These days, the first thing that a client does before working with any firm is to do a Google search. After all, nobody wants to work with someone who has a history of bad business practice. A Google search shows how well-respected your firm is. If you’re the type of realtor that clients love working with, you’ll be rewarded.
Remember, the sales process begins before you even meet your clients in-person or talk with them on the phone. It starts when they do a Google search and find information about your business online.
Luckily, there are steps that you can take in order to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward with potential clients. It’s called online reputation management. Here are a few simple steps you can take to start managing your online reputation today.
Send Review Requests
How do you motivate your clients to leave more reviews of your firm? It’s simple – you just ask. Most agencies have quite a few happy clients, but you need to give them the actual push that they need to go out and leave a review.
Here’s what you can do to make sure that your clients are leaving lots of quality reviews.
Send Requests The Day You Close A Deal
Timing is everything when it comes to review requests, just like most other things in life. The best time to send a review request is right after the sale. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that you’ll get a review.
There’s a simple reason for this: The longer you wait, the less likely it is that clients will remember how they felt at the time of the deal. If you send a review request a month after the deal was made, chances are that even if the client was happy, they are no longer willing to leave a review.
Send Requests via Text
There’s no harm in asking a client to leave a review in-person. The problem is that it is less likely that they will make the effort to do so on their own.
To make the process easy for your client, send a review request via text or email. Write a simple message that says something like “Please take a minute to give us feedback” along with a link to profiles on sites like Google. This way, the client just has to click the link and leave a review.
Avoid “Review Gating”
Some realtors might be tempted to only send review requests to clients who they know were absolutely ecstatic about their experience. This is a bad idea.
Remember, sites like Google are trying to maintain client trust in the reviews that are posted on their site. This kind of “review gating” creates bias. If the reviews posted on their site are biased in any way, clients are not going to trust them as an accurate reflection of what businesses are actually like.
So don’t selectively send review requests. You’re risking a potential penalty in search ranking by Google and you’re risking the trust of your clients.
Respond to Reviews Immediately
Eventually, you’re going to get a negative review. It happens to every firm, even the best ones. The secret is to respond quickly and politely while getting to the bottom of the problem.
If you respond to a negative review within 24 hours of the review being posted, you still have a good chance of convincing the client to take down or edit their review. If too much time passes, it might be too late. Chances are that the client’s opinion of your business will be solidified by that point.
Promoting Your Reviews
Once you start getting lots of new reviews, you shouldn’t just stop there. Your reviews are a valuable tool that you can use to show the strength of your services. A study by Spiegel Research Center showed that reviews can increase conversion rates by 280%. Here’s a couple of ways you can promote your reviews.
Share Reviews on Social Media
Make sure that you’re regularly sharing your 5-star reviews on social media platforms like Facebook. Nobody can sell your firm quite like one of your own clients can. Make sure that all of your followers can see the opinions of your satisfied clients.
Share Reviews on Your Website
Social media isn’t the only place. Use a review widget to promote your client reviews on your website. I use a BirdEye review widget that allows me to display a live review feed from all over the Internet. Whenever a potential client is looking at your website, they can immediately see rave reviews from your past clients.
Tools for Online Reputation
Doing these things by yourself isn’t easy. Sending review requests manually can be a pretty time-consuming process. Most agents don’t have the time to sit down and type out a review request email to each of their clients.
While there are a few tools out there that take care of these services, I personally use BirdEye. I’ve found that it’s a great tool for automating review requests, monitoring my reviews across sites, and promoting my reviews.