fbpx

You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
An Easy System for Generating Valuable Real Estate Testimonials
In the age of Google Review, Yelp,  and a plethora of other consumer information and review sites, simply having a nice website—or being a nice person, for that matter—just won't cut it for your business. For real estate agents in particular, this is where having authentic, credible testimonials to help set you apart comes into play. As a Realtor, in many ways your portfolio of real estate testimonials is just as important as your database of prospects. In this post, we'll cover two things: How to generate valuable real estate testimonials from future business How to generate valuable real estate testimonials from prior business Developing a system It's probably helpful to distinguish between asking a client for a positive, public review or recommendation and a full-blown testimonial that you can use on your personal website and in marketing materials (for the purposes of this post, we'll treat them the same). Regardless of the specific "ask," you need a system to convert your happy clients into valuable testimonials as they close escrow (strike while the iron is hot!). Below is a framework for a testimonial system we've seen work well: Inquire about setting up a one-hour engagement review (aka, "How'd I do?") meeting. Get a verbal agreement to participate Choose a time and place for the meeting that is most convenient to your client Find out (you should already know) what your clients love to drink (good coffee, tea, wine, scotch, etc.) and bring it along for them to enjoy at the meeting Start the meeting by asking your client to write answers to the following questions: Would you recommend me as a real estate agent to your friends and family? If so, why? In what areas did I excel as your real estate agent? In what areas could I improve for future business? Explain to your client how you plan to use this information by showing them examples online If you're asking your client to leave a review for you on a specific site, have the site open on your laptop and walk them through the process (account creation, writing the testimonial) After the meeting, don't forget to send a thank you note (and perhaps more of that special drink they like!) Capitalize on prior successes To garner testimonials from clients you've already been successful with, follow the framework below: Make a list of all past clients that you've spoken with in the last 90 days Call each person on the list and inquire about sending over an engagement review form For those who have agreed to participate, email them a PDF of the form containing the same three questions listed in #4 in the section above – along with instructions for any specific review sites you're targeting Follow up by sending a gift – even before they've completed the task Via email or phone, cover step #5 from the section above Make a list of clients you've been successful with but haven't communicated with in the past 90 days Find a good reason to reconnect with each person – email should suffice Wait 60 days Follow the same directions in above, starting with the "call and ask" (#1) To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
MORE >
What's the Quickest, Most Effective Way to Earn Consumers' Trust?
Buying or selling a home is a major transaction and moment for consumers. Time and again, we've heard from consumers that when they're deciding on an agent, it's really a determination of who they trust. That's why having good online reviews is so important. There is no shortage of sites that accept consumer reviews. Google, Facebook, and Yelp are some of the most popular in the real estate industry. And you likely have a few static testimonials posted on your agent website, too. Why Google? When a prospect wants to read your reviews, they almost always start by searching for your name. Most likely, they're using Google. It's the go-to search engine for an overwhelming majority of Americans. And since so many of them trust Google for search, naturally, they trust Google for reviews, as well. Why? Without getting too deep into the weeds, many consumers are skeptical of whether third-party websites, built specifically around reviews, are truly unbiased. Many of them are, after all, businesses, meaning they could be incentivized to alter reviews. If you poke around online, you'll find many accusations about review manipulation on these sites. Google, on the other hand, has no such doubt, as their business model is built upon bringing accurate data to consumers. Where does Google display your reviews? Short answer: The Google business profile. The Google profile appears prominently to the right of search results, and is filled with business-related content like contact information, your latest listings and deals, a brief bio and, most importantly, consumer reviews. Here is how it looks on Google Search: It also appears on Google Maps. Maintaining a Google business profile with recent reviews needs to be part of every agent's marketing strategy. This profile isn't something consumers just scroll past. It's a search result, and they're used to exploring its content. Just think about the last time you searched online for a restaurant or business. You probably looked at the Google business profile to see the hours of operation, read the reviews and scroll through the photos. It's an easy way to see all the business information you need without clicking into a website that might turn out to be a dead end. How to get reviews on your Google business profile If you don't already have a Google business profile, the first step is to claim your business on Google. Then fill out as many fields in your profile as possible and upload photos, like a headshot, happy clients, and your recent listings and deals. This content will show prospects that you're an active, successful agent and help them understand what differentiates you. When you're ready to generate reviews, do it strategically. Don't ask your entire sphere all at once. The worst thing you can do for your profile—whether it's new or not—is to have a slew of reviews given around the same date and then no new reviews for months. Generating new reviews regularly, ideally every 30 days, is important for maintaining and increasing your search ranking. So spread out your initial requests, and then solicit new reviews at least once a month. Yes, it's okay for you to solicit reviews. Unlike review sites like Yelp, Google encourages it. Why? Google wants its platform to provide as much value as possible to consumers so they continue using Google over its competitors. Social proof in the form of firsthand reviews is a big value-add—82% of consumers read online reviews—plus it builds trust in the source. How reviews impact your ranking in Google search Whose Google business profile will appear when a consumer searches for "real estate agents near me"? Google isn't transparent about how its search algorithm decides to show one Google business profile over another. Experts believe that the quantity of native Google reviews (with text, not just star ratings) is one of the top factors that influences ranking. Homesnap's own data scientists reviewed the thousands of Google business profiles that we professionally manage for agents and found that those with just one review are likely to see a 71% increase in profile views and a 122% lift in actions, like calls and clicks. These results suggest that a higher quantity of reviews do, in fact, influence ranking. When our team looked at how star ratings affect profile performance, they found that positive reviews boost its ranking even more. Homesnap's data reveal that agents with an average review rating of 4 or better on Google will appear in 350% more Google searches than those with an average review rating of 0-3. Even if you're early in your career as a real estate agent, you can still generate a high number of positive reviews. Google doesn't care who leaves you a review, just as long as it's a real person. So you can feel free to ask anyone you've worked with in the past, as well as those who can give you a character reference. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
MORE >
Get Great Real Estate Testimonials, Every Single Time (in 5 Simple Steps)
MORE >
Client Reviews and Social Proof: Making Them Work for Your Brand
