Two tools to build your online presence to get your testimonials noticed

The real estate market is fiercely competitive, and one of the best ways to differentiate yourself is to have a cache of stellar reviews in multiple places so consumers can find you. Success requires a solid reputation, and getting positive reviews is key to surviving in this business.

When to ask for your reviews

Many agents think the best time to approach their clients for a review is right after the close. It is not, so don’t make this error. As happy as they may be to finalize the deal and to enjoy their new home, they most likely won’t have the time to write one up for you. They will be busy with the move and preoccupied until they get settled. Do it before the close! Better yet, when they are at their happiest — when it clears escrow, the remaining earnest money is in and the deal looks like it’s going to make it to the finish line. They are excited to own a new home, and they are grateful to you for your efforts. Plus, they will have more time as they wait until the day of their close.

Where reviews are most important

The most important sites for your reviews to be seen by consumers are:

• Zillow
• Google
• Yelp
• LinkedIn

These are where most consumers go when they are looking for the right agent.

The problem with gathering reviews

Most require their own forms that must be sent directly to your client to protect the integrity of the reviews. Some even require that the review be tied to a specific transaction and verified to ensure its legitimacy. This is understandable to prevent fraudulent reviews, both positive and negative. However, this means that many links must be sent and redundant forms must be filled out by your clients when it’s hard enough to get them to do just one! The client may not want to be bothered. You may get only one review that is good for only one site. The others get left out, and your “stellar” review (and you) get missed.

The solution

The good news is that there are sites that can streamline the process for you! This will save you and your clients time. They are one-stop portals that require just one form to be filled out, and then the most important sites are auto-populated. Two to consider: RateMyAgent and Testimonial Tree.

1. RateMyAgent

RateMyAgent is a digital marketing and agent review platform for Realtors to gather, promote and share potential clients’ feedback and reviews.

How it works
RateMyAgent enables you to publish past reviews and requests new ones from buyers or sellers. Additionally, each review is instantly connected to the associated property transaction, letting buyers and sellers know they are legit. Once your reviews are up, you can publish them on your website or social media accounts to promote yourself.
RateMyAgent is one of the easiest review platforms for Realtors and their clients. With just a single click, potential clients can check your local reputation and reviews, keeping you in the forefront of their minds.

Benefits of RateMyAgent
• All of your feedback in one place
• A simple experience for your clients
• No registration required to post a review
• A single request across many platforms
• Secure personal data

RateMyAgent offers both free and subscription plans for its users. The price for paid plans ranges from $16 monthly to $1,500 annually.

2. Testimonial Tree

Testimonial Tree is a web-based service that offers review management through gathering, storing, filtering and sharing testimonials. It is one of the most prominent online reputation management companies.

How it works
Testimonial Tree makes it simple to gather client reviews and post the most inspiring ones on your website, your social media and review sites like Yelp.

Benefits of Testimonial Tree
• Easy to use
• Get reviews in one place
• Produces quick results
• Excellent customer service

Testimonial Tree charges between $30 and $300 per month. However, it offers a 30-day free trial.

Comparison of RateMyAgent vs. Testimonial Tree
Both RateMyAgent and Testimonial Tree tout their ability to help your business expand by using real estate testimonials or reviews as a springboard. Still, with so many comparable features, it can be challenging to choose between the two services.
Both offer API integration services, allowing you to access your profile listings, statistical data and reviews, and integrate them with a third-party website. This makes the whole process a lot easier.

Bottom line

Your reputation directly influences your bottom line. Having your reviews on the most important sites is a must. Using these portals to gather reviews not only will be easier for your clients and save you time, but also will allow you a greater online presence and more business! More business means more commissions, and who wouldn’t want that?

Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at

Two tech tools to create your own 3D floor plans

There are people who can visualize a space, and then there are others who cannot. Selling a property that hasn’t been built yet is even more challenging. Buyers usually have to rely solely on floor plans, and for those who aren’t visionaries, this can be a challenge.

But this situation isn’t just limited to new construction; it’s for every property we sell. Most people find the property online before deciding whether to see it. Providing a 3D floor plan where buyers can virtually immerse themselves into the space is key to securing that in-person viewing.

Why you should be using 3D floor plans:

We all know that having a floor plan is essential if you want to increase the number of prospects for your listing. 

A two-dimensional floor plan is a flat, perspective- and depth-free blueprint, AutoCAD drawing or diagram. A 3D plan, on the other hand, depicts the building’s layout with height, depth and perspective. This immersive technology, along with some virtual staging, enables customers to visualize themselves living in that space by including distinct furniture pieces to provide a sense of comfort and warmth to the interiors.

In addition, using 3D floor plans can also:

  • Aid in making your listings stand out.
  • Aid in making YOU stand out to win more listings.
  • Offer a true-to-life visual representation.
  • Adapt the space to your preferences.
  • Eliminate the need for interpretation.
  • Save you the time of wasted showings.
  • Enhance the chances of online sales.

If you want to take advantage of all of these benefits, start using 3D floor plans in your marketing. 

There are many online companies that can do it for you, but that can get pricey. Or you can do it yourself using online tools like RoomSketcher or Houzz Pro.

Let me walk you through these two amazing 3D floor plan platforms and how useful they can be for your real estate marketing.

1. RoomSketcher and how it works

RoomSketcher is a powerful and user-friendly online floor planner and interior design application that enables users to create virtual designs for their homes. It has a built-in floor design tool that makes it easy to create. It offers many ready-to-use furniture menus, plus access to various design ideas, thanks to templates accessible in its library. Drag-and-drop functionality has been built into the interface across the entire design. 

Through RoomSketcher, users can visually walk through interactive 3D floor plans and quickly access a breathtaking 360-degree image of the designed space. It is ideal for developing floor plans in 3D for your listings, and especially for new-construction projects.


  • It creates high-resolution 3D floor plans in PNG, JPG and PDF formats.
  • It has over 20 potential floor plan settings available to simplify the process.
  • It gives you an authentic “feel” of the layout.
  • It allows you to import a blueprint/2D floor plan to trace over.
  • It is reliable and effective.


  • There are a lot of features, so getting started can be a bit overwhelming. Start with the free version and go from there.
  • The free version is limited, and the Pro version is pricey but offers many features.
  • RoomSketcher is not available on phones. It is available only on Macs, PCs, iPads and Android tablets.

Note: You can test out RoomSketcher’s simplicity by using the free subscription’s basic capabilities, which are accessible to all users. For more advanced features, upgrade your subscription. The basic price is $38, and the Pro is $99.

2. Houzz Pro and how it works

Houzz Pro is a comprehensive project-management, marketing and customer-management tool for the design and remodeling industry, but can be adapted for our real estate needs.

Houzz Pro goes far beyond just 3D floor plans and allows users to personalize profiles and marketing settings online to generate leads. In addition, users can use a central project portal to engage with clients, get estimates and find proposal templates — this can be useful for agents who work a lot with developers on new-construction projects.


  • Your clients can experience not only 3D floor plans, but also an augmented-reality tour of their future house.
  • It allows you to modify every detail of your design.
  • You can manage leads and projects while on the go with the Houzz Pro mobile app that is available for iOS and Android.


  • It has many features, and the learning curve can be a challenge, so start off with the basics.
  • The Projects pages can be challenging to edit, but if you are using the program only for 3D floor plans, it is doable.
  • The platform still has a few quirks; all the features don’t always appear on some of the pages.

Note: There is a free version available. However, you won’t have access to major features with the free version. Houzz offers three subscription options starting at $65/month for the starter, $99/month for the essential and $399/month for the full-blown version. 

The bottom line

Allowing prospects to be able to “feel” the space that they may potentially be buying has really grown in popularity, almost becoming the norm. Get familiar with these tools, and start using immersive technology with 3D floor plans in your marketing strategy. You will be happy that you did. It will generate more leads, sell your listings faster and take your real estate business to a higher level. 

Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at