In this episode, I’m going to explain why real estate agent review sites can be a goldmine filled with rich sources of new business or a land mine that take an entire business down.
Let Me Tell You a Little Story…
So, when my husband and I were dating, one of the things that impressed me the most is that he would find the most amazing restaurants, shops, and curated experiences that I had ever taken part in.
The experiences that he took the time to research, discover, and plan was one of the primary reasons why I married him.
It wasn’t until after we got married that I discovered that he was just going to review sites, sorting by top reviews, and looking at photos that others had posted prior. But now that I’m used to it, I’m addicted to review sites. Literally. I don’t go anywhere if I haven’t looked up the reviews first. It’s a part of my life. I buy Amazon products based on reviews, watch YouTube videos based on reviews, and book travel… Based on reviews.
Recently, my husband and I were in Nashville, TN at an event hosted by Russell Brunson called Funnel Hacking Live. The conference broke for lunch and we were starving. So we started walking around aimlessly until we found a sandwich shop nearby. But when I walked up to the door, I found myself slowly backing away.
My husband looked at me and said, “Ahhhhh, let me find something on Yelp.” And of course, he found a spot that had some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my life. I told you, he’s really good at that.
But it got me thinking…
If I won’t even buy a sandwich without first checking the reviews, there’s no way on earth I would ever hire someone as important as a Realtor® without first checking reviews either.
Real Estate Agent Review Sites Are Here To Stay
As a society, online reviews are now a permanent part of our culture.
In fact, you’re being reviewed whether you decide to participate or not.
Yep! Did you know that sites like Zillow, Facebook, Google, and Yelp all have directory listings for your business already?
And did you know that people are allowed to review your business without your knowledge approval?
And did you also know that some of your unclaimed business profiles are advertising your competitors?
Well, it’s happening. Whether you like it or not.
Google your personal name and your business name to see what comes up. You might be shocked by what you find.
And if you haven’t already, create an account on every site that is associated with your business if you haven’t already done so. Claiming your business will allow you to take control of your online reputation in a positive way.
7 Tips For Getting More Positive Reviews
1. Positive reviews are the best insurance policy
Online reviews is a numbers game. Let’s do a little math, shall we?
Let’s say a real estate agent named Sally has done everything in her power to build a positive online reputation and over time she’s received 19 reviews, all of them 5 stars. Now, let’s take another real estate agent, Kimberly, has also done a great job of serving her clients, but never asked for reviews or worried about her online reputation. She’s only received 2 reviews so far, but they were both 5 stars. So at this point, both Sally and Kimberly are 5 star rated agents. Perfect.
But then they both get a new client – And they are both the types of clients that you just can’t please. No matter what Sally and Kimberly do to make these clients happy, nothing works. They close the deal and both of their clients review them online – And it’s a measly 1-star review.
Since Sally already had 19 reviews, the 20th review puts her at a 4.8. But Kimberly isn’t so lucky. Since she only had 2 previous reviews on her account, that 3rd review puts her at a 3.6- Eek! Sally will still get loads of business, but Kimberly is now in hot water.
Don’t let this happen to you. The best way to ensure that your business won’t be affected by the negative review that comes – and it will if you’re in business long enough – is to dilute it with positive reviews first.
2. Ask for reviews multiple times
When you start working with a new client, prepare them. Tell your clients that you plan on providing them with an outstanding experience because you plan to earn their review throughout the transaction.
Then keep reminding them of this fact throughout the entire transaction.
Ask for the review at the final walk through and secure a verbal confirmation.
People are usually very busy right after closing time, so follow up with them about a month later if the review still hasn’t appeared
3. Respond to all of your reviews, especially the negative ones
Responding politely to negative reviews shows that you care about the client experience and that you’re paying attention.
4. Post your reviews everywhere!
An outstanding online reputation is powerful social proof.
So send links to your online profiles to your real estate leads before meeting with them to solidify yourself as a local leader.
Use these positive client reviews as a strategic part of your marketing arsenal to get more potential clients.
5. Let the Client Choose the Review Site
Every agent wants their clients to post on one site so the reviews are concentrated, but this is a big mistake.
All review sites run on algorithms, which means that if you ask your client to post on Yelp, but your client is not an active Yelper, Yelp will bury the review and no one will ever see it.
That is a wasted opportunity.
Instead, your clients should post a review on whatever platform they use most regularly.
And this leads me to tip #6…
6. Use software to collect reviews
An inexpensive way to get more reviews is to buy a domain that points to a landing page. And on that landing page, you can link out to your profiles on all of the big review portals, so the client can choose their favorites. If you ask nicely, you may even get them to post on every site!
An automated way to get more reviews is to use an app like Revleap! Revleap is actively designed to get you more positive reviews (and address negative reviews before they’re even posted online).
I had a plumber fix a leaky pipe in my house and before I even locked the door on his way out, he Revleaped me! I received a review request right on my phone! I was so impressed with his marketing initiative, I gave him a review on several sites before he’d even pulled out of my driveway.
7. Make Your Profiles Easier To Find
Most agents have incomplete profiles on all of these review sites, because they think they can’t get business from these sites.
This is another big mistake.
I worked with one real estate agent client that got almost half of her business directly from her FREE Yelp profile!
The difference between this agent and all of the others is that I optimized her business listing, so she was getting discovered in search engines.
So when people were going in Google, speaking into Siri, or asking Alexa where to find a local real estate agent – Yelp was at the top of all these searches and she was at the top of Yelp!
Yes, people ask Siri and Alexa for things all the time – And both smart devices pull almost exclusively from review portals!
To optimize your profiles on these platforms, always include keywords like “Miami Real Estate Agent” or “Portland Realtor®” so you come up in more searches results
The Choice is Up To You…
Will you utilize review sites as a goldmine source new business?
Or will you let it be a land mine that takes down your entire business?