When you're searching for a service provider, business, or product online, how do you decide which one to pick? If you're like most people -- including real estate prospects -- then online reviews likely play a starring role in informing your decision. It's difficult to overstate the importance of online reviews, especially as young, tech-savvy people continue to grow into the largest demographic of real estate clients. Whether you're already familiar with the concept of social proof or you're just getting started with online reviews, now is the time to take advantage of this powerful tool for growing your business. Why Social Proof Is So Important to Your Real Estate Brand Word of mouth has always been one of the most powerful, reliable ways to generate highly qualified leads, and that remains true in our modern, digital world. The difference today comes in how the word is spread — via social media, online reviews, and testimonials. Social proof is like word of mouth for the social media era, and it's one of the most important tools you have for attracting new business. Online reviews, especially on websites that aggregate large numbers of reviews, are a quick, easy way for prospects to see that you're trustworthy and learn about how you serve clients. Testimonials are a more personalized, narrative-driven form of social proof, perfect for sharing on your website and social pages. And reviews on social media offer an interactive, engaging form of social proof. No matter what form they take, online reviews have so many benefits. As we'll get into shortly, though, you can't automatically expect your clients to provide reviews and testimonials. Acquiring that social proof will often require a little effort on your end, but the payoff is more than worth it. Knowing When and How to Ask for Reviews While some clients will take the initiative and leave reviews on their own, many will require a little nudge from you in order to take that crucial first step. Naturally, you will want to wait until after the client's real estate transaction is complete before you ask for a review. But, once you have reached that point, the general approach to asking for reviews is pretty straightforward. You can frame the request for a review in a variety of different ways, but remember that it's important to ask for specifics. Ask the client about how happy they were with your services, what they liked, and what feedback they would give on the overall process. Let them know why online reviews are so important to your business, and direct them to popular review platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google. Of course, you'll want to let them know how much you appreciate them leaving a review. Testimonials Are Like Gold for Your Real Estate Marketing Testimonials are all about showcasing the positives of how you serve your clients, which is why they should be featured front and center in your real estate marketing. A client who was happy with your services may be willing to provide a testimonial that can be featured across your digital marketing platforms. Just like with reviews, it's important to ask for specifics from clients who are willing to provide a testimonial. In order to get those specifics, it's helpful to have some questions prepared that your client can answer in their own words. Always encourage clients to be authentic. Prospects are used to encountering inauthentic or flat-out fabricated testimonials, which they'll quickly tune out. If possible, ask your client to provide a photo so that you can pair a name and face with their testimonial. This step alone will significantly boost the credibility of the testimonial in the eyes of prospects. Once a testimonial is ready for the world to see, you'll want to showcase it as much as possible across your online platforms. Put the best testimonials on the homepage of your real estate website, and create a page where website visitors can find even more testimonials. Highlight testimonials on social media, and integrate them into your marketing materials. How Video Reviews and Testimonials Change the Game We've already touched on how pairing a face with a review/testimonial adds major credibility, and putting it in video form takes that concept to the next level. Video reviews provide a level of authenticity that a text-based review can't match and help the viewer form an emotional connection with the reviewer. Video content is also incredibly popular online and more likely to be shared on social media. People simply trust video content more for reviews and testimonials. So if a client is comfortable in front of the camera and willing to go the extra mile, then you should do everything you can to help them create a video review or testimonial. You can even consider running a contest or giveaway to encourage clients to leave video reviews by offering the chance to win a prize in return for their effort. How to Handle Negative Reviews Let's be honest. No matter how well you typically serve your clients, every real estate business will receive negative reviews on occasion. Maybe the client is hard to please, maybe their real estate transaction didn't work out how they had hoped in a challenging market, or maybe they simply have some genuine concerns about the process. No matter the reason for a negative review, the last thing you want to do is panic or ignore the review. The best thing that you can do is respond thoughtfully. Start with a public response, where you address their review in a general way and let them know that you will be reaching out privately to discuss their concerns directly. In addition to showing the reviewer that you care, this public response shows anyone else who encounters that negative review that you're proactive about addressing client concerns. When you reach out privately, remember to be courteous and listen. Learn the specifics, and do everything that you can to solve the issue. If you're able to remedy the situation, ask if the client is willing to update their public review. When a prospect discovers a review where the client had some concerns that you ultimately addressed in a positive way, that reflects well on your business. In some cases, the person who left a negative review won't be happy no matter what you do to address their issues or won't bother to respond at all when you reach out after they leave a review. When that happens, it's generally best to move on and let it go. As long as you serve your clients well, your positive reviews are likely to far outnumber the occasional negative feedback. Make Reviews and Testimonials Work for Your Real Estate Brand No matter the size of your real estate business, your market, or your target demographics, online reviews and testimonials should be a critical element of your marketing mix. Make sure that you're taking all of the necessary steps to encourage clients to leave reviews and testimonials. Then make it as easy as possible for prospects to find that social proof when they're researching your business. To view past Real Estate Marketing and Technology articles and read more from the February 2022 issue, click here. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
MORE >
RateMyAgent Announces 2022 Agent of the Year Award Winners
MORE >
How to Get 5 Reviews in 5 Days
Imagine being in a new town and looking for somewhere to eat. Years ago, you may have started your search by stopping at your hotel's front desk for a recommendation, or asking someone familiar with the area about their favorite restaurant. But times have changed. Now, you simply Google "restaurants near me" to find the best place for dinner. Things are no different in real estate. Whereas people once found real estate agents through phone books and yard signs, now 90% of people start their home search online. And one of the first things they'll do to find an agent is type "real estate agents near me" into Google. For agents, then, being the first thing that buyers and sellers see when they look for a real estate agent on Google provides a huge advantage compared to competitors who are further down in the rankings (or not on Google at all). How do you make sure that you are the first agent that people see on Google? Simple: Set up a Google business profile and start collecting Google reviews. A Google business profile appears at the top of Google search and Google maps, complete with your Google reviews and review rating. It gives you a competitive edge, so long as you're frequently getting positive Google reviews. The data proves this out: Agents who set up a Google business profile and collect five or more reviews appear in nine times more searches and net 17 times more calls and texts from leads. Agents without reviews? They'll languish deep in Google search results where buyers and sellers can't find them. So, how can real estate agents easily earn Google reviews? We recommend that agents: Request five reviews each week. Use the Homesnap Pro+ One-Click Review Tool. Ask as many people as possible for a review. By following these tips, agents can build a stronger reputation on Google and keep themselves front and center on the world's biggest search engine. 1. Request 5 Reviews Every Week It's the life of an agent: Not everybody agrees to tour the home or buy the property. Soliciting reviews works the same way, and our data show that agents receive one review for every three or four that they request. For agents, the best strategy is to incorporate a review request into their daily to-do list. You can request one review each day by: Incorporating a review request into your closing process. If your client had a good experience, invite them to share it in a Google review to help you get more business. Requesting a review after providing a client, friend, or fellow agent real estate advice. Adding a link to your Google review page to your email signature. By asking for one review every day, you can consistently cultivate the positive reviews that will rocket you up Google's search results. 2. Use the Homesnap Pro+ One-Click Review Tool Since receiving reviews is essential to being visible on Google, agents should use the tool that earns three times more positive reviews: Homesnap's Pro+ One-Click Review Tool. With the One-Click Review Tool, agents no longer need to request reviews through individualized emails, awkward conversations, and time-consuming phone calls. Instead, agents can invite clients, colleagues, and personal connections to leave reviews on Google with just one click. As a fully-integrated component of Homesnap Pro+, the One-Click Review Tool also pulls all your Homesnap contacts, which allows for easy, one-click review requests. The One-Click Review Tool isn't just convenient, it's essential. The benefits of a positive review diminish over time, so consistently earning new reviews is necessary to maintain a prominent Google search result. 3. Ask as Many People as Possible for a Review When asking for professional recommendations, it's normal to go first to satisfied clients and fellow agents. But you shouldn't stop there. Ask for reviews from as many people as possible. Neighbors, friends, family members — all of these people can testify to your character, work ethic, and attitude. Google wants to know you're trustworthy and gives reviews from your clients the same weight as reviews from anyone else. Generate reviews from anyone and everyone you trust to leave a positive review. More questions about how to earn five reviews in five days? Use our lead generation tip sheet. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
