Real estate agents appreciate word-of-mouth advertising as much as anyone. Most agents have at one time received a call from someone who heard about them through a friend. So real estate agents have seen firsthand the power of the positive word-of-mouth to produce leads.
On the web, that word-of-mouth advertising is often in the form of online reviews and ratings. And, just like literal word-of-mouth, those online reviews and ratings can happen without your knowledge or input. They can also be a major generator of new business.
According to CREA, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as direct word-of-mouth recommendations. And that’s just one of the impressive numbers that underline the importance of web-based ratings and reviews.
- 94% of consumers would use a business or service with a four-star online rating
- Over half of millennials say they trust online reviews more than the opinions of family and friends
- A star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business online
Why Google Reviews and Ratings Might be the Most Important
If you can, forget for a moment that you’re a real estate agent. If you wanted to buy a home, after choosing where you want to move, you’d look for an agent who specializes in that area.
How would you do that? You’d probably google “real estate agents” in your target location. In other words, Google ratings and reviews are incredibly important. In part because Google is most often the online gateway through which potential clients find real estate agent websites.
In addition, the results that Google offers for real estate agent searches, and searches for any business, include Google My Business pages. Whether or not you have set up a My Business page in Google, your agency may be represented by one in search results. And every My Business page gives everyone the ability to leave a review and rating of your realty.
Those Google ratings and reviews are publicly visible to anyone who does a search that lists your agency.
How to Get More Google Ratings & Reviews
Now that we know the crucial importance of Google ratings and reviews, here are just a few ways to get them.
- Claim Your Google My Business Page – As mentioned, Google may create a My Business page for your company without your Google favors verified businesses so it is important for you to “claim” your My Business page or set it up if one doesn’t exist.
- Ask Your Clients for Reviews – The more reviews you get, the better; both in terms of Google rankings and the impression it makes on potential customers. People like to know that you value their opinion. Encouraging their feedback, especially on your Google My Business page, makes them feel more appreciated and builds your base of
- Respond to Reviews – One unfounded fear that many real estate agents have about online reviews is that bad ones will hurt their business. But 30% of consumers assume that online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews. By responding to all types of reviews, you show your customers that their opinions are appreciated. Responding to bad reviews in a genuine way is an opportunity to show your dedication to customer service and the satisfaction of your
- Promote Your My Business Page – Whether it’s through your social media channels, website, or printed materials, don’t be afraid to create and share a link to your My Business page so customers can leave a
- Add a Call-to-Action on Your Website – Visitors to your website are already interacting with your business in a similar way as if they walked into your office. A link that lets them leave a rating and reviews shows them you care about what they
Google ratings and reviews can be a valuable resource for referrals and in converting leads. Once you have them set up and rolling in, don’t let that work be for nothing. An integrated Real Estate CRM, Email Marketing and Website solution can help you capture and manage all the new leads generated from these reviews – creating more business for you.
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