Are you putting enough effort into getting online real estate reviews? In today's market, reviews are the social proof you need to get online buyers to trust you. Without reviews, you won't be able to build a sustainable business. In this post, we'll cover how to ask for real estate reviews, as well as the top five review sites where you should focus your efforts.
What We'll Cover
- Why Reviews Are So Important
- Five Sites You Need Reviews On
- Five Ways to Ask for Reviews
Why Reviews Are So Important
Increase Organic Traffic
According to a Dimensional Research survey, 90% of all consumers read online reviews before engaging with any business, including real estate.
Reviews act as the initiating factor to determine if someone will reach out and contact you. They can also serve as the deciding factor when a potential client is comparing you to another agent. Additionally, as you build your online presence, reviews are a significant signal that can impact your site's ranking in search engines. This can affect the amount of organic traffic to your different online and social media platforms.
Without reviews, particularly Google reviews, to draw in organic traffic to your website, you won't be able to have a scalable, sustainable, or predictable business. A predictable business means that you consistently have new leads and referrals coming to you, even when you're not actively seeking them out.
Client reviews also build trust by acting as social proof, which is the first thing people look for when choosing a real estate agent online. Reviews get buyers and sellers online to find you, trust you, and then reach out to you. If you want to move beyond your sphere of influence and cast a wider net for new leads, getting reviews is the best way to start.
In addition, you should also get reviews even if you work as a member of a team or brokerage. You need to think of yourself as your own business, even if you are part of a team. When you get clients, you can show them your reviews instead of your entire team's reviews.
These reviews are critical if you plan to branch out on your own one day. Having reviews of your services, even while you were a part of a team, can create the foundation for your own real estate business so that you don't start from scratch.
Reviews will also improve the search engine optimization, or SEO, for your website. Your reviews will bring in more organic traffic to your website, which will help it rank higher in search engines. This boost to your organic rankings will make it more likely that your name is the first one people see when looking for Realtors in their area. Ranking high in search engines is why you particularly need to learn how to ask for real estate reviews on Google.
Five Sites You Need to Get Reviews On
Google is the number one site that you should get reviews on. It's the most important review site because it's often the first place buyers and sellers go to when searching for a specific zip code, homes for sale in a particular area, a particular business, or top Realtors in a specific city.
Reviews will also help you in the future if you ever want to do Google ads. Google Ads works as a bidding system, and one of the factors it takes into account when determining your site's credibility is the number of reviews you have.
Zillow is one of the most well-known real estate websites out there. For this reason, you should learn how to ask for real estate reviews on this site as well, and it should be your second priority behind Google.
Zillow is essential because it ranks you based on how many local reviews you have in your city, how many recent sales you've had, and the current active listings you have. When people search for real estate agents in a specific area, Zillow will give them a list of agents.
If you want to appear on the first page of that list, you either need to have many recent sales or many positive reviews. Getting reviews is more manageable, so you should focus your effort there.
You'll find that nearly all of your clients are on Facebook. And while your particular social media strategy may or may not lean heavily on Facebook, having a Facebook business page with many positive reviews is vital. Because of the social aspect of Facebook, it's relatively easy to ask for reviews on the platform.
Also, reviews on Facebook are considered more reputable because each one is associated with a Facebook profile. This way, people can see that the reviews are genuine. Check out my post on Facebook marketing for more details about setting up a Facebook Business profile.
Yelp is an untapped resource for reviews, even though it's a popular search platform for people researching businesses. For this reason, it doesn't take very many reviews to be the top agent in your entire market on Yelp, which is why it's a great idea to get some reviews on the platform. Your Google page also pulls reviews from Yelp, so you'll want to have some reviews on here.
Be sure to do some additional research when building your review strategy on Yelp, because the platform is very particular when it comes to reviews. If you get too many reviews at once, Yelp can actually prevent them from being posted, because the reviews don't appear organic.
To prevent this, post reviews on your Yelp page slowly over time. One way to do this is to ask your clients to leave you a review by searching your profile on Yelp, rather than you sending them a link. Try not to send links to your Yelp profile, because reviews created this way can also be held back by the platform.
Realtor.com is another popular real estate site, though it gets less traffic than Zillow. Despite this, it's still a good idea to get some reviews on this platform. People will likely come across your profile on the site when they're researching the Realtors in their area.
Five Ways to Ask For Reviews
1. Set the Expectation Upfront
At the start of all your transactions, you should set the expectation upfront that a review is something you'll be asking your client for at the end of the deal. Ask them if there's anything you can do to ensure they have a five-star experience. Also, tell them that you want to earn their five-star review, so they can let you know if you're not providing adequate service.
2. After You Resolve a Problem
Another great time to ask for a review is after you resolve an issue during the transaction. Tell your client that you were glad you could take care of this issue for them and that you would love it if they could remember to mention this in their review. While any review is excellent, they're even more compelling if they say something specific you did to help the client.
3. Use Your Email Signature
Include a shortened version of your Google review and Zillow review links in your email signature. You can use Bit.ly to create shortened versions of your links. Every time your client sees your email, it reminds them to leave you a review if they haven't already.
It also makes it simple for you to direct them where to go to leave their review. The easier you make it for people to leave a review, the more likely they will do it.
4. Give People an Incentive
Another way to get reviews, especially if you're just getting started and looking to build reviews up quickly, is to offer a contest. For example, you can offer a contest where if your client leaves a review over the next seven days, you'll enter them into a raffle for a prize.
5. Character Reviews
If you're a brand new agent and don't know how to ask for real estate reviews because you don't have any transactions yet, you can get started by getting character reviews. Ask the people in your life who know you well to leave a testimonial speaking to the quality of your character. Even if you don't have transactions, reviews like this from close friends, family, or coworkers can be just as powerful.
Final Thoughts on How to Ask for Real Estate Reviews
Getting reviews is an ongoing process. If clients see a review older than 90 days, it loses its relevance and credibility. Use these five tips on how to ask for real estate reviews to follow up with your clients consistently.
Remember that most people want to leave you reviews, but they're busy and often forget. You'll likely have to follow up with your clients a few times before they leave one. The more consistent you get in asking people, and the easier you make it for them, the more reviews you will get.