If you’ve ever perused a restaurant’s Yelp reviews or asked your Facebook friends for help finding a party planner, you know firsthand: people care what other people think.
We want confirmation from others that our investment of time and money won’t be wasted. And for anyone buying or selling a home — the most valuable asset many people will ever own — this is especially true.
Realtor reviews that sing your praises and let potential clients know they’ll have a great experience working with you aren’t just helpful. They’re an essential element for drawing and keeping new business.
Of course, you know you’re incredible at what you do. But how do you get your clients to say it?
If you’re ready for a steady stream of testimonials, read on. We’ll share why reviews are so critical in today’s market, where to focus your efforts, and the best opportunities for asking for reviews, including free tips and scripts that work.
Apply these tools and you’ll be building up an arsenal of real estate reviews and testimonials — and enjoying the new business they bring — in no time.
According to Zippia, there are 1.46 million real estate agents in the United States — that’s nearly a 30% increase over the past ten years.
Clearly the competition for clients’ attention is fiercer than ever before, and distinguishing yourself from other agents is critical. Racking up positive client testimonials is one of the most important ways to do that.
Baltimore agent Ron Howard and his team have more than 900 Zillow reviews — and a 5-star average — and continue to build their bank of client testimonials there. “We just always thought it was important to have the social proof,” he says. “[A positive review] creates the authority…to help people make decisions before they really get to know you.”
It should come as no surprise that 95% of homebuyers use online tools during their home search, according to the National Association of Realtors in their 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report. This means that your online presence as a realtor should be as robust as possible, starting with the proof of your performance straight from your clients.
But the NAR report also found that 68% of sellers — and just 47% of buyers — worked with an agent who was referred to them. This leaves around one-third of sellers (and half of buyers!) who are using other methods to search for their real estate agent. So don’t sleep on the power of reviews to gain you more business.
Now, are you ready for the great news?
NAR’s 2021 report also found that nearly 90% of both buyers and sellers would definitely or probably recommend their agent to others.
If nine out of ten clients have positive experiences with their agent, this leaves a massive window of opportunity to ask for reviews that could sway prospects to call your office first.
Take this five-star Google review of our friends over at AV Home Experts.
How could you not want to work with this team after reading that review?
The client mentions specific team members by name, emphasizing how personable they were. They give an overview of each part of their journey and how AV Home Experts helped. They share their specific timeline for selling and purchasing (just two months!). They even go out of their way to acknowledge the challenges of the market, further emphasizing the team’s all-star skills.
The reviewer ends with a tangible recommendation for others so the reader can’t mistake their high opinion!
Reviews this flawless not only help prospective clients picture themselves working with you, they also help move them one step closer to picking up the phone.
If you’re starting your client review strategy from scratch, you might not know exactly where to begin. The good news is, as long as your clients are leaving you positive reviews on the web, you really can’t go wrong.
But each agent is different, and you should find a strategy that works for you. This may mean aligning your review strategy with your lead gen strategy.
For example, you might try to send all reviewers to the same place for greater volume on just one platform. Or you may decide you want a healthy mix of reviews across platforms, so new clients find kind words wherever they encounter your name.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the top realtor review platforms and how each one might fit into your mix.
Zillow is an important place for realtor reviews because it meets prospects right at the source. Zillow reviews let prospects encounter you (and your clients’ high opinion of you!) where they’re already searching for their dream home. Whether they are early in their journey — maybe even browsing Zillow just to pass the time — or know that they’re looking for a home and a realtor, you can’t miss when you have a strong portfolio of client reviews on Zillow.
Obviously, Google is the king of search across industries. For many prospects who hear your name from a variety of sources, their first step will be to type that name straight into Google. One of the keys to an excellent Google listing is, of course, a roster of great reviews and a stellar overall rating. This can be the difference between a prospect who gives you a call and one who keeps looking.
Social media platforms like Facebook are the embodiment of, well, social proof. Facebook reviews give your prospective clients a direct line to see if their friends “like” or have good things to say about your team. Knowing right away that someone they know is a fan can mean an immediate rapport and new business for you. And as a bonus, having that social proof front-and-center may also help your Facebook ads perform better.
While plenty of other platforms exist, you’ll likely want to hone in on just a handful to drive clients to leave their testimonials on some of the more visited sites. You might even include a specific ask in your email signature to drive them to your preferred review site.
Speaking of scripts, let’s dive into the how of gaining those precious client reviews.
If you haven’t asked for your first real estate agent review or testimonial yet, it might seem a little intimidating.
Remember, your clients work with you for a reason. Many (if not most!) would be glad to pass along their positive experiences to others in the form of a quick review.
The other good news is that there are multiple stages throughout the buyer’s and seller’s journeys to ask for a review.
The important thing is to introduce the idea of leaving a review for five-star service early on. You’ll make it clear that you aim to please them and over time, your client will be more likely to remember to follow through on leaving a review.
Let’s get into the best times to ask your real estate clients for a review or testimonial, including tips and scripts (courtesy of all-star Atlanta realtor Justin Landis) to help you position your ask. Keep in mind, while the buyer and seller journeys are distinct, the principles of asking for feedback and following up for reviews will carry across both audiences.
Buyer’s consults and listing appointments are a great time to establish your priorities of five-star service from the get-go. Remind your buyer or seller what your values and goals are throughout the process, and how you aim to help them.
Finally, introduce the idea of a review so that they know your standard of serving them so well they’d be willing to recommend your service to friends and strangers alike. Let them know you’ll be checking in on their progress throughout their journey with you.
“We want your experience to be a 5-star experience so that you are willing to share it in an online review. So many people go online and look for reviews before they even reach out to us. We want them to see how much we care!
With that in mind, we will be checking in throughout the process to make sure that we are providing that high level of service, and we also want you to let us know if there’s anything that we can do better.”
For sellers, this is an important milestone in their process. Listing their home might be an exciting moment, as well as a reflective or nostalgic time as their transition officially begins.
For you as their realtor, it’s also a great opportunity to check in with them about their journey so far. In the midst of celebrating their big day, it’s a good idea to check in and ask about how your service has met their needs so far. Remind them for the first time about your standards: that you want to do so well, they’d be willing to recommend and review you.
“Once again, we are so excited about your house hitting the market! As we said when we first met, our goals are to sell your house for as much as possible and as quickly as possible. We also want to provide a 5-star experience to earn your future referrals and online reviews. Thus far, do you think we are doing everything to achieve those goals?”
From there, you can ask for a review or work with them to resolve any problems mentioned.
Once a buyer or seller is under contract with you, they’ve already had sufficient face time to sign on the dotted line — and they know how great your service is! This is a great chance to check up on their experience and ask questions to understand if you’ve been meeting your standards.
If they’re not satisfied so far, dig deeper to understand the issue and work to identify a solution so you can remedy their concerns. Otherwise, you can ask them if they’d be willing to leave you a review and follow up with the next steps to secure it.
Similarly, you can also position your ask the same way through the due diligence part of the process. Reiterate just how important providing great service is to you. Use this opportunity to again mention that you want to be sure you’re meeting each of their needs.
“At this point in the process, I always want to ask to make sure that we are achieving our goals of helping you make the best decisions possible and providing a 5-star experience that will earn your future referrals and reviews. Are we achieving those goals? [Their answer] Thanks! That’s great to hear. Would you mind taking a few minutes to go ahead and write us a quick review? I’ll send you a link to a few review sites to make it super easy for you.”
Even though the closing is technically the end of your client’s journey, it’s not the end of your relationship with them. This is the time to finish strong and remind them, once again, how much you value taking good care of your clients. Remind them how glad you are to have worked with them and that you’ve been asking them for reviews all along the way.
Remember Ron Howard? In addition to sending monthly automated reminders to leave a review, he also takes a simple but effective approach to getting more realