According to a recent survey, 90 percent of consumers say they read online reviews first before visiting a business. Customers rely on the input of their peers to influence their buying decisions because it eliminates uncertainty. This applies to the real estate industry and prospective property buyers, too.
Prospective home buyers take advantage of the internet to find the perfect broker to assist in their transactions. Eighty-eight percent say they search for real estate agents when buying or selling a property.
Technology has transformed the way we do business. In the advent of social media and review websites, leveraging social proof has become an essential marketing tool for businesses looking to succeed online. Moz estimates that 67.7 percent of all major purchases have been influenced by online reviews.
However, 93 percent of prospective new home buyers searching for a real estate agency online won’t make it past the first page of the search results. Without a robust search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, they probably won’t make it to your website at all. They will, however, be able to find you in the search results for real estate review sites.
In the real estate industry, your reputation directly impacts your bottom line. Eighty-four percent of people say online reviews are as good as a personal recommendation. When you have good realtor reviews, you get more high-intent leads and more opportunities for a sizable commission.
But what happens when you get bad reviews?
Seventy-eight percent of people say they are less likely to call a real estate agent when they have just one negative review. So, the key takeaway here is that realtor reviews do matter.
In this post, we talk about:
• Why real estate agent ratings matter
• Why it’s important to diversify your online reviews
• The top sites you can use to leverage social proof
• The importance of review diversity
• How to ask clients to leave a review
Take control of your online reputation with online reputation management (ORM) services.
Why Do Real Estate Agent Reviews Matter?
In a nutshell, real estate agent reviews matter for both the agent and the prospective buyer because of social proof. For the prospective buyer, it eliminates any concerns they may have and validates the agent’s reputation. The agent, meanwhile, establishes credibility and improves buyer sentiment. Here are other reasons why reviews matter for your real estate business:
1. Good realtor reviews bolster your online reputation
Your online reputation plays an essential role in molding public opinion around you. As a real estate agent, you’re already in hot water for belonging to one of the least trusted professions in the United States, according to Forbes. But favorable reviews on a trusted real estate agent review site can quickly improve that perception, improving your reputation immediately.
2. An excellent online reputation directly impacts your bottom line
Real estate is a highly-competitive industry. Data from HomeLight reveals that there are over 2 million active real estate agents in the entire country. In an industry that is incredibly competitive, reputation equals sales; it’s make or break. If you get positive reviews, you gain a good reputation, which will get you more leads and loyal clients. But if you only get negative reviews, chances are you won’t be closing any deals any time soon. That’s why it’s vital that you manage your online reputation.
3. Reviews encourage word-of-mouth marketing and generate referrals
When a client is happy about your service, their overall satisfaction with your service turns into positive sentiment, which can quickly generate more commissions for you. A report published by the National Association of Realtors revealed that 90 percent of happy buyers will use their real estate agent in future purchases or refer them to others. Positive reviews can function in the same way as a referral. The more positive reviews you have, the more it signifies that you’ve helped numerous happy clients.
4. Interactions with reviewers foster trust and encourage loyalty
As you gain more positive real estate agent ratings, prospective buyers will become more at ease with you and be more confident about choosing you as their agent. But when you get negative reviews, what do you do? An online reputation management service can help you manage your negative reviews. You can also choose how to respond to those reviews. Responding to negative reviews shows that you care and that you actively want to be better.
5. Local real estate agent reviews are good for SEO
Did you know that local real estate agent reviews can impact your SEO rankings positively? When people talk about your services as a real estate agent, their conversations factor into your website’s search rankings. According to Moz, review signals make up about 10 percent of the ranking factors for websites. It all depends on several key elements, including:
• Review Quality – customer sentiment, from 1-star to 5-star reviews
• Review Quantity – how many reviews you receive
• Site Authority – the authenticity of the review and the credibility of the review site
• Review Velocity – how fast you receive reviews
The bottom line? A steady stream of positive reviews can help you attract more attention locally.
Top Realtor Review Sites
Take advantage of technology and find new leads by leveraging positive realtor reviews. We’ve compiled a list of the best real estate agent review sites you can use. Look through the list below:
Google reviews are one of the most important reviews you can acquire as a real estate agent. Local real estate agent reviews should be part of your local SEO strategy because they show up on search engine results pages (SERPs). With a properly optimized Google My Business (GMB) account, reviews will show up alongside your name and realtor ratings on local searches, giving you an instant boost in credibility.
Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social networking site, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users (MAU), according to Statista. With basically everyone on the planet using Facebook, it has transformed into one of the largest websites for reviews. It allows virtually anyone on the network to write reviews and recommendations on business pages. The best thing about it is that reviews will also show up on search engine results.
When you think of reviews, Yelp is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Yelp is a broad-spectrum review website where users can rate restaurants, hotels, establishments and even real estate agents. Yelp reviews also integrate with SERPs. Search engines pull information from Yelp profiles. Real estate agent ratings then appear next to your name as orange stars along with the number of reviews.
Zillow is a niche website dedicated to real estate. As a real estate review site, it introduces new review elements dedicated to agent attributes such as expertise, area knowledge, responsiveness and ability to negotiate. They also break down real estate agent reviews by zip code, giving you hyperlocal results. Users must create a Zillow account before posting a review, which means reviews are rarely fraudulent.
Besides being one of the biggest real estate review sites, Realtor.com is also a website dedicated to buying and selling real property. It is the official website of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and contains extensive information about various listings and realtor ratings. You can also rate agents according to their ability to communicate and negotiate, expertise, professionalism and responsiveness.
Trulia connects prospective buyers with other real estate professionals such as agents, brokers, lenders, property managers and appraisers. Unlike Zillow, Trulia doesn’t display agent profiles and doesn’t have a search feature. Instead, customers can find an agent once they find a property they like. This means that your profile is tied heavily to a piece of property, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Diversity in Online Realtor Ratings: Do You Need It?
Review quantity is one of the key elements that make review signals a factor in SEO. This means that you need more than one review for it to be a ranking factor. But that doesn’t mean it should all be found in one place. Diversity is also an important element that goes way beyond the numbers.
Prospective buyers want diversity. They generally don’t trust the first review they see. According to a BrightLocal survey, an average consumer reads about 10 reviews before they begin trusting a business. In a separate survey from Moz’s Mike Blumenthal, 46 percent of respondents said that they would look for reviews outside of Google.
But it’s not just the consumers who demand diversity. Google’s own algorithms call for review diversity as a ranking factor. This is evident in SERPs, where they add links to websites for more reviews.
Lastly, diversifying the realtor review sites that you use expands your online presence. Increasing your coverage makes it easier for prospective buyers to give you a review. In turn, you benefit from a higher exposure when those reviews are syndicated.
How to Get Reviews from Clients
For a real estate agent, getting reviews from your clients is significantly easier than closing a deal. Here’s how to ask your clients for reviews:
• Getting a review should be the last thing your clients have to do. Wait until your transaction is completed, so they don’t have anything else to worry about.
• Focus on asking questions that matter. Obtain honest feedback about your service. Ask about the things that you could improve to serve them better.
• Once you’ve gathered honest feedback, gently ask about leaving a review on Google, Yelp, or any other review site. Telling them it would be helpful for you gently nudges them towards leaving a review.
Real estate is a highly-competitive industry where your reputation significantly impacts your bottom line. Getting a steady stream of positive reviews not only bolsters your reputation but helps with SEO.
After completing your transaction with the client, make sure you ask them to leave a review. Alternatively, contact the experts at Rize Reviews. We have a team of review management aficionados ready to help you get more positive reviews and handle the negative feedback in a customer-focused, assertive and helpful manner. We automate your review generation process so you can focus on things that matter more. Give us a call today at 866-325-0303 or fill-up the form here for a free demo.