Build Your Online Presence FREE
Recommendations have always "spoken for themselves" but much more in today's online marketplace. You should be able to relate to this if you have ever visited Yelp or perused product reviews online at Best Buy, Macy's, Home Depot, or even the new bistro in the center square. I attended a great webinar today by Homes.com that reminded me how vital it is to have online recommendations from past clients. Today's webinar shared that more than 72% of consumers trust online reviews. I found another article that brings this number to 90% based on a survey by Dimensional Research. When you couple this with the fact (based on this NAR article) that 90% of consumers use the internet for their information source about real estate, you can begin to see the disservice you are doing to yourself when you have so many satisfied clients (I know you do!) but not one (or not many) online reviews.
Today's webinar also mentioned that if an agent had just 10 online reviews, she would be in the upper-echelon of agents and would increase search engine optimization (SEO). Translation - when would-be home buyers and home sellers are online searching for an agent, you move to the top of the search list just because your happy clients posted their thoughts online!
This definitely is a jewel that should be incorporated after every real estate transaction with your happy clients because you do not want to stop at just 10 reviews. Typically, we all hear clients say, "Thank you for everything! If there is anything I can do for you..." Here is the thing we want, online reviews, and of course referrals but their reviews will create referrals for you beyond just their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
So what do you do to get these online referrals? You can sign up for free accounts on Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com and other real estate sites that post reviews. From those sites, you can then forward the review forms to past clients via email - presto, chango - you now have reviews online! If you really want to increase your SEO, you can verify your business on Google Local, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Local. After the verification process, you can also send out referral forms directly from the sites. It will be like you are sending out reviews straight from the search engines themselves and watch your position on web searches increase.
Have more questions on how to increase your online presence with referrals or other methods? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy selling!