skill in dealing with different client circumstances. Please note, this will require that you obtain additional permissions from your clients, especially if you are attaching photos and video, but the extra effort will be worth it in the end. The license we collect on your behalf only provides for the use of the unedited testimonial and the identifier provided by your clients.
  4. Create a directory page of the testimonials with excerpts that link to the more in depth stories of your client success.

There is no question that providing this level of context will not only enhance the value of the testimonial you’ve collected, but provide valuable insight into how potentially difficult circumstances get handled. Context matters. Especially in real estate.



RealSatisfied 101: Understanding Quarantined Surveys

Quarantined (2)

Oops! You’ve been Quarantined! Never fear, we have you covered. So, let’s break down what it is, and what it’s for.

RealSatisfied has a number of checks and validation processes in place to prevent ‘gaming of the system’ and ensure the integrity of response data for the benefit of all customers. Responses that are identified as having failed one or more of these checks and validations are automatically quarantined. A Quarantine, according to wikipedia“is a medical term for the act of keeping an object in enforced isolation for a period of time to limit or prevent the spread of disease or infection.”

quarantine_screenshot_425And this is exactly what our quarantine process is designed to do. When we detect that a survey response may not be from a reliable source, we keep that response from being included in overall response data until we can determine its authenticity. And to make sure no fake surveys responses get into our system, the test we run return a fair number of “false positives.”

A notification is emailed to the agent who can take action on quarantined survey responses in their dashboard or in the email itself. If an agent’s account is part of a larger broker account, the agent’s office administrator can also see these quarantine alerts in their dashboard and can request action on an agent’s behalf.

Gaming The System

Very few of our clients try to purposefully game our system, but as the saying goes, “show me a customer feedback system and I’ll show you a system people try to ‘game.’ One of the jobs we perform for our clients is to make sure as little gaming takes place as is humanly possible. So, we’ve built a system that captures a lot of these false positives and provides agents with a way to have them reviewed with the click of a “Request Review” button.

We then manually audit every quarantine review request. One of our customer support staff will ask a few questions and then immediately release surveys where appropriate. Our goal is to to make sure every valid response from a client is included in an agent’s ratings data. While we know that it can be frustrating to have a valid client response quarantined, it is the necessary downside of ensuring that the data on our platform is indeed authentic. We take great pride in making sure this is so.

Deleting Quarantined Survey Responses

Many quarantined responses are surveys agents have sent to themselves to test the system. These are always trapped in our quarantine system and will never be released. For this reason, quarantined survey responses are the only survey responses you are allowed to delete from our system.

There is a better way to send yourself a survey. If you have the desire to send yourself a survey, navigate to the home page at and click on the button titled, “Go Ahead, Send A Survey To Yourself.” This will allow you to test the entire survey communication process.



Why We Don’t Offer Paper Surveys

Paper surveys (1)

Paper surveys. For a long, long time they were the only way to collect feedback from clients. This has changed. Not only are they no longer the only way, paper surveys are, quite frankly, an obsolete way of collecting information.

The vast majority of our clients recognize that the ability to gather and display survey results in a meaningful format requires a system that moves away from analog processes. In an age where 90 percent of U.S. households have three or more Internet-connected devices, this shift just makes sense. I can only imagine that % is higher among those who own their home.  As a result, concerns over a lack of ability to complete a RealSatisfied survey don’t surface as often as some might think. But they surface often enough that I felt it was time to address it here.

While sparse, when questions do arise around the sending of paper surveys, there is often emotion attached to the questions. The help desk ticket that spurred me to write this blog post was worded this way, “Why are we punished when our clients don’t have email.” That is certainly a question fraught with emotion. I don’t find that all too surprising. What is surprising, however, is the lengths some agents will go to, and the arguments some brokers will make as to why we should accept surveys filled out on an agent’s computer, sent to temporary email addresses created on behalf of clients who have no email. We simply wont accept them.

We are quite certain that some of these creative measures are indeed taken on behalf of clients who truly do not have access to email. We’re also sure a number of them are not. And one of our jobs is to protect the integrity of the data we collect. As a result, some of our rules around rejecting survey responses into our system based on where they originate are not up for negotiation. We know this will not please everyone.

Change is hard. Digital is here to stay.

Even change that is perceived as positive can have negative emotions attached to the process. Many of our current clients have used paper surveys in the past. When pressed, they will be the first to admit that response rates were dismal at best and nowhere near approaching the almost 50% return rate we see at RealSatisfied. They will also readily admit that those paper process did not deliver the quality of data or allow the kind of access to data that our system provides. It makes tight integrations with other platforms possible as well. We live in a digital world. We don’t apologize for moving this process forward.

So, there are never going to be paper surveys accepted on the RealSatisfied platform. The benefit of higher return rates, easier aggregation of data, and improved methods for sharing results both internally and externally make the extremely small percentage of clients who truly do not have access to email the necessary negative exceptions to an otherwise very positive rule.