How can you get online reviews from mainstream websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Google, and others that potential buyers and sellers are likely to use?
First of all, Realtor.com doesn’t have any client testimonials. Homes.com, on the other hand, allows you to copy testimonials you may have from other websites and place them on their site. Sites like Zillow require the client to put a review into their systems. They have validation techniques to make sure that people aren’t fabricating reviews.
You can take advantage of the closing process to get reviews from clients. Have your Zillow or Google profile pulled up while you’re at the closing table and, in the middle of your conversation about their experience, simply ask your clients to leave a review for you.
On our team, we like to hold review contests. These are best done on a quarterly basis, and usually result in a flurry of reviews. You don’t have to choose incredibly expensive prizes and gifts to incentivize clients, but in order to see whether or not that affects the outcome, we are offering up an iPad Mini, an Amazon Echo, and also an Apple Watch for our next contest.
For these contests, we call up past clients and ask them to participate in the review contest. One review on Zillow or Google, for example, will equal one entry into the drawing per site. If they leave a review on both websites, it will equal three entries. The contest lasts about three months, and when it’s over, we’ll draw three winners and announce them to our database. It will help to incorporate the news of these contests into your videos. For example, in some of my own videos, I will attach the announcement to a market update video, with the announcement gaining more urgency as the contest draws to an end.
Consumers will choose the Realtors that they want to work with based on online reviews, much the same way that people choose restaurants or other establishments. Getting a five-star review is critical. Anything less than that could hurt you substantially. Using these contests is a way for you to get more five-star ratings.
Websites like Yelp are a little more difficult. It’s not quite as popular in Charleston as it in California. If a client happens to use Yelp, their review will only stay on the site if they are an active user. Reviews that are left by one-time users appear suspicious to the site, which might assume that a business person created their own profile to leave reviews and boost their own business. In these cases, reviews are removed after a certain amount of time.
It’s so critical to have a strong online presence with reviews. People will research you and your company to make sure that you have a good reputation and brand. It’s especially critical if you do invest money in websites such as Zillow to get leads because they’re advertising multiple people on the same listing; if you have more reviews than the other agents listed, then it’s more likely that someone will reach out to you for a question. The same is true for agents with more detailed profiles set up.
Hopefully, this information can help you garner more reviews which are so essential to the business. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d be more than happy to help.