Why Are Reviews and Testimonials Important to Real Estate Agents?
If you find yourself conducting a Google search before trying a new restaurant or making a costly purchase, you’re in the company of most modern consumers. When it comes to purchasing a piece of real estate, you better believe potential real estate leads are going to check your online reviews. That’s why it’s important to earn great reviews and post them (or have them posted) where potential clients can easily find them.
How to Get More Reviews From Real Estate Clients
Even if a client has had a great experience, sometimes they need a little nudge to share their story. Other clients can’t wait to post a review. Regardless, real estate agent reviews and testimonials are paramount in growing your business and helping new clients feel confident you’re the one to help them along their journey, especially in a competitive real estate market.
Create a Testimonials Page on Your Website
Reviews and testimonials aren’t effective if they aren’t easily located. If you have your own website, you’ll want to create a testimonial page (here’s ours) where you can showcase all of your hard-earned testimonials. If you’re not sure how to do this, just reach out to your web developer or your brokerage’s IT folks. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction as well as recommend any other products or website plugins they’ve seen to be effective. Not only is a testimonial page an asset you can promote and link to in your marketing collateral, but it also serves as a reminder for your current clients to write a review.
Include a Link to the Reviews in Your Email Signature
Email signatures are often overlooked as a marketing opportunity, but they’re included in every email you send to a current or potential client. That’s prime marketing real estate! With that said, it’s important for your email signature to include both the basics like your name, title, your phone number, e-mail address, and which brokerage you work for, as well as the additional links you want people to click (including your social media accounts, your listings, and/or your review page).
Follow Up With Clients After a Transaction
Many companies understand the importance of reviews in the marketplace, so they’ll often follow up with consumers after a purchase. You should, too. If you have a client who is raving about you and your services, capitalize on their great experience! In the real estate industry, you'll need every chance you can get to separate yourself from your peers, and bolstering your reviews does just that.
Ask in Person!
It may seem obvious, but asking for a review in person is one of the best ways to get clients to post something. Purchasing a home is usually an exciting time for a client, so leaving you a review may not be top of mind. You should also request that they share your information with anyone who may be looking to get on (or off!) the market. After all, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective tools to garner new business. Sometimes a small reminder is all it takes. Just make sure you don’t wait too long after the transaction to ask!
Did You Know?
As a consumer yourself, you might have heard of businesses incentivizing their client base to post reviews, but that kind of behavior goes against Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines. Likewise, Google My Business also advises against it. The best practice is always to be honest throughout the whole real estate agent review process. As a real estate professional, the last thing you want to do is to get caught acting shady by “paying” for testimonials, which could have the opposite effect. Don’t lose sight of your ethics or you may start receiving negative Zillow reviews, Google reviews, and tarnishing your Yelp profile.
What Are the Best Review Platforms to Use for Real Estate Agents?
Having a strong online presence means much more than simply having your own real estate website or posting a cute 2-bedroom Tudor on social media. It means having an active profile on a variety of review sites and platforms where past clients can post testimonials, recommendations, and make referrals. To get you started, check out:
Tips for Managing Reviews
The truth is that you can’t please everybody, meaning you might not get perfect reviews all of the time — and that’s okay. Even top agents have their fair share of less-than-flattering reviews. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to turn negative reviews into something positive. By responding to reviews, both positive and negative, your potential clients will be able to get a better sense of who you are.
In terms of negative client reviews, you’ll want to apologize and express a sense of sympathy that they didn’t have a good experience. Be genuine, sweet, and brief in your response, then address their concerns. Lastly, invite them to continue the conversation offline. For example:
Reviewer: “Our agent didn’t seem to listen to us, even though we told him exactly what we wanted!”
Possible Response: “Hello (insert reviewer’s name), we’re so sorry to hear that our agent didn’t quite meet your expectations. We understand that not being heard can be very frustrating. We’re always looking to improve, so please don’t hesitate to reach us at (insert contact info) to discuss how we can make things better for the next client. Thank you, (insert name of agent or brokerage).”
For positive reviews, be personal in your response. Thank the person for writing the review, and don’t miss the opportunity to plug your business. For example:
Reviewer: “Wow, our agent was fantastic! We’ve been trying to purchase a home for the past three months and didn’t have any luck until we started working with our agent. They helped us get our dream home!”
Possible Response: “Dear (insert reviewer’s name), thank you so much for the kind words! It was an absolute pleasure helping you find the perfect home for you, your husband, and your dog Waylon. We’re always here to help, so please feel free to reach out anytime you, your friends, or family have any real estate questions!”
When it comes to earning reviews in the real estate business, positivity is contagious. So be yourself, be positive, and serve your clients with a genuine sense of wanting to help them. If you adhere to these tips, the reviews will follow — just don’t forget to send your clients a review request after you've helped them achieve their goal!