MORE >
How to Leverage Social Proof as a Real Estate Agent
MORE >
You Need Customer Reviews on Your Site
Seventy-nine percent of customers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In younger demographics, the figure can be even higher -- up to 91% for consumers aged 18-35. Regardless of age, most people read online reviews, and many customers won't buy until they've read a review. Don't think online reviews only matter for eCommerce stores: 87% of consumers used them to compare local businesses in 2020, up from 81% in 2019. Only a meager 48% of all respondents would even consider using a business with fewer than four stars. What does it all mean? If you don't have online reviews, you don't exist! When your neighbors go online to get help buying or selling a home, odds are they type in "real estate agents near me." On Google, that provides a list of agents along with their average star rating — and easy access to their reviews. Sites like Yelp also centralize reviews, serving as a proxy of a company's reputation. In effect, your future customers use the same methods to compare real estate agents as they do to compare pizza places or burger joints. Say what you will about whether that's fair or not: to excel in a fast-paced real estate market, you need to find ways to use it to your advantage. The best way to do that is to make sure you have customer reviews right on your website. Customer Reviews on Your Website Build Trust and Motivate Leads You can't stop people from looking on Google, Yelp, or wherever else they might search around — and most big review platforms also penalize you if you incentivize reviews in any way. But you are always entitled to ask for reviews, and all of your best online reviews should be displayed prominently on your website. Some great places to showcase reviews include: The footer that appears on each page of your site Your website's "Contact" and "About Me" pages Your calendar or scheduling app, if you use one Your social media accounts and YouTube channel When you give online reviews pride of place, you are doing more than just encouraging more business for yourself. You are adding value by creating ways for leads to make an informed decision. That's something everyone can appreciate, even though not everybody who sees your website will ultimately work with you. Let's consider some of the benefits of using online reviews on your website: 1. Reviews Foster Trust Your website is a terrific way to introduce yourself. It helps people understand who you are and what you can do for them. But that doesn't mean they want to take your word for it! Reviews function as social proof, giving greater weight to everything you say. When leads see that others "just like them" have had great experiences with you, they feel more comfortable reaching out. That helps you build rapport and work together. 2. Reviews Help People Avoid Scams On the flip side, remember that many of your clients will be first-time buyers or sellers. They may have limited or no experience working with a real estate agent. Being unfamiliar with the industry and its credentials, they are on guard for foul play. Reviews on your website are among the most important trust signals you can send. Your site may help guide others so they know what to look for in a reputable expert. 3. Reviews Draw More Website Traffic Online reviews have a major role in driving more traffic. Yes, reviews posted on Google or Yelp may inspire more people to check your site, but it goes beyond this. The reviews you post and promote help search engines to recognize you as an established and trusted local authority. Over time, posting reviews can help your website become more visible when prospects search for topics related to your business. 4. Reviews Act as "Tiebreakers" When two businesses seem similar from the outside, which one gets the sale? Usually, it's the one with a bigger roster of positive, credible reviews. This goes back to the idea that many future clients won't know the ins and outs of real estate — they depend on their agent to keep them informed. Your reviews highlight your successes, skills, customer service, and other points of comparison that could be harder to spot otherwise! Whether you're new to real estate or an old hand, it's valuable to make customer reviews an ongoing part of your practice. That means recognizing the right time to ask for reviews, following up, and cultivating reviews on your own website, as well as responding to the reviews you collect on other platforms. With its state-of-the-art real estate CRM, social media, and email marketing automation, DeltaNET is the AI-driven premier pro-tech solution to energize your promotional efforts. Try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
MORE >
Asking: the Secret to Getting More Reviews
MORE >
Why Do Good Agents Get Bad Reviews?
You're a dedicated, professional agent. You're friendly, polite, and jovial--a good conversationalist. You're prepared and knowledgeable, always ready to answer any question a prospect may have. You work tirelessly to ensure your clients find their dream home or get a fair price when selling; it's something you pride yourself on. In short, you're good at your job. And yet, over time, you still get bad reviews. What gives?
MORE >
Not All Reviews Sites Are Created Equal
MORE >
Video Testimonials for Your Real Estate Business
Maintaining a good reputation can be one of the most lucrative tasks you accomplish for your real estate business. Once you have a good stash of online reviews and build up a large fanbase on social media, the next step you should take is creating video testimonials. How Can Video Testimonials Help?
MORE >
What Is Reputation Management and Why Does It Matter?
MORE >
The Importance of Google Reviews and Ratings and How to Get Them
Real estate agents appreciate word-of-mouth advertising as much as anyone. Most agents have at one time received a call from someone who heard about them through a friend. So real estate agents have seen firsthand the power of the positive word-of-mouth to produce leads. On the web, that word-of-mouth advertising is often in the form of online reviews and ratings. And, just like literal word-of-mouth, those online reviews and ratings can happen without your knowledge or input. They can also be a major generator of new business.
MORE >
Agent Advice: How to Ask Clients for Online Reviews
MORE >
How to Get More Reviews and Boost Your Google Reputation
No doubt you've used online reviews to make shopping and dining choices before. Consumers similarly beeline to the internet when they start thinking about buying or selling, so agents should always be thinking about how to get more reviews. An impressive 86% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a business, and 91% trust online reviews as much as referrals from friends. A recent J.D. Power study found that first-time buyers and sellers actually valued reputation — read: online reviews — more than the referrals they got.
MORE >
8 Simple Ways to Get Customer Testimonials
MORE >
How Personal Is Your Brand?
What was the name of your last Uber driver? What kind of car were they driving? What rating did you give them? After jogging your memory a bit, your answers are probably some version of: "No idea.""Ummm…probably a Prius?""Five stars." In 2019 and in the world of perpetual rating scales for nearly everything we consume, it's critical to take a step back and understand the meaning (or lack thereof) of such an arbitrary system.
MORE >
Why an Up-to-date Agent Profile Helps You List More Homes
MORE >
Success with Testimonials: 3 Steps to Getting Them with Ease
Remember the famous childhood rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me?" Well, think again. In today's digital age, words matter, and more importantly, what people are saying about you can make an impact on your business' reputation.
MORE >
Real Estate Website Testimonials Done Right
MORE >
Why Google Reviews Are Crucial for Real Estate Agents
Great Google reviews aren't just a nice-to-have — they're essential to converting prospects into clients. With 92 percent of buyers starting their home search online, prospects are going to be looking for Google reviews that verify you're a quality real estate agent. To build that trust, you want your smiling face to appear at the top of their Google search results. And, you want to greet them with a great Google business profile, high Google rating and plenty of excellent reviews from past clients. Here are four reasons why Google reviews are crucial for real estate agents:
MORE >
How Can You Use Your Strong Reputation to Expand Your Online Brand?
MORE >
Online Reviews and Testimonials: A Real Estate Agent's Best Marketing Tool
It used to be that to find a real estate agent, you would ask the people closest to you—friends, family, your next door neighbor. But more and more people are turning to the Internet and social media to provide them this sort of information, using product reviews and customer testimonials. Online reviews have become so important that a 2017 survey reported that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. Whether you are a new or seasoned agent, client testimonials and online reviews can make or break your real estate business. Online reviews provide the insights about real estate agents that are most important to potential buyers and sellers—information about the agent's reputation, trustworthiness and knowledge. The kind of information that just may help a potential client choose you as their real estate agent. Satisfied customers willing to share their stories are some of the best marketing tools you can have. A good testimonial is an impartial and truthful account of how effective you are as an agent. A great testimonial can convince even the most skeptical potential client to hire you and help them buy or sell their home. How to Get Customer Reviews
MORE >
The Importance of Facebook Reviews and Ratings
MORE >
The Importance of Online Google Reviews and Ratings and How to Get Them
Real estate agents appreciate word-of-mouth advertising as much as anyone. Most agents have at one time received a call from someone who heard about them through a friend. So real estate agents have seen firsthand the power of the positive word-of-mouth to produce leads. On the web, that word-of-mouth advertising is often in the form of online reviews and ratings. And, just like literal word-of-mouth, those online reviews and ratings can happen without your knowledge or input. They can also be a major generator of new business. According to CREA, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as direct word-of-mouth recommendations. And that's just one of the impressive numbers that underline the importance of web-based ratings and reviews. 94 percent of consumers would use a business or service with a four-star online rating Over half of millennials say they trust online reviews more than the opinions of family and friends A star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business online Why Google Reviews and Ratings Might Be the Most Important
MORE >
How to Handle Negative Reviews Like a Pro
MORE >
How to Use Real Estate Testimonials Online the Right Way
How can you use real estate testimonials much more effectively for lead generation? It's a question you should be asking yourself if you're not already. In today's online social media world, it's never been more clear that customer referrals and testimonials can grow your business. Especially when it comes to the Millennial generation, who are very reliant on recommendations by their peers for everything from restaurants to real estate professionals.
MORE >
How to Win Over 'On the Fence' Clients — Once and for All!
MORE >
How to Leverage Social Proof as a Real Estate Agent
"Smart marketers know that social proof is the marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried customers." Social proof is the new cornerstone of a focused marketing campaign because it's the type of collateral that connects happy customers to prospective customers – and with the bombardment of modern marketing messages, this will strike a chord faster. According to a Nielsen report, 83 percent of consumers in 60 countries say they trust recommendations from friends or family over any other form of advertising. Why Social Proof Is the Driving Force of Your Marketing Plan Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here – what exactly is social proof?
MORE >
4 Best Methods for Getting Real Estate Testimonials
MORE >
How Do You Rate Your Online Reputation?
In today's online world, we all leave a digital footprint. Between social media profiles, third party real estate websites and other digital media, it's critical to effectively manage your online reputation. When looking for a local business, BIA/Kelsey reports that 97 percent of people read online reviews, and according to the annual Local Consumer Review Survey from BrightLocal, approximately 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from real people. As you can tell from this data, it's absolutely critical to effectively manage your online reputation and make sure you know what's being said about you on the Internet. Research from ReputationDefender finds there are generally four categories of online reputations that most people fall into and each one has its own advantages and vulnerabilities. These four categories include: Sparse online presence. Most or all of the sites in your search results are automatically generated listings. Like whitepages entries, you do not control many of these sites and you have a low search volume for your name. Professional presence. Most of your results are about your business or professional life. You control some of the results, and you have low to medium search volume. Mixed messages. One or more prominent results are critical or misleading. You control some sites in your results, and you have low to medium search volume. Under attack. You have significant critical search results, very little control over the top sites, and a medium to high search volume.
MORE >
Reputation Management: Placement of Online Reviews Matter
MORE >
'How are we doing?' – Asking for feedback
Do you ever wonder how good you really are at the work you do? If the clients you work with feel valued and supported? Do you close every deal with a client, and leave wondering if you could've done anything to take your service level from good to great? There's really only one right answer to these questions. You should always be wondering how good you are, and what you can do to improve. The best of the best are always striving to make the customer experience the absolute best it can be. Now that we've determined that you should always be challenging yourself to go the extra mile for your clients, how do you know if your customers are feeling the love? You may feel like you're putting in 110 percent effort to keep your clients happy, but your clients may feel differently. Like it or not, the adage is true: perception is reality. If your clients feel like you're only giving 75 percent, it's up to you to change that—and fast. Customer feedback and reviews are the best way to find out what you're doing right and what things you may need to improve. Customer Reviews One way, and probably the best way, to find out how your clients feel about you is to simply ask. Seems so simple, right? We're not talking about literally asking them right after they leave your office. Can you say 'awkward'? Customers aren't usually going to be eager to share their true feelings about you and your service if you put them on the spot like that. But what you can do is ask for their feedback. Ask them to share their experience.
MORE >
The 3 Best Ways to Get More Real Estate Testimonials
MORE >
Are You Using Online Reviews to Generate Referrals? (7/19)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 7:30 AM PDT How often do you encourage your clients to leave you a testimonial and rate your services? Studies have shown that 80% of consumers will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. During the webinar, we will show you how to build a system for generating more reviews and referrals from your sphere of influence by previewing, giving, guiding and asking. Why it is so important to collect ratings and reviews. A 4-point strategy to get your customers wanting to give you testimonials. Techniques for turning reviews into referrals. Ways to turn a negative comment into a positive experience. Register now!
MORE >
How to Delight Your Negative Commenters into Clients
MORE >
How to Create an Online Reputation That Gives Clients Confidence! (6/9)
Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT The latest numbers are in, and many agents are stunned: "Currently, 2 out of every 3 people are Google-searching agents beforechoosing to do business with one." That's why this week's live training features a "done-for-you" plan to create an online reputation that gives more clients the confidence to choose YOU! Here's just some of what you'll learn this Thursday: How you can get on the first page of Google Search, dominate the competition and impress prospective clients who find you online How to improve your online reputation in 30-days or less, so you can attract new clients who are looking for you online right now! Easy ways to improve your online presence (and how to always look professional and competent) ... even if you don't have a website! The essential social posting strategies to showcase your skills, knowledge and expertise to get more referred customers and "warmed-up" prospects Live Q&A session with two industry experts so you can get your most pressing real estate marketing questions answered Register now!
MORE >
How to: Get More Testimonials
MORE >
RankMyAgent: A powerful new tool in the real estate market
RankMyAgent will be featured at this week's Inman Connect SF as one of the "new kids on the block." Here's a sneak preview. What is RankMyAgent? RankMyAgent is an online platform that connects Real Estate Professionals to Homeowners by using the power of reviews to get them recognized, generate leads, and build their online reputation. RankMyAgent helps real estate professionals to: Build trust with homeowners. Generate leads and expand clientele. Get recognized for their professionalism. Build their business. Proactively collect and manage reviews and leads. RankMyAgent helps home buyers and sellers to: Read credible reviews and decide. Make the home buying and selling process simpler. Receive advice from industry leading experts. Provide feedback about their agent experience.
MORE >
3 Ways to Get More Reviews
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Scripts that Make Asking for Recommendations Painless
Asking clients for a recommendation can feel awkward, especially if you don't have a game plan for initiating the conversation. If being unsure of what to say has been holding you back, you're in luck. This week, we're highlighting a compilation of free scripts you can use to ask clients for reviews that highlight all of your hard work. Scripts: Asking Clients for Reviews Scripts are valuable because they alleviate the discomfort of not knowing how to request a recommendation. Asking for reviews requires a different approach for each buyer or seller. What you'd say to a client upon closing differs from how you'd broach the subject six months later. A new guide from Zillow provides helpful scripts for each situation. It even offers dialogues that help you plant the idea that you will eventually be asking for a review early in the transaction. This mentally prepares your client for your 'ask' moment starting from the beginning of the relationship. Not every client is comfortable with writing, so this downloadable guide offers scripts that help guide your client into drafting a painless review. Conversation prompts encourage clients to write reviews highlighting your niche expertise (condos, dealing with HOAs, etc.). The idea is to earn more client reviews by making writing them as simple as possible for your clients. Ready for more recommendations? Download your free copy of 'Scripts: Asking Clients for Reviews' now!
MORE >
How to Get Real Estate Testimonials and Where to Use Them
MORE >
Let Your Clients Market Your Services with Online Reviews
Are you using real estate agent reviews for your marketing? If not, you might consider it. Online reviews are big business for companies investing in major efforts to create positive reviews about their company on popular review sites. Not too long ago, the New York Times published the article For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews. Retailers, the article explains, have been offering major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. Say what you will about the ethics of such practices, what they demonstrate is that client reviews play a major role in a product decision or the choice of one real estate agent over another. Since the World Wide Web transformed from being somewhat editorially regulated to more participatory and user-generated (a.k.a. web 2.0), merchants and professionals have slowly opened up to product (or client) reviews on their websites as a way to market their goods and reputations. Yet, everyone involved still has concerns. Customers may worry that the reviews are canned (written by people hired by manufacturers) and professionals may worry that competitors will find a way to publish bad reviews on their sites. This is why merchants like Amazon and sites like ReachFactor have safeguards in place to verify the testimonials so that a customer can simply concentrate on what's being said about the product or professional. In the matter of real estate testimonials, it's stressful enough trying to find the right real estate agent for a home transaction than to have to worry about whether the agent's testimonials are legit and not reviews spam.
MORE >
Online Reputation Management 101
MORE >
Are Reviews Radically Reshaping Real Estate?
Nearly nine out of 10 of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations or referrals. The New York Times went so far as to say, "If you provide a service or sell a product and you are not reviewed, you might as well not exist." More specific to real estate, a recent survey from Google shows two in three customers "researched prospective real estate agents extensively online prior to working with them." Real estate agents are being reviewed everywhere, so it's time to build a strategy for watching and managing your online reputation though review sites like Zillow, Yelp, Trulia, and many others. According to Real Estate Confronts Agent Reviews, a white paper just released by T3 Experts, these are among the primary reasons online reviews are significantly affecting the income of top agents and teams. Real Estate Confronts Agents Reviews summarizes several years of research, in addition to the results of a survey T3 Experts conducted earlier this year. This document is a roadmap to understanding reviews and how to build a strategy to protect your online reputation. Other highlights from the white paper: 88 percent have used online reviews Nearly 9 out of 10 people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 15 percent search online for a local business "almost every day" (this statistic was 7 percent in 2013)
MORE >
If You Read One Article About the Importance of Online Reviews, Read This One
MORE >
5 No-Pain Strategies for Getting Testimonials and Online Reviews
Years ago if you'd wanted to find a new service provider, say a dentist or dog groomer, you'd probably have asked a friend for a referral. Times have changed. These days, nearly everyone is going online to not only find nearby businesses but to research and evaluate them. Online reviews and testimonials are the best way for any business to demonstrate a track record of happy, successful clients. But asking past clients for testimonials can seem awkward. After all, it's our job to help them, and now suddenly we're asking them to help us! I liken it to exercise. We know it's good for us, but for some reason rarely make it a priority. It's not enough to just be in business anymore. In the past you'd hear, "Hey my uncle's in real estate, you should give him a call." Now you need to be proactively managing your reputation—online and off. They are going online to find an agent, but they also want to know why they should hire you. Given that 92 percent of consumers use the Internet at some point during their home searches, agents must take control of their online reviews and reputations or risk losing many of their prospects' business. There's nothing like testimonials and online reviews to help you enhance your professional credibility with the online reader. In fact, a recent article published at Search Engine Land revealed 88 percent of consumers have read online reviews in order to determine the quality of a local business. Quick aside: To boost consumer trust in agents found on Trulia, we recently added a new, improved, and far more robust agent ratings and review section to our free agent profiles. These new ratings and reviews are your chance to get free endorsements from your past clients and offer the social proof needed to generate even more business from your Trulia Agent Profile.
MORE >
3 Action Steps You Can Take Now to Leverage Online Reviews
MORE >
The Power of Real Estate Agent Reviews
The internet has transformed the way we make decisions about nearly everything in life -- which products we buy, which doctor we visit, who we date -- that it's clearly no surprise that online reviews play a major role in all of these decisions. Now that the internet is powering real estate -- with nearly all home searches beginning online -- REALTORS® using client testimonials in their marketing the same way merchants use customer reviews to sell products. Real estate agents always want to be developing and marketing their skills. There's really no better way these days to sell a product or service than to gather and publish reviews from real people. It works on Amazon, it works on e-commerce sites and Facebook, and it also works in the service industry. In the old days your real estate business might have relied on word-of-mouth, print ads and home-sale figures to promote itself. Now it relies on your online marketing and internet profile, including your website, social media accounts, blog and listings. While it's crucial to keep your online presence fresh and up-to-date, it's important to know what people are looking for when deciding to take you on as a real estate agent. That can be answered in one simple question: "Can you sell their home or find them a home?" Client testimonials can help sway those potential customers by showcasing what past clients think of your skills and experience. Online reviews are becoming big business with companies. As the New York Times points out (For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews) some retailers offer major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. Aside from any ethical judgment about what these retailers are doing, the article makes a larger point about the "value" of client testimonials. If a company is essentially offering free products for positive reviews, it's a sign that more and more customers, prospects and clients are consulting user-generated reviews and making major decisions based upon them.
MORE >
Recommendations for Going Digital
MORE >
Managing Your Personal Online Presence: A Guide For Real Estate Agents
As a real estate professional, how you present yourself is paramount to your success in the industry. While you often hear about employers doing background checks on potential job applicants, your real estate clients are doing the same to you. They want to know that you’re a good person to do business with and are doing their homework on who you are, using search engines. When someone looks you up online, do you know what they will find? Spring Cleaning For Your Online Presence Google Yourself Try running a simple search in Google and Bing search engines and see what shows up. Maybe you’re fortunate and have a unique name that makes it easy to find you. If you’re like me and have a really common name use a search query, like Jane Jones + Columbus OH or Jane Jones + Awesome Realty + Columbus OH to specifically target you and your real estate business. Do you get search results that pertain to you? If you do have a common name, you may find there there are online twins that share your name and live in the same area as you. Take Notes Make a spreadsheet of what you find, categorizing the Good (leave as is), Neutral (ignore or not worth bothering with) and Bad (action required), among the search results you find. The goal here is to create an actionable list to address any blemishes you might find when you search your name.
MORE >
What the Internet Is Saying About You
MORE >
We are Not Borg
There's a kerfuffle going on (isn't there always?) in the real estate industry. One of the largest real estate portals has started experimenting with a system to "rank and review" real estate agents, so buyers and sellers can "search and match up" with one. For some in the industry, rating and matching salespeople is a logical evolution in online marketing: Everyone reviews everything these days - restaurants, smartphones, airlines - in the have-your-say-Yelp-ish world. So why not real estate agents? But for others, marketing agents as "data sets" of listings, closings and statistics seems like the ultimate un-differentiator: turning value propositions into "just the facts" of MLS data. For me, the idea is bogus, but for a much simpler reason: We are not Borg. This isn't just a real estate issue. Salespeople everywhere should be concerned about the "rate, rank and match" trend in marketing and lead generation. It started with websites like AngiesList, TripAdvisor, and Amazon. "Tell us what you think about your purchase" became a norm that can make - or break - products in a fast, powerful, and permanent way. Perhaps you've decided - or undecided - to eat at a restaurant, stay at a hotel, or complete a purchase after seeing how many "stars" or "likes" had been earned from other people (strangers, really). Yet ratings aren't Consumer Reports or JD Powers, who rely upon expert testers to measure comparative performance. Rather, today's internet is filled with feedback from everyone and anyone: expertise notwithstanding. We're now are at the mercy of the nameless, faceless mob. The Borg.
MORE >
6 Steps You Can’t Build an Online Reputation Without
MORE >
Negative Agent Reviews: What to Do
Online agent reviews are a hot topic right now. For years people asked their friends and family for recommendations when they were searching for an agent to help buy or sell a house. Consumers still ask their friends for recommendations, but now they are increasingly likely to look agents up on the Internet, too. Popular consumer portals like Zillow and Trulia host agent reviews, but they aren't the only ones. If you come across a negative review about your services, don't panic. The occasional bad review can happen to even the best agents. Whether it stems from a disgruntled client, genuine misunderstanding or total stranger (and liar), here are four steps that will stop you from making a mountain out of a molehill. Take a deep breath. So you found a bad review online. Someone said you were too something or not enough something and maybe they have a valid point and maybe they don't. Whatever the case, if you are upset by the review, don't immediately engage. Even if you know it's 100% false and can prove it. Take a deep breath and walk away from the Internet. An angry or frustrated response won't do anything to indicate what a kind, reasonable and responsible agent you actually are. If you feel like you absolutely need to write something down to get it out of your head, draft it on a separate word doc or sheet of paper. Or tell a loved one. Just don't let your first reaction leave the room.
MORE >
What to Do About Bad Reviews
MORE >
Choosing a Solution for Online Reputation Management
This is the latest in a series of 'Buyer's Guides' that feature questions to ask and options to consider before making a new purchase. See our previous guides to purchasing a CMA, CRM, Document and Transaction Management, Electronic Signature, iPad App, Lead Generation, Lockbox, Listing Syndication, and Market Analytics tool. How Do I Manage My Online Reputation? You may have a certain reputation among colleagues and consumers in your local market, but is that reputation reflected online, where many new prospects are doing their research about real estate agents? Today, the Internet is where most consumers are making major decisions about the things they buy and the professionals they choose – real estate agents included. How do you ensure that your online reputation is stellar? It's a complex question that requires a multi-pronged solution. This may include agent ratings, agent profiles on consumer-facing property search portals, social networking, your personal website, and much more. Sound intimidating? If so, you're not alone. That's why many companies with expertise in digital marketing for real estate have taken much of the responsibility off your hands. Each company manages online reputation management differently, so it's important to understand your objectives and your options.
MORE >
Stik: Authentic Reviews
MORE >
Get Them Talking: Client Reviews
Every real estate agent, whether just starting out or an established local expert, can benefit from the marketing power of client reviews. Reviews – a more objective, contemporary term for testimonials – help prospects both on and offline feel confident choosing you to be their agent. In fact, the 2013 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report found that the two most important factors for choosing a real estate agent, as cited by buyers and sellers across all ages, are agent reputation and whether an agent is found to be honest and trustworthy. Sharing reviews will help you meet both of these requirements. The more reviews an agent has, the more experience and stronger record he or she is perceived to have. Does this mean that you need to send every client home with an essay question about their experience working with you? Of course not! Today we'll share with you a variety of easy ways to get and share more client reviews. Words from Friends (and Clients) You can send a request for a performance review – not a testimonial – to clients after closing. The easiest way to do so is by email. Ask for honest feedback. Positive comments can be used in your marketing efforts (with their permission) and other comments may help you find ways to improve your service.  
MORE >
How to Use Client Testimonials
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Free Tools from realtor.com®
Did you know that realtor.com® offers a wide selection of free tools that help real estate agents grow their business? This week, we're taking a peek into realtor.com®'s tool box and providing readers with a full list of apps and services available to them. If you already use or are planning on investing other realtor.com® products, like Top Producer® and Showcase Listing Enhancement(SM), this page will show you exactly how the tools below complement the products you already use. Free tools from realtor.com® Here's a comprehensive list of tools from available to real estate professionals for free from realtor.com®: Agent Profile - Build repeat and referral business. Use this tool to manage what people learn about you on realtor.com® and from major social media networks. Listing Presentation - Download this presentation tool for use on a laptop, iPad® or as a printable document. It demonstrates how consumers habits have changed, including the importance of marketing a home online. HyperSocial™ Tools - This tool lets you get recommendations from your satisfied clients and share them with the world.   Collaborative Search App - Invite your clients to use a version of realtor.com® mobile apps branded with your photo and contact info. All primary inquiry actions are routed to you, and you receive immediate notifications on your smartphone or tablet. 
MORE >
The Painless Path to Reputation Marketing
MORE >
Consumer Alert: Avoid MyBizCard
Every now and then, a product comes along that seems to provide a great resource for real estate. Then everything goes horribly wrong. You push the wrong button and a series of events is set in place that you cannot control. This happens a lot with apps and social networking. There is a service called MyBizCard. It promises to help you with "ratings and reviews from your peers that shows how awesome you are." Every agent wants that. Moreover, it is free! BE VERY CAREFUL, IT IS A VIRUS. Free is the first flag. "Ready for you in under 5 seconds. Try it now." That is the second flag. The service asks you to sign in with your LinkedIn profile. When you do, it provides the app with the following: Your full profile, including experience, education, skills, and recommendations Your email address Your connections – your first and second degree connections. That is everyone you are connected with on LinkedIn, along with everyone they are connected to. Your contact information – address, phone number and bound accounts. Invitations and messages – allows MyBizCard to send messages and invitations to connect with you.
MORE >
You Don’t Always Want a Client Testimonial
MORE >
Sham Rating Site? Oregon Agents Raise the Alert
Agents at RE/MAX Equity Group in Portland, Ore., were suspicious. A site called agent-ratings.com was giving F grades to agents as a result of what appeared to be faked customer ratings. They consulted with the company's general counsel Jeffrey S. Davis. Agent-ratings purports to protect consumers from "lazy, irresponsible" real estate practitioners. But its ratings are highly suspect, Davis says. At the site, agents are given a grade in five categories: knowledge, professionalism, reliability, experience, and communication, as well as an overall grade. The site offers an A ratings for life to agents who pay $99. If you look at the ratings of agents who haven't paid for the A rating, you'll see some obvious patterns, Davis says. First, it appears that every agent who hasn't paid has an overall F rating, he says. In addition: No agent has an F ratings in every category. Every agent has two or three—not one or four or five—different grades. No agent has any individual category rating of B or A. "These factors suggest a limited attempt to make the ratings appear to be genuine," he says. "There would be much more diversity in the ratings if the ratings were real." I did my own search of the site. When I searched for agents from Oak Park, Ill., where I live, the site returned results from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Thousand Oaks, Calif. So I tried using the "Find Agents by State" function and clicked on Illinois. Lo and behold, every name I clicked on had D and F ratings in the individual categories and an overall grade of F. Davis investigated the provenance of agent-ratings.com, and, again, what he turned up was suspicious. "The WHOIS record indicates it was created on Jan. 25, 2013," he says. But when he scanned the site, the customer ratings supposedly predated creation of the site. "I just took a quick look at about 100 of the ratings, and all of the agents' ratings are dated 2011 and 2012," he says.
