Right now, one of the most important things you can do as a real estate agent is to have positive reviews online. Where? The answer is simple: everywhere you can. Facebook, Zillow, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you can think of. In most cases, someone will research you online before they work with you, and they’ll likely start that research in two places: a Google search and using the review sites they already trust.
When it comes to online reviews, everyone is different, and they trust different sources when they’re making decisions. So, the more places you’ve been reviewed, the better, so you can cover all of your bases.
Having positive online reviews is a bit like having a referral strategy that works in the background automatically. Often, without you even knowing it, people are researching you and other people’s experiences working with you, and what they find out can make or break whether you get contacted or not. Even if it’s a straight, word-of-mouth referral from someone, they’re still likely to at least look you up online before they contact you.
Both Google reviews and Facebook reviews actually display on your Google Business Page (which will show up on the right-hand side of the screen when someone does a Google search for your name), so they’re front and center if someone searches for you online instead of on a review platform.
As well, having reviews can really help with the overall search strategy of your website. Google reviews directly contribute to your local search strategy. At the end of the day, Google wants to display results that give the user the best experience and results around search; nothing more than that. So if you’re an agent with positive reviews online, and someone is searching for a real estate agent in your area, chances are that you’ll come up as a result, and someone may choose to work with you even if they don’t know you.
Some agents don’t collect online reviews for a very silly reason: they’re scared they’ll get bad reviews. If you have a bad review, that’s ok. What’s not ok is to leave it unanswered though. If you get a bad review, it’s your chance to address it and give your side of the story. Most online review platforms have a way for you, as the business owner, to be able to comment on the review, and if you don’t, people are more likely to believe that it’s true.
So now that you know why you need reviews, the question is, how do you get them? Well first off, you have to ask.
I’ve met countless professional, experienced real estate agents that have absolutely no reviews online simply because they never asked. So, the first step is asking for a review.
One of the keys is to ensure that you give them a really simple way to do it. So, instead of saying, “Can you write me a review on Google,” send them an email asking for what you want and why you want it, and be sure to include a link to where they need to write the review so they can get there in one, easy click. People are busy, and if they have to jump through a bunch of hoops to write you a review, the odds go down that they’ll actually do it.
Experience shows that the best time to ask for a review is right after the transaction has completed. That’s the time when your client is likely to be happiest, and the experience is still memorable for them.
As an agent, you need to make getting a review from your client part of your process, whether buying, selling, or any other type of transaction. You need to make sure that you ask for a review at a consistent time.
If you haven’t thought about getting reviews, or worse, you don’t have any reviews online at all, then you need to start right now. Right now. It will make a difference and lead to more business.