Real estate agents need to get online reviews and manage client feedback and their online reputation just like any other business. Here's how to do it.
How's your headshot? As a real estate agent, you probably have one that's printed on your signs, featured on your website and maybe even splashed across billboards and bus benches.
On photo day, did you roll out of bed and plop yourself in front of the photographer, trusting that whatever image he captured would be good enough? Or did you put in some time and effort to make sure you got the best possible photo, one that represents your professional polish?
You probably did the latter. Real estate is one business in which image and reputation are both critical, and you know better than anyone that those things have to be cultivated.
Like the owner who repaints his kitchen and updates his landscaping to get a better price for his house, you can get more clients by maintaining a positive online reputation.
A Listing Sheet on Reviews
Like in many industries, the rise of the internet has changed real estate. Now you probably fill your company website with photos, interactive galleries and maybe even drone footage of the houses you list. You connect with buyers and sellers using social media and you answer questions via email.
The internet has changed the way you earn and maintain your reputation, too. Real estate used to be an industry that relied largely on word of mouth and personal referrals. If you needed a real estate agent, you would ask a friend to suggest someone.
Today, you ask people on the internet to suggest someone - specifically, people who post on review sites.
You probably know that's true from your own life, but if you're the rare person who doesn't read and/or write online reviews, let the research convince you. A recent comprehensive survey revealed that:
- 97 percent of American consumers read online reviews at least occasionally.
- 68 percent said that reading positive reviews about a business makes them more likely to use that business.
- 73 percent of people surveyed said they trust a business more after reading positive reviews.
- 85 percent said that they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- More people reported reading reviews for realtors in 2017 than they did in 2016.
So there you have it. Online reviews directly affect the way people spend their money.
Getting reviews helps you build your business in other ways, too. For example, when lots of people are writing and reading about you online, search engines rank your site more highly in search results. That helps prospective clients find you.
Translating reviews into sales is important in most industries, but it's critical in real estate for two major reasons:
- Buying or selling a house is a huge deal, financially and legally. Your clients can take a chance on choosing a coffee shop without checking reviews because the stakes are low. But this is a high-stakes decision, so most clients will do research online before choosing an agent.
- Getting reviews is a numbers game. That coffee shop might have hundreds of clients a day. If even just one customer writes a review per day, the shop will have a robust Yelp page. But you might only close a few deals per month. You can't afford to let any of the satisfied clients slip through the cracks. Get all of them (or at least most of them) to help you drum up more business.
Location, Location, Location
Before you can get those positive reviews rolling in, identify the review pages that are most important for your business.
For most businesses, targeting 3-5 sites is the best move. Aim to get reviews on the biggest mainstream sites (Yelp, Google and Facebook), as well as on a few niche industry sites like Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com.
Visit each site to set up and optimize your page so it's ready to accept reviews.
Getting Those All-Important Reviews
Wait, you didn't find Bob a move-in-ready, beachfront mansion with marble countertops and a Batcave that was within his $50,000 budget? Well, no wonder he blasted you on Yelp!
Some clients are just unreasonable about buying and selling their real estate, so you may already have received a few negative reviews. You can't prevent those people from complaining. All you can do is drown them out with positive reviews.
Step one in getting more positive reviews? Giving all your clients the best possible service you can. But you already know that, so let's move right along to step two.
Systemize the way you get your satisfied clients to review you. Using an automated system like ReputationStacker makes this super easy to do.
All you have to do is enter your clients' email addresses or phone numbers into the system and ReputationStacker reaches out to them with a one-question survey. Only your satisfied clients are directed to post a review on the review site of your choice. The dissatisfied ones are directed back to you, so you can address their concerns before they write a negative review.
ReputationStacker can even automatically update your website and social media pages with your most recent positive reviews. Clients who are perusing your listings can't help but see those rave reviews.
Leveraging your good reputation into more sales is much easier than selling a house next to the airport. In fact, it's so easy that it requires nearly no effort from you.
Work on closing deals and let ReputationStacker deal with getting your happy clients to write reviews.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.