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Mountain of Agents Online Directory
MORE >
Win the Listing Before You Get to the Presentation
Guest contributor Ian Grace of REALTOR®Mag says: These days, there's so much technology around that it's easy to get caught up in it, thinking it's the secret to real estate success. But sometimes it's the absolute basics that can be the most powerful business tools, but they've become neglected or overlooked entirely. How would you like to win the listing before you even get to the presentation? What a great situation that would be, and it's so simple: A prelisting kit and four to eight photo testimonials with a contact phone number (and that's really important) can do the job for you. In my training seminars for real estate professionals worldwide, the responses amaze me time after time when I ask these questions: "Do you or your office have any satisfied customers?" This answer (hopefully) is always a yes. But when I ask, "Do you have testimonials from them?" you would expect everyone to say yes – but sadly, for many, the answer is no. Then, for those who have testimonials, when I ask if they have the sellers' photographs to go with the testimonials, almost always, the answer is no. This is really scary because these real estate salespeople are making life difficult for themselves when in fact, it can be so easy.
MORE >
Don’t Worry About Keeping Up, With One Big Exception
MORE >
3 Practical Ways Real Estate Agents Can Get More Testimonials
Check out the websites of competing real estate agents in your area. Chances are, there are a few that are impressive and stand out, as a result of a long list of client testimonials. How did these agents get these "raving fans" saying such nice things about their services? Many agents think that testimonials just happen. You do a good job for a client and – fingers crossed – they write you a nice "Thank You" letter. Over time, this passive approach will generate a few testimonials. It's not a great real estate marketing plan. However, if you want more testimonials, sooner, then you have to be more proactive. Here's how you can do just that. 1. Plant a seed. Show clients your testimonials and let them know that you are open to receiving them. You: "I'm really proud of the testimonials clients have sent me over the years. Here is my most recent list..." Tip: You may want to add a few testimonials to your email signature. IXACT Contact's CRM for REALTORS® makes it easy to create a beautiful custom email header and signature.
MORE >
A Better Approach to Agent Ratings
MORE >
Testimonials: The untapped source of your Web business
Guest contributor Delta Media Group says: The way of doing business has changed. Consumers want to be educated without being sold to. They want to find the best deal, even if that means waiting for it to be delivered. They are influenced by their friends and family's positive experiences, and aren't just asking for referrals. Borders offered great products in a warm atmosphere that allowed consumers to touch and feel their purchase, and maybe even sample it before buying. They could take it home with them right away. And yet, Borders went bankrupt. Best Buy offers the same, and allows consumers to sample products side by side. To compare and contrast the picture difference between LED and LCD TVs, and listen to the quality of a surround sound system before making a purchase. If you have questions, you can ask an educated employee. And yet, Best Buy has begun closing stores and is in financial trouble. The two businesses have something in common—they are/were both really good at the old way of doing business. But new methods of doing business have allowed companies like Amazon to take market share from Borders, Best Buy, and a laundry list of other retail stores.
MORE >
How to Rack Up the Reviews
MORE >
Build Your Portfolio of Online Recommendations
Online reviews are an increasingly important part of real estate agents' lead generation arsenal. In fact, a recent survey found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Search technology relies heavily on consumer recommendation data, too, further underlining their importance. Bing and Siri, the iPhone's voice search, both use data pulled from Yelp in their results. Google uses data from Google Places to determine which search results are most relevant. Online Ratings and Reviews Sites Here is a brief overview of important sites to begin building your portfolio of recommendations on. Yelp – This ratings and reviews site has achieved appeal across a variety of industries. This familiarity makes it more powerful, because it's where your customers are already going to pick things like a restaurant or dentist. You may be surprised at the volume of consumers who look you up using their iPhone, or in their automobile's navigation system. If you are not on Yelp, they will not appear in the results.
MORE >
Product Review: RatedAgent.com
MORE >
Great Service… Going Beyond the Talk!
There’s a lot of industry talk these days about the need to provide a better, more valued and more satisfying service experience for home buyers and home sellers. Unfortunately it remains just that, mostly talk. At the heart of any serious examination is the recognition that great products and great services in the 21st century are a team sport. And the winning teams in other industries have systems, processes, standards and controls to assure consistent, high quality results. So can an industry with the ultimate independent contractor culture learn and employ similar disciplines and systems to deliver better service? Some broker/owners and real estate professionals are pursuing the notion that the way to deliver better service is to offer more services - believing that more equates to better. More is not the same as better… better is better. What, then, is better service and who decides anyway?Many service professionals believe that personality, style, good intentions and attitude are the key ingredients to good service. But great service requires more. When service is a matter of importance, consumers prefer competence and results to attitude and personality.
MORE >
The Right Way to Respond to Negative Feedback
MORE >
How to Gather More Client Reviews
In the wash of lukewarm real estate news, there's good news for real estate agent marketing. New reports reveal that young people are soon going to be entering the homebuying market, as opposed to renting. (See How to Ride the Next Wave of Homebuyers) ReachFactor helps make your real estate agent marketing easy and effective by facilitating and verifying and promoting your real estate agent reviews. But where do you begin? The real estate process is already a complicated and time-sensitive one without having to gather client reviews for your real estate agent marketing. Here are some hints: One of the easiest rules of thumb is that people writing product or service reviews are most likely to do it early in the process when the experience is fresh. A number of our agents make testimonial requests part of the closing process, because it allows you to explain the importance to the client in person (rather than via email) and they are more likely to respond—especially if they've had a good experience.
MORE >
Why More is Not the Same as Better
MORE >
Product Review: RealSatisfied
Agent ratings is a relatively new concept, with a variety different approaches. Unlike many providers in the “agent ratings” category, RealSatisfied is not focused on posting public-facing comments online. Instead, they are collecting data and using it to generate reports so that agents and brokers can track their progress and pinpoint areas for improvement. AgentsRealSatisfied is useful for both agents and brokers. We took a look at the platform from the agent’s perspective first. The first thing an agent sees upon logging into RealSatisfied is the Agent Dashboard:
MORE >
Siri, Find Me a Real Estate Agent
MORE >
Get Client Feedback Without "Survey Fatigue"
The escalating trend in customer satisfaction surveys has reached such a crescendo in recent years that some of us dread even the smallest query to a technical support number, sales support representative or even a doctor's office. Inevitably at the end of the call, we're asked if we wouldn't mind sparing a few moments out of our busy day to "rate" the experience. The experience of a two minute phone call, that is. When we have a bad (or especially good) experience it's a no brainer, but according to a new article in the New York Times (When Businesses Can't Stop Asking, 'How Am I Doing?'), because software companies like SurveyGizmo and QuestionPro have made it possible for small companies to create customer surveys cheaply, we are having these questionnaires come at us so often that a new phenomenon called "survey fatigue" is setting in. So, how do you prevent this onslaught of surveys from interfering with the reputation marketing you conduct for your real estate business? Here are a few pointers:
MORE >
In Search of Negative Feedback (The RETSO Prezi)
MORE >
Word-of-Mouth vs. Online Agent Ratings
How do most people find their real estate agent? Research shows that many consumers ask their friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. With help from some agent ratings experts, I'm going to explore the problems related to these word-of-mouth referrals. I'll also explore a growing trend in finding an agent: online agent ratings. A Broken System There are a variety of problems with word-of-mouth referrals. Two of the biggest I see are: Strain on interpersonal relationships. Not only with the agent themselves, but also with the person that referred them. If you ask someone to recommend a real estate agent, the person that they recommend will most likely be a friend of theirs or their own real estate agent. What if you decide not to use the agent they recommend? There's a very good chance you'll run into them at a BBQ, party, or even around town – and it could be awkward. That's just one example of the myriad interpersonal conundrums that can ensue. What are the criteria for the recommendation? Most consumers wouldn't ask, but they really ought to – "Why are you recommending this agent?" Chances are, the honest answer would be, "Because I know them and I like them." Does that mean the potential client will like them? Does that mean they're actually good at what they do? Oftentimes, the person making the recommendation has never even dealt with the agent in a professional capacity. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to choose an agent who was only recommended because he's on my Uncle Charlie's bowling team. However, as Larry Romito of Quality Service Certification, Inc. (QSC) points out, "Word-of-mouth recommendations are impactful. People trust their friends and family members and value their opinions." Given how powerful word-of-mouth recommendations are, we can certainly expect them to stick around. So how do you make the most of them?
MORE >
4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation
MORE >
3 Easy Steps To Maximizing (and Preserving) Your Online Profile
How much do you value your reputation online? Most agents would say they greatly value their reputation, but what can Real Estate Pros do when a bad review is posted of your service? It’s a common trend, that people are more likely to post bad reviews when they are unhappy with the service/product  they were provided. The same goes for Real Estate Professionals. If you do a great job, people will refer you, but will they go out of their way to Yelp about you? Probably not. On the flip side, what if they were upset with your service. Do you think they might post bad reviews on every site they can find? Maybe. Online reputation management is a serious business that can make or break an agent or  firm.  Now the question is, what can you do to maximize your profile online and minimize bad reviews? A new product by Homes.com just may be able to help. It’s called Search Impact, and it has a proven, three-step process to maximizing your visibility online while minimizing the effects of negative reviews. Here is an overview of what Search Impact can do for you:
MORE >
Friday Freebie: RealSatisfied
MORE >
What's a Client Review Worth to You?
Since the world wide web transformed from being somewhat editorially regulated to more participatory and user-generated (a.k.a. web 2.0) merchants and professionals have slowly opened up to product (or client) reviews on their web sites as a way to market their goods and reputations. Yet, everyone involved still has concerns. Customers may worry that the reviews are canned (written by people hired by manufacturers) and professionals may worry that competitors will find a way to publish bad reviews on their sites. This is why merchants like Amazon and sites like ReachFactor have safeguards in place to verify the testimonials so that a customer can simply concentrate on what’s being said about the product or professional. In the matter of real estate testimonials, it’s stressful enough trying to find the right real estate agent for a home transaction than to have to worry about whether the agent’s testimonials are legit and not reviews spam. Which makes last week’s New York Times article For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews as interesting as it is disconcerting. Retailers, the article explains, have been offering major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. This is great for the consumer and a brilliant marketing campaign, but needless to say it also corrupts what has become an almost essential element to product purchases these days.
MORE >
How To Effectively Use Testimonials
MORE >
Moving Mountains In Real Estate
Right on the heels of our most popular show ever, where we talked about raising the bar in the real estate industry, agent ratings and verification, today’s show covers a different perspective on agent reviews. Mountain of Agents is a directory where people can easily and quickly search for real estate agents. Is this something the really needs, another “review” site? Michael Becker, the CEO of Mountain of Agents, thinks so.
MORE >
Video: How To Deal With Negative Comments And Reviews
MORE >
Redfin Pulls the Plug on the Scouting Report
Before reading this article, we highly recommend you read Jay Thompson's first and second posts about the Redfin "Scouting Report." For those that have been following the saga of the Redfin “Scouting Report” for the past several days, you should read the latest post on the Redfin blog, Requiem for a Dream. Redfin pulled the plug. You can read the post for all the reasons why. As I said here in my two previous posts on the subject, I don’t have a problem with displaying agent sales data. But that data has to be accurate. And it wasn’t.
MORE >
Reviews Spam - Where Will It End??!!
MORE >
Q and A with Michael Becker of Mountain of Agents
When we heard about the new iPhone/iPod Touch app from Mountain of Agents, we were interested in learning more about the agent directory itself. So we called Michael Becker, CEO, to get the 4-1-1 on this growing online community. If you'd like to see the Mountain of Agents directory in action, you can visit MountainofAgents.com. Click on to the next page for our discussion with Mr. Becker.
MORE >
Creating Something Positive Out of Negative Testimonials
MORE >
4 Ways to Create Lasting Client Relationships
The guy who sold me my Toyota last year is truly a piece of work. It was raining in the lot, and none of the salespeople came out to help me. But this guy did. With an umbrella. We drove a few vehicles around the block, and he didn’t push me too far one way or another. He didn’t act like my long-lost buddy, but he wasn’t too formal. He knew his stuff, but I still felt like I was driving the bus. When it came time to negotiate, he was really transparent about price, value, the vehicle’s history. I could have walked away, and it would have been no big whoop. He probably would have even walked me out with the umbrella. But what really made this guy stand out was his work station. All the other salespeople had empty cubicles, or cubicles with calendars and family photos. This guy’s walls were literally plastered with photos of his clients standing next to their new vehicles. And, of course, when I completed my sale he took my photo and put it up with the others. To this day, every two months I receive a handwritten letter from him sending best wishes and asking me to call him if anything goes wrong with my vehicle. By all means, I’m calling him for my next purchase. A good service professional (and that is just about anyone from doctor and lawyer and real estate agent to freelance photographer and masseuse) must think long-term in every transaction by assuming that every transaction is going to lead to another, whether with that particular client or that client’s referrals.  
MORE >
Your Reputation: To Be Shared Online?
MORE >
Part 4: Are You Reaching for Reviews? (ReachFactor)
You're not afraid to walk up to a new house, knock on the door and hand a stranger a flyer. You're not afraid to self-promote online through websites, blogs and social media. You're not afraid to work with that high-maintenance seller and list their split-level. So why do many REALTORS® find it so intimidating to ask past clients to review them? In this Agent Ratings 101 series we have showcased a number of different solutions and platforms that provide a means to generating and sharing agent ratings/reviews online. What's better than self-promotion? Client testimonials.
MORE >
How to Meet Prospects Halfway
MORE >
Part 3: Setting the Bar (QSC Agent Ratings)
As real estate professionals compete for the attention of local homebuyers, the question is “How do customers’ choose service providers?”  Traditionally, they would ask a neighbor, friend, or family member for a recommendation.  Today, people are casting a wider net by increasingly seeking the advice of their social networks and popular search engines. Have you ever typed into a Google search bar “reputable plumber in ”? Have you ever seen a Facebook update that read something like “I need a good lawyer, anyone who knows of someone in the Sacramento area?”
MORE >