Build Your Business With Online Reviews

Your online presence and social media reputation play a vital role in your real estate business — perhaps more than you may recognize. Nearly every homebuyer begins their search online and will look at reviews to see what people say about you. Endorsements carry weight among customers, with nearly 90% of consumers saying they trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations. 

That said, glowing online reviews not only can help to enhance and build your online profile — they are likely one of the key factors in a potential buyer or seller’s decision to contact you or use your services. In fact, the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicates that sellers value the reputation of an agent more than any other factor when selecting an agent to sell their home.

So, whether you’re trying to optimize reviews on your Yelp page, Facebook business page or Zillow profile, here are three must-remember tips for success:

#1. Let Clients Know About Your Online Profiles

There’s a fine line between making your clients uncomfortable by aggressively asking for reviews versus simply letting them know about your online profiles and their ability to leave a review. 

To ensure your clients know they can leave a review, consider adding your social profiles to your website and email signature. If you have a Yelp page, for example, you can add a Yelp button to your email signature, which can immediately take them to your profile. If you’re a broker, you may also consider displaying social media icons in your brokerage’s storefront. 

#2. Make Engagement a Priority

You’re probably running a drip email campaign to keep your contacts up to date on market conditions, new listings and events. Consider adding new testimonials to the footer of your email. This not only helps your testimonials and reviews be seen by a wider audience, but is also a nice way of showing your clients you appreciate that they took the time to review you.

#3. Show Your Thanks

Always send a quick note or thank-you card to clients who review your services. Even if the review was less than stellar, you should still reach out. This is a great opportunity to acknowledge the feedback and put steps into place to learn and grow from the experience. 

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

While 17 percent of consumers say they would write a review after a positive experience with a brand, many reported that they would be more likely to write a review after a bad experience. If you don’t regularly monitor and respond to your online reviews, you risk sending a potential client straight to one of your competitors. But it’s not just the review itself that’s important. How you respond to that review is often just as important, if not moreso, than the review you received.  

When you respond to an online review, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t let your ego or pride get in the way. 
  • Always keep your response professional — don’t be defensive or let your feelings get the best of you.  
  • Be empathetic and try to imagine things from your client’s point of view. Try thinking of the client as a friend or relative — respond to the review as if you were talking to someone you care about.  
  • Do your best to try to resolve any issues and help the client — offer them an easy way to contact you directly to get the problem taken care of.  

Build Your Online Reputation

The importance of online reviews and your social reputation grows with every click from a client. To learn more about finessing your online presence, try our AgentEDU® course, Yelp for Your Real Estate Business, today. 

Get unlimited access to every other 10-minute video course on AgentEDU when you subscribe for only $19.99 per month.


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How to be a 5-star broker with online reviews

Written by Juliet Jacques

A strong online presence is essential for helping you attract new clients and build a good reputation. In fact, potential clients frequently turn to websites like Google Business and Yelp to see reviews by past clients. Creating good profiles on these websites and updating them showcases your business and adds a level of legitimacy. Potential clients will be encouraged by a profile with many sincere reviews, even if they’re not all five stars.

When it comes to choosing a Realtor, clients take a global view of their online presence, Anastasia Yefromova, Communications Specialist for the Steven Cohen Team, told Boston Agent magazine. “It’s hard to trace one single source of why a client works with us, but we found it’s more of a cumulative assessment of how everything looks: reviews, print and website. Having strong online profiles with a lot of reviews will help showcase your history,”

In the process of buying or selling a home, asking clients to leave reviews can easily fall by the wayside. Yefromova recommends sending an email to clients soon after they’ve used your services and letting them know it would mean a lot if they left a review. She also includes a link to the review sites to make the process quick and easy for clients.

When starting to build your profile, Elizabeth Bain of Commonwealth Standard Realty emphasized patience to Boston Agent magazine “It takes time to build up reviews because Yelp’s algorithms will hide many of them,” she said “Currently, more than half of my reviews are being hidden on Yelp. Make it a practice to ask clients for reviews and the profile will gain strength over time”

Take advantage of all the features Yelp offers, such as showing your response rate and response time. Bain emphasizes the importance of these figures. “I think the fast response time is key,” she said. “Consumers are looking for instant gratification, and the response time is one way to stand out against competitors.” Using features like this can help set you apart from the competition, she added.

With negative reviews, if there are only a few you probably don’t need to worry. Yefromova said her company decided not to respond to a negative review to avoid appearing defensive or attacking the client, adding, “It would also look odd if every review is 5 stars — it shows that this is genuine, that these are real people leaving reviews.” And if your profile has fake reviews or reviews not meant for your company, Yelp does have a process for reporting and taking these down. For more on this, check out our course, “Yelp for Your Real Estate Business.”

So don’t be afraid to ask clients to leave reviews. It’s a small step in the home-buying process but a very important way to improve your business in the long run.