Realtors© often ask me if as a real estate agent does their online reputation really matter? Stop and think about this scenario for a second… A homeowner smack dab in the middle of your market is considering selling her home. Once that idea is in her head, what’s the next step in her process? If she doesn’t already have an agent who is “top of mind”? Her next move is likely to go online and start reading reviews of agents in her area. Suddenly, without ever meeting you, this prospective client is making decisions about your quality, your character, your ability to deliver results. So when she lands on your name… What does she see?
•Tons of 5-Star reviews full of vivid detail? GREAT!
•A few mixed reviews? NOT AS GREAT!
•Nothing at all? UH OH!
What is your online real estate reputation?
Social proof is essential in today’s Review Economy.
2 Sites Where You Absolutely Must Have Reviews. There are many different places where people can review things online, but for your purposes, the two most critical are Google and Zillow. Zillow gets tons of traffic for people looking for all things real estate. And Google is, well, Google… People search on Google all the time, but there are more reasons beyond them being the search giant, which takes us to…
3 Reasons Why Google Reviews are Beneficial to Your Business
1. Social proof and credibility. Ninety percent of consumers today read online reviews before engaging with a business! Not only that, but 77% of consumers believe reviews older than 90 days are no longer relevant! You know what that means? If people can’t find reviews about you and your services, you’re eliminating yourself from consideration by 90 percent of homeowners! The second stat means even if you have reviews, you need a consistent flow of fresh reviews to make sure you are perceived as being relevant.
2. Google loves fresh content. You know me… I have no secrets, and when I learn something from our business, I want to share it with you. In January of 2018, we began a concerted push to increase our Google reviews. We’ve added 874 reviews since that time, and because of having those reviews, our organic website traffic has increased by 47 percent! Long story short, the more Google reviews you have, the higher Google will rank your site, and the more eyeballs your site will attract.
3. Google Ads cost per lead decreases. If you’re using Google Ads, having an abundance of Google reviews makes your quality score go up and Google will add your five-star review rating to all of your ads. In the process, your cost per lead will decrease.
5 Strategies to Generate More Reviews
1. Incorporate reviews into your dialogue. Every time you meet a client, you need to “seed” the idea of them writing a review at the end of the process. Tell them your goal is for them to provide you a five-star review.
2. Remind them during “Hero Moments”. Anytime you slay a dragon in a transaction, take that opportunity to point it out to your client and specifically mention it would be a great detail to include in their review. Not only does this remind them of your expectation of receiving a five-star review, but it adds detail that enriches the review for readers.
3. Add a “Review Me” link in email signature. By incorporating a link in your email signature to your Google or Zillow profile, you can generate more reviews in a low-pressure manner.
4. You gotta ask! You can’t sit around and hope people will write a review. Whether it’s in person, by phone, by email, by text… you’ve gotta ask! When you ask, remember these two keys:
•Remind them your focus is on receiving a five-star review
•Direct them to tell a specific story, ideally about how you solved their problem
5. If you’re new, focus on Google. If you’re a new agent wondering how you’ll compete with agents with many more reviews, focus on getting Google reviews from people who you’ve worked with – colleagues, previous employers, etc. who can write about you even if you haven’t helped them buy or sell a home.
I encourage you to use these techniques to build more online reviews!
Strength and courage,