Real estate is a tough business. No one needs to tell you that.
It takes hard work and dedication to build up a word-of-mouth reputation, and for the lucky ones who have it, you know the power that comes with a testimonial from a close friend or relative.
Although a stellar word-of-mouth reputation is helpful, it doesn’t cover all the bases — not even close. That’s because many young homeowners are relying on the internet to find their next real estate agent.
According to statistics:
- The median age of first-time homebuyers is 34.
- 9 out of 10 homebuyers between 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a close friend.
- Millennials made up the largest share of home buyers at 37% in 2020.
That means if you want to build a solid foundation of real estate clients, you need a two-pronged approach towards reputation.
In fact, according to ZipRealty, 62% of homebuyers choose realtors based on their online reviews and real estate agent ratings.
We have compiled a list of the top five ways for real estate agents to build a strong online reputation quickly. Read on for all the juicy tips!
1. Choose the right review sites to build your reputation.
When it comes to online review sites, one site reigns supreme — Google.
In fact, Google has added advantages in that it’s a free option for real estate agents to build trust and credibility on the world’s top search engine.
With a Google My Business listing, you’re able to build an online reputation quickly that’s attached to Google Maps, helping you rank in your local area.
For those who use this service correctly, you can significantly increase your leads through local search results in the Google Local 3-Pack.
Some other online review sites to consider are:
The one advantage of using Zillow is that it’s specifically designed for real estate. Another advantage is that Zillow customizes its star ratings into separate categories such as process expertise, local knowledge, negotiation skills, and responsiveness. Not only that, but they also break down customer reviews by zip code, which is a unique feature that other review sites don’t have.
Better still, users need to create a Zillow account to leave a review, so the potential for fake reviews is rare.
With nearly 3 billion users and counting, real estate agents and businesses alike enjoy the open community of Facebook business pages. It allows agents to establish an online presence, share important information, and advertise to potential clients.
However, one of the most important features of Facebook is its availability to recommend your services with personal posts. It’s a great feature that allows you to see who actually wrote the recommendation, which builds credibility.
Establish credibility quickly through the official site for the National Association of Realtors. While potential clients browse MLS numbers and lookup data about the best housing areas, they can also peep your online reputation.
Customers can view online ratings for market experience, responsiveness, professionalism, communication, negotiation skills, and an overall rating.
Along with Google, Yelp is one of the top review sites people use as a trusted resource for reviews.
Real estate agents can depend on Yelp to show up in the top pages of Google, giving you a secondary SEO option for search rankings. Google pulls its ratings from Yelp profiles, so it’s essential to have an up-to-date and completed profile.
Like Facebook, it allows people within the Yelp community to recommend businesses to friends or family members.
2. Get over your fear of asking for reviews from clients.
The easiest and most effective way to build up your online reputation is to ask for reviews from happy clients. While this can feel intimidating at first, it’s essential for a stellar online reputation.
The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, as it will help lead to more leads, better search rankings, and improved reach.
If asking for a review feels too pushy, you can always include a simple business card or some other promotional material that asks for you that comes along with your onboarding materials.
It’s a simple yet effective way to build up your online reputation without awkward conversations — at least until you build up the nerve to ask on your own.
3. Make review generation part of your transaction process.
While asking for reviews is essential, it’s not a one-and-done fix. In order to protect your online reputation, you need to have a solid review generation process.
Because 85% of consumers think local reviews older than three months old aren’t relevant anymore. That means if you have 100 reviews, but they are all old, you’re no longer building traction with new clients.
No one wants that! So, make sure to make review generation part of your transaction process.
4. Make sure to reply to every review you receive, especially the bad ones.
It’s absolutely crucial that you respond to every review you receive. Online reports indicate that consumers expect to hear back from a company within seven business days after feedback.
However, some consumers are more demanding. For example, one in every four consumers expects to hear back within three days, while one in five consumers expects to hear back in 24-hours or less!
Therefore review monitoring and replying to reviews is essential for a solid online reputation. Consumers like to feel valued, and the best way to establish an online reputation is to treat your best (and worst) customers well.
5. Use negative reviews to your advantage with empathetic responses.
Did you know that some consumers don’t trust brands that don’t have any negative reviews?
While it sounds counter-intuitive, having a negative review or two among your positive reviews can be a good thing. For starters, it ensures you have real reviews and not fake ones from friends or neighbors.
Not only that but also, it provides credibility. Lastly, it gives consumers a chance to see how you handle negative feedback and how you plan to make it right.
Responding with empathy and transparency adds credibility and provides potential clients a view into how you respond when things don’t go perfectly.
The WebPunch Mobile Ask App: Your All-in-One Review Generation Solution
Would you like to dramatically increase your online reputation with one simple tool? With the WebPunch Mobile Ask App, now you can!
The WebPunch Mobile Ask App lets you:
- Send real-time SMS, and email review requests right from your mobile phone.
- Monitor your reviews with real-time alerts and notifications
- Have real-time feedback from your customers while on the go!
- Build an online reputation quickly for your real estate business.
We’ve designed an app that allows you to ditch the awkward conversations and get real feedback — real fast!
We’ll be at the NAR conference in San Diego from November 12th through the 14th at booth 1701. To set up a demo session with the WebPunch team at the conference, schedule a 30-minute appointment on our calendar.
We can’t wait to see you!