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Ratings & Reviews: Understanding How Real Estate Sites Can Impact Your Business

Posted by Carrington Real Estate Services on April 11, 2016 at 1:31 PM

client-testimonials.jpgIt seems like no one goes to a new restaurant these days without first checking out the yelp reviews. We almost always check in with TripAdvisor to see how a resort rates before booking the next big getaway. We even check the reviews of basic household appliances before ordering them from Amazon.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, ratings and reviews have become an essential part of the buying process in almost every aspect of life, and the real estate business is definitely not exempt from that!

With Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com all offering agent reviews today, managing your approach to these ratings and reviews can mean the difference between a booming business or a lack of listings.

Real Estate Agent Reviews

Thankfully, playing the ratings and reviews game is not all that complicated. All you have to do is make them a part of your focused business strategy.

The agents that are having the most success developing leads through the national real estate listing portals are the ones that are making it a priority to fill up their profiles with legitimate positive reviews.

In order to do that, you must make getting reviews a focal point of your business, you have to tell your clients exactly where to leave their reviews, and last but not least, you have to make the process super easy for them.

Make Reviews a Focal Point of Your Business

The first step in making reviews a focal point of your real estate business is to make sure that you are constantly talking about them. Let your clients know from day one that you drive a lot of business from the positive reviews people have left about you on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com.

The most important thing you can do to increase the percentage of clients that leave reviews for you is to make sure you are asking them early and often. You obviously don’t want to badger your clients, but find multiple points in your client pipeline where you can remember to ask for reviews.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to focus exclusively on clients who close deals. Even if you just show someone one listing, they are still qualified to have an opinion about your abilities to show a property. Ask them to put that opinion into words!

If you really want to emphasize the importance of reviews, you might even want to consider offering some type of incentive like a small gift card or a “reviewers-only” party for clients that take the time to leave you a review.

Linking to Your Review Pages

On each of the big three portals, you should be able to find the page to leave a review for you from your profile page on that site. But once you find the URL for that page, don’t ask your clients to do the same. Make it easy for them and just send them the link!

Going a step further, one of our favorite tricks is to create a simple link that redirects right to your review page on a particular site.

For example, you could set the web address johnsmith.com/zillow to point directly to your Zillow review page.

Make Use of Templates

In order to streamline the process of asking for reviews even further, you should have a template email set up that you can send to any new clients as you are working with them.

This email should reiterate how important reviews are to your business and that it would mean a lot to you if they could follow the simple link included in the email and leave an honest review about your services.

If you really want to dive in deep here, you could also give them a few bullet points to help them write the review. Remind them to mention how prompt you were in arriving at each showing and how you gave them plenty of advice on each property and were knowledgeable about the neighborhood.

Agent ratings and reviews are still relatively new in the real estate industry. But as the world shifts more and more into the online space, they are going to become increasingly powerful for driving real estate business towards agents that embrace them.

Get ahead of the curve and start making reviews a primary focus of your business.

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