Insiders Guide To Customer Reviews for Real Estate & Local Businesses


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Online reviews play an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of today’s consumers.

Reviews are now a vital part of the research process for your leads and prospects. They want first-hand insight from other consumers that have used your services and, if they don’t find reviews of your business online, they may continue their search without you. The numbers tell a similar story. Consumers trust peer recommendations, like online reviews, 6.5 times more than traditional advertising. And that trust is increasing. In 2013, 73% of consumers trusted reviews — that’s a 15% increase over the year before. As a real estate professional, you simply can’t afford not to have reviews online.

While there are quite a few tips and tactics you should apply to your review strategy, the best way to get your first online reviews is just to ask. You’d be surprised how willing happy customers are to post a review if they’re asked.

We recently had the opportunity to gain early access to the T3 Experts 2014 Agent Reviews and Lead Generation Survey. The findings are astounding — not only do positive reviews help close the immediate deal at hand, but they become a highly effective word-of mouth marketing tool.

Published in: Marketing, Real Estate
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Insiders Guide To Customer Reviews for Real Estate & Local Businesses

  1. 1. INSIDER’S GUIDE TO ONLINE REVIEWS FOR REAL ESTATE How to Use Customer Feedback to Grow Your Local Business 85% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% TEXT OF AXIS Consumers trust peer recommendations like online reviews 6.5 times more than traditional advertising. TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING 14% PEER RECOMMENDATIONS 90% 0% DOES NOT READ ONLINE REVIEWS READS ONLINE REVIEWS OCCASIONALLY READS ONLINE REVIEWS REGULARLY 2011 2012 2013 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2011 2012 2013 POSITIVE REVIEWS MAKE ME TRUST A BUSINESS MORE PACING TEXT OF STAT READING REVIEWS DOESN’T INFLUENCE MY DECISION I DON’T TAKE NOTICE OF ONLINE REVIEWS of consumers use online reviews to evaluate local businesses. 73% And that trust is increasing. In 2013, 73% of consumers trusted reviews — a 15% increase from 2012. 65% of agents are missing out and received no leads from online reviews and recommendations. COMBINED CHARTS Most agents who use online reviews for lead generation earn 5 or fewer leads, but more than 13% of agents receive 21 or more leads, and 6% receive 51 or more leads per year. THE TAKEAWAY Agents who do leverage online reviews to generate leads are seeing major results. 35% Why? When it comes to real estate, online reviews provide the kinds of information that consumers value most. Agent is honest and trustworthy | 25% Reputation of agent | 21% Agent is friend or family member | 16% Agent’s knowledge of the neighborhood | 8% Agent has caring personality / a good listener | 8% Agent is timely with responses | 6% Agent seems 100% accessible because of technology | 4% Agent’s association with a particular firm | 3% of agents said that leads from reviews were either relatively easy or very easy to convert. 69% Online reviews haven’t quite caught on with real estate consumers yet… But they’re about to take o. 12% of buyers used online recommendations in 2013. 6% said online recommendations influenced their choice of agent. 60% of buyers said they would consider using online recommendations next time. THE MOST POPULAR ONLINE REVIEW SITES FOR GENERATING REAL ESTATE LEADS 7 TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ONLINE REVIEW STRATEGY Yelp is important because of Apple's iOS map business directory. It's also the Number 1 dedicated consumer review site, so consumers expect to find you there. Only ask active Yelp users to review you on Yelp, otherwise the reviews may not show up. DO GOOGLE+ LOCAL FIRST Equally important for SEO. Your business won't show up properly in Google search without verified Google+ business information. If you syndicate or advertise, it’s important to collect reviews. Can be a secondary strategy even if you don’t syndicate. Trulia is the easiest place to take existing reviews and recommendations and manually enter them, so use it to “double up” when you get a review elsewhere. USE LINKEDIN TO BOLSTER YOUR PERSONAL REPUTATION This is your online resumé and it's important to have a few recommendations here. Important for the agent search and your ability to extend the value of your LinkedIn reviews. CHECK FOR COMPETITION Take a look at each of the review sites in relationship to competition. If the most reviewed competitor has less than 20 reviews, you should be able to overtake them easily and dominate your specific niche or geography. SOURCES: Local Consumer Review Survey 2013 — r-review-survey-2013/ SocialNomics — 04/39-social-media-statistics-to- start-2012/v T3 Experts 2014 Agent Reviews and Lead Generation Survey — National Association of REALTORS® 2013 PROFILE OF HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS — sites/default/files/Highlights-NAR-HBS-2013.pdf Most popular real estate portal on the web. Accounts for nearly 14% of all real estate related web trac. Second most popular real estate website. Easy to add existing client reviews from other sites. Most popular search site for local business listings. Powers Google Maps on both desktop and mobile devices. Most trusted site for online resumés and professional references. Super optimized for name and company searches. Third most popular real estate website. Integrates with LinkedIn for recommendations. Oers detailed performance feedback and management tools for brokers and small teams. Integrates with Largest consumer review site on the web. Powers Apple Maps’ local business data and reviews. 2 4 6 1 3 5 7 GET AT LEAST 1 REVIEW ON YELP ESTABLISH A PRESENCE ON ZILLOW TRULIA REALTOR.COM SOCIALBIOS RINSE REPEAT Recent reviews mean something to consumers, so make this a part of your monthly marketing workflow. Reviews are not a “set it and forget it” activity, otherwise you might find a competitor outranking you online. Infographic presented by © 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. TEXT OF AXIS OMITTED CHANGED TEXT OMITTED CHANGED TEXT OMITTED CHART DETAILS