Reinventing Reviews

About Us

We’re a team of 9 people who are passionate about helping people discover great businesses and services. We’re based in Burlingame, California.

What is Real Word of Mouth

Real Word of Mouth is the social network for privately sharing business recommendations and reviews with people you know – your friends, family, communities, clients or colleagues. It is the easiest way to find, request and share recommendations.
People are using Real Word of Mouth to:
  • Fix up, refinance, insure, buy or sell a home
  • Identify experts to manage finances and legal affairs
  • Plan a vacation
  • Learn how to play a musical instrument
  • Improve a child's grades and test scores
  • Find a great dentist, doctor or pediatrician
  • Build a list of resources for a volunteer organization
  • Refer businesses to clients
  • Network with fellow professionals to share referrals
  • Capture and share business intelligence with colleagues
Real Word of Mouth’s mission is to make discovering great businesses and services easy through the power of people you know.

Our mission

We created this company because we believe that recommendations from people you know and trust are at the heart of making your personal and professional life better.
If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us.
Based in Burlingame, California on the peninsula between San Francisco and Palo Alto, Real Word of Mouth was founded in 2010 and is funded by angel investors.

Core values

  • Respect member privacy
  • Be a good steward
  • Act responsibly and be accountable
  • Honor commitments
  • Communicate openly

Our manifesto

  • We are here for you.
  • For real people, real businesses, real reviews.
  • We're for sharing, but not always with anyone and everyone.
  • We're for freely speaking your mind, frankly, with people you know.
  • We believe that reviews from people you know are better than reviews from anonymous strangers.
  • We believe that if you share a review with just your friends, your review can only be read by your friends and no one else. Ever.
  • We believe that great businesses thrive on real, honest client reviews.
  • We embrace constructive criticism.
  • We are Real Word of Mouth for real, trusted reviews from people you know.


We make it possible to share recommendations and reviews privately, about anything, and with only whom you want. Some say privacy is dying in this connected age. We disagree - we believe privacy matters more than ever. Here's how we protect your privacy:
  • Everyone uses their real name so that you always know who you are sharing with, just like in person.
  • You choose who to invite as friends, and which friend and group invitations to accept. Nothing happens without your permission.
  • For each review that you write, you can choose who can see it. You can even choose "only me", so that no one but you can read your review.
  • Everything you do is protected by password and encrypted by https.
  • No review shared privately will ever be shared with a business - not your name, not what you wrote, not the rating you gave the business. Absolutely nothing.
  • No review shared privately will ever show up in Google or other search engines.
  • Because we use real names, if you do write a public review that everyone can read, the business will naturally know it's from you. This also gives your public reviews more credibility with readers.
To learn more about privacy, read our complete Privacy Policy.

Member Guidelines for Real Word of Mouth

The best reviews offer a personal experience, a wealth of detail, and a helpful tip or two. Below are some additional thoughts for conscientious reviewers.

Honestly represent yourself - be real

  • Use your real name, not an alias, pseudonym, or abbreviation.
  • Join as an individual, not as a couple, family or organization.
  • Take the time to add a photo.
  • If you're a business owner, use a real and verifiable address. We may contact you to confirm your business information if we cannot verify it using public records.
  • If you're a business owner, take the time to fill out your profile - describe your business and add your branding (a banner image and a business profile photo or logo).

Be respectful when writing public reviews

  • When you are writing a public review or sharing with a group with public membership, write with respect and refrain from using profanity or discriminatory language.
  • When you are sharing a private review with friends, colleagues and private groups, feel free to write what you wish and express yourself as you would in person. What you write is truly private and only seen by those you choose to share with.

Share helpful information

  • Review local businesses and services without spamming or inappropriate self-promotion.
  • Write about your direct experience as a customer. Tell your own story about your personal experience.
  • Steer clear of broad generalizations or insinuations.
  • Do not write reviews about your own business, or about your current or past employers.
  • Consider reading the Lifehacker article, “How to write genuinely useful reviews”. Paraphrasing:
    • Include relevant details – when the work was done and by whom, with relevant information to your complaint or compliment.
    • Omit the extraneous details – like the weather, what you were wearing, or where you were sitting unless it’s important.
    • Don’t be vindictive – it undermines your credibility. Instead, discuss your experience in an intelligent, coherent and honest way.
    • A “useful” review is not always positive – but don’t write in a fit of rage, check your spelling and grammar, use complete sentences, and lay off the exclamation points.
    • Remember that your review is just your experience – no one wants to read, “I’ve heard lots of other people have the same issue.” It sounds like you’re manufacturing "other people" to bolster your opinion and makes your review less believable.
    • Point out why you think you had your specific experience – perhaps you were upgraded because you approached the staff with kindness. Don’t be afraid to speculate.
    • Address the other side of the story when you have a negative experience – put yourself in the shoes of the business or professional. By showing a little understanding, it goes a long way towards validating your review as a real and honest one.
Real Word of Mouth will take down any reviews, and disable any accounts, that violate these guidelines. When we take action like that, we will attempt to notify the person who reviewed, via email or our web interface, to give her/him a chance to fix the issue or to argue back in case we’re getting it wrong. Where someone repeatedly violates the guidelines, we may restrict, suspend, or terminate the account.
We will do our best to be abundantly clear and consistent in enforcing these rules, to be open and honest about it, and to honor the guidelines in their implementation. Of course, as our lawyerly besties have advised us to state explicitly, we reserve the right to enforce, or not enforce, our community guidelines in our sole discretion. These rules create no duty or contractual obligation for us to take any particular action.
The reviews posted on Real Word of Mouth are individual and highly subjective opinions. The opinions expressed in reviews are those of Real Word of Mouth members and not of Real Word of Mouth.