Purchasing your own home is many people’s ultimate dream. And that dream once started with the dreamer asking friends and family for a referral to a trusted realtor. But nowadays, it’s more typical for that search for a realtor to start online, and first thing most searchers are looking at online reviews and ratings. According to a recent study by ZipRealty, 62% of home buyers choose a realtor based on online reviews.
But where they see those reviews has no easy answer as reviews for realtors are scattered across a number of different websites. Following are some of the top sites that provide reviews for realtors:
The thing that works in Zillow’s favor is that this platform is specifically designed for real estate. They have separate star ratings for attributes like process expertise, local knowledge, negotiation skills and responsiveness. They also do one thing differently from most other site, they break down the reviews by zip code. For posting a review, the user must create a Zillow account. This step should cut down fraudulent reviews.
When you talk about reviews, Yelp is usually the first website that comes in mind. If you are searching for reviews about any service, there is a good chance Yelp will appear on the first page of the Google search results. Google pulls its ratings from Yelp profiles, so when people “Google you” they’ll be able to see orange stars by your name. Yelp also has a process for getting fraudulent reviews removed. Make sure to have a complete profile with Yext so that when a prospective customer sees your profile, they will be drawn in to read your reviews and ratings. With Yelp, users can also connect with friends and provide referrals to services like yours.
Here comes Google, the big daddy of the search engines. Some would say that Google reviews are more like Yelp reviews as you can review any business on their platform. Any user with an active Google+ account is good to post a review on Google. When searching for a realtor, searchers will get to see the listing on the right side of the page. If everything is configured properly, alongside the listing will be a star rating with the hyperlinked words “X Google reviews.” After clicking on the hyperlink, searchers will be able to read the reviews left by other users.
Angie’s List is a veteran of publishing crowd-sourced reviews and an older company than Yelp. It provides all types of service provider reviews. For Realtors reviews, users refer them generously. It gives a user the option to rate service providers on 5 attributes such as professionalism, punctuality, responsiveness, price, and quality. These are certainly apt attributes for realtors, but an interesting twist is that the site highlights to both buyers and sellers that some realtors are competing on price.
It is the official website of the National Association of Realtors and hosts the listings for land, homes, and rentals. It collects information from MLS. Since, it caters to realtors, the rating categories are specific, such as market expertise, overall rating, responsiveness, professionalism and communication, and negotiation skills. At Realtor.com, you get an overview of the local housing market, market trends, currently available homes, school ratings and top-rated local agents.
With almost everyone on Facebook, realtors are cashing in by having a business Facebook page that allows people to submit reviews. The best part is that you know who wrote the review and get an indication on how you can improve your services. Also, the reviews on the page do appear in the Google search results. Since it is easily accessible; it’s very easy to ask your customers for reviews on Facebook.
Now you know where most searchers are finding realtor reviews, so here are the Top 6 practices that a realtor should follow to make the most of those reviews. Follow these tips and you will not only gain positive reviews, but also improve the online reputation of the business.
- Respond to all reviews.
- Don’t start a fight over negative reviews online. Instead, courteously ask the reviewer to contact you so you can provide a solution.
- Don’t focus on testimonials on website. Reviews need to be on a top review portals to be indexed by search engines.
- After attaining a noteworthy online reputation, send links to your prospective clients before meeting them. This will help you establish yourself as a market leader.
- Rather than ask for a review, request your clients to “share their experience” online. You’ll get a better response.
- Try to include keywords in your response like “local Realtor”, “Chicago Realtors” and more. This will help you to appear higher in search results.
If you are a realtor and are serious about enhancing your business reputation and customer experience, you should also consider BirdEye’s online reputation platform that can turn your home buyers into a powerful marketing engine.
With BirdEye, you can not only update your business contact information on the most essential websites and directories, it will also aggregate reviews from 50+ review sites on place the best ones on a microsite that can be displayed by search engines.