In the last month as my best friend and I prepared to book our sunny destination escape. We spent what seemed like weeks online not only looking up resorts on various websites but then also checking out their scores on Tripadvisor.com.
A month ago if you had asked me what Tripadvisor.com was I woulnd't have been able to tell you (perhaps I have been living under a rock??!) but while booking this excursion it seemed to become our lifeline to this unchartered terriroty.
The whole intention of the site is for travelors who have already travelled to the area/hotel/resort etc in to give feedback and tips. The purpose is avoid the risk of booking and crossing your fingers that the resort you chose doesn't turn out to be miserable stay and a waste of money. We all know that the beautiful professional photographs the travel companies list on their sites aren't always accurate. This site gives you the opportunity to look at photos from other peoples trips and establish for yourself the truth between the lines.
However, one day, after approximately 5 hours straight of reading reviews and scanning thousands of photos of the 3 destinations we had widdled down to it suddently dawned on me...What if the people reviewing these locations are only doing a review because of their bad experience? What if their perspective was blown out of proportion and how many people actually sit down after their trip and take the time to let others know about their trip online when they have a fantastic time? I know that until a few days prior I didn't even know the site existed and I've been on amazing trips before and never reviewed them. Could this be possible for most travellers and we could be discounting a wonderful vacation because of a couple bad apples?
As I started to question the reviews and the trip selection we were abount to purchase it began to make me wonder if there were similar sites related to real estate and real estate agents? After a quick search my Google page was full of various realtor rating tools. I again started to question...Who are the people writing these annonymous reviews? Could they be family memebers trying to give their son/daughter,etc a great score? In the bad cases were the sellers/buyers expectations too high or unrealistic? Was a situation that left a bad taste in their mouths out of the agents control? Do these sites charge a fee to the realtor to be listed thus scewing the results entirely? Is it possible that sellers/buyers who had great experiences never thought to review their agent?
As my friend and I inputted out data into the booking site for our trip I attempted to let the hundreds of reviews I'd just spent the last few hours reading leave my head and book based on my gutt instinct. The resort appeared to have the ammenities we were searching for, it was in the location we wished to visit and the price was right. I would say the same should go for choosing a real estate agent. GO WITH YOUR GUTT. Does the agent offer what you are looking for? Are they likely to meet your needs and be available when you need them and do they give you a good feeling?
Sometimes trusting your gutt over a plethora of reviews is the best way to go.