While conducting research on a builder for a recent issue of Professional Builder, I did what most people do first when they want to learn more about a company, or any subject for that matter. I went to Google.
I punched in the builder’s name and was immediately taken aback by the Page 1 search results. Naturally, the first few items related to the company’s website, but the third and fifth items where consumer feedback websites (namely Ripoffreport.com  and Pissedconsumer.com ) that included abstracts laced with comments blasting the builder for everything from its lousy customer service practices to its shoddy construction quality. I didn’t even have to click a link to realize that there are more than a few unhappy customers that wanted to make their voice heard.
Until then, everything I heard about this builder had been positive. It has a strong reputation for quality and customer service, and the firm is performing well in a very tough economic climate. Heck, the company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Yet, what the typical home shopper will see during his or her initial online search of that builder will include these scathing comments. It’s safe to say these consumer feedback sites are not good for business, especially when they pop up on the first page of a Google search.
What can builders do to combat negative publicity? I reached out to a few consultants who have helped builders improve their online presence. They offer the following advice: