Now, more than ever, reviews and testimonials play an essential role in driving new clients to real estate companies. 97% of people check online reviews for local businesses before making a buying decision. What’s more, 89% of people read companies’ responses to reviews.
Think about it this way, if you want to purchase something on Amazon, you don’t check only the description and images of the product, but you also read reviews and look for real pictures of the product you want to buy. The same is the case with your clients when they buy or sell a house, they are looking for a trustworthy and successful real estate agent.
With 97% of people checking the business online before contacting it, your prospects will look for reviews to verify if you deliver the services you promise. To gain their trust, your smiling face should be attached to your LinkedIn profile, you need to work to get a high Google rating and have numerous positive reviews from past customers.
Why are reviews and testimonials important?
By nature, people don’t buy from companies they don’t find reliable. They will turn to their peers, “clients like them” with the same needs and preferences, for advice on the trustworthiness of a brand.
Statistics show the power of testimonials and reviews in building trust:
- People prefer to spend 31% more on a company with first-rate reviews
- 94% of buyers state a negative review convinced them to not buy from a brand
- 4 out of 5 people reconsidered about a recommended company after reading unfavorable reviews
Don’t you trust the statistics? Think about this: Do you ever buy a new product without first looking up the brand on Google? Not often. People find Google reviews the most reliable ones because they link back to a real person, with a real Google account. It proves to them your clients are real. There are no anonymous reviews, and Google won’t allow you to delete negative reviews.
The success of online reviews and testimonials lays in the concept of “social proof”. This means you are more likely to buy a service if other people already use it. Social proofs in present marketing have different forms, from social media posts and comments to testimonials reviews and case studies.
How can real estate agents use reviews and testimonials?
1. Integrate reviews in your email marketing strategy
To promote your services, you regularly send email blasts about current or upcoming listings. Include reviews in emails to boost their success. Integrate a Customer Spotlight section in your emails and add one or more reviews in each email you send.
A great idea is to set up a weekly email campaign that includes a testimonial or review from a past client, a photo of the house they bought/sold, and a short explanation of why they recommend you. Be sure to include compelling and appealing copy in the email as well (you can consult professionals writing services for this). To skyrocket the success of the email campaign, send to potential sellers, seller reviews and to potential buyers, buyer reviews. This strategy ensures you’re not sending messages your real estate clients don’t relate to.
2. Dedicate a page on your official website to reviews and testimonials
Your real estate agent website should feature a page dedicated to reviews and testimonials. Create it similar to the Customer Spotlight section by including their written review, a photo of the property you promoted, and details on how you helped them.
Install a search button on the page to help visitors sort testimonials and reviews according to the transaction that interests them (sale/purchase).
3. Share reviews on social media
Dedicating one of the website’s pages to reviews and testimonials isn’t enough. Use a marketing automation tool like AgoraPulse, Kicksta or Hootsuite to schedule posts that link to your Review page.
When posting reviews and testimonials on social media, your followers can share them with their friends and this extends your reach. You can influence social media users by asking your clients to share positive online reviews on social media platforms and national search sites.
For maximum success with social media real estate marketing, consider video. Video reviews or testimonials are more engaging than text. Use a GoPro to record some happy clients delivering feedback on their experience working with you. Do you want to go a step further? Stream live on Facebook your meetings with clients who come back for a second real estate deal.
4. Add reviews on national search sites
Create a real estate profile on national websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Mashvisor and add reviews and testimonials to it. Thousands of people are using these websites to search for real estate agents and homes, and they choose the profiles with the highest ranks. How do these platforms rank profiles? Based on your activity and your clients’ reviews and testimonials.
Do you want to give your career a boost? Claim your free agent profile at Mashvisor.
It’s noteworthy to mention that a lack of reviews on your profile can count against you and make clients move onto another realtor. They find peer recommendations valuable, and they trust them more than a paid advertisement because they know those real clients were in their shoes. Reviews and testimonials are recommendations and referrals prospects use to filter results.
Where should you post reviews?
- On your official website that works as an online brand representation. It should have a review page to show your prospects that you successfully help your clients.
- On your broker’s website.
- On LinkedIn, because it works as an online resume. The platform is optimized to perform company and name searches.
- Realtor.com is the 3rd most successful real estate website worldwide.
- Google+ connects people with local businesses. Check if your Google+ business information is correct and update it constantly.
- Yelp is the number 1 customer review platform around the world. To grow healthy relationships with your clients, Yelp reviews are essential because most Internet users start their search on this platform.
- Trulia and Zillow are well-known real estate online resources because they allow agents to create accounts and advertise their listings.
Bottom Line: People have always relied on other’s opinions to make buying decisions, but over the last decade the source of the opinion changed. The Internet is the main source of information, and customers read reviews from various sources, including social media, the business’ official website, and national review websites.
It doesn’t matter where you are keeping your reviews and testimonials (on Social media or review platforms), but it’s crucial for your success as a real estate agent to commit to this practice because it maximizes your potential to attract new clients.
This article has been contributed by Angela Baker.