How to Secure Online Reviews That Build Your Business
Testimonials, or client feedback on your performance as an agent, may be one of the most critical elements of your business. These testimonials can make or break your success. According to the Zillow Group 2018 Consumer Housing Trends Report, reviews are particularly important for younger buyers: 57% of Gen Z buyers, 48% of millennials and 46% of Gen X buyers who use an agent rank online reviews as very or extremely important. This is key information to keep in your back pocket as the largest share of home buyers and sellers fall within these age groups just mentioned: the largest group of home buyers are Older Millennials and the largest group of home sellers are Gen Xers (National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report).
Without a doubt, gathering positive online reviews and testimonials is vital for you to thrive and continue to attract new leads as an agent.
But how do you go about securing these reviews? You may have the occasional client who will leave a positive online review without your asking (shoutout to those people!), but for the most part you’ll have to prompt your clients to provide a testimonial in order to receive one. And, once you do have a steady influx of positive testimonials, how do you utilize them for maximum value to boost your reputation and get more business? Look no further than this cheat sheet!
There are a few key ways to proactively gather testimonials from your real estate clients. Here are our recommendations:
- First things first! Set up Facebook, Yelp and Google My Business pages specific to your agent brand, including your brokerage’s name and physical address where appropriate. Be sure to link your personal agent website, if you have one (we hope you do!)
- Send an email after business has closed asking your clients to share their feedback, and make it easy to do so by including direct links to your Google, Yelp, and/or Facebook review pages.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your for reviews from clients in person! During your last in-person interaction with a client that you’ve had a good relationship with, seize that moment to ask if they would share a review.
- You can also create an “end-of-business” business card that you hand out to clients at the end of a deal which prompts them to leave a review. Include the URLs of your Facebook, Yelp, and/or Google pages.
Once you have gathered a few great reviews, it’s time to use them! Of course, a batch of 5-star reviews look great on your Yelp, Google, and Facebook profiles all on their own, but you can also use these testimonials in other marketing materials to boost your reputation apart from those websites.
- Create a “Testimonials” page on your agent website and list all of the positive testimonials you’ve received there.
- Include testimonials in your suite of marketing materials that you hand out to prospects. If you receive a particularly awesome review and have the reviewer’s contact information, reach out to them and ask if you can have a photo of them for use in marketing collateral. Attaching a face to the review will provide visual interest and a human element. Use the testimonials in brochures that speak to your services, flyers, and other handouts.
- Feature the great testimonials you receive in your social media posts.
- Use the testimonials in a direct mail series to add social proof to your farming campaign. Response rates for direct mail are generally higher than for digital channels — according to the Data and Marketing Association’s 2018 Response Rate Report, direct mail had a 9% response rate for household lists and a 4.9% response rate for prospect lists, higher than all of the digital channels studied combined (which were email, social media, and paid search). As such, direct mail postcards are a great way to farm for prospects. At QuantumDigital, we offer an easy way to farm for prospects with direct mail postcards, called AutoMail. You can set up a real estate postcards farming campaign targeted to your ideal audience, with multiple cards sent over the course of 12 months. With the option to upload your own designs for your AutoMail postcard campaign, you can send real estate postcards featuring testimonials to provide positive social proof to your prospects.
Securing reviews often does take a little extra work, but the rewards are well worth it to build a positive reputation for your agent brand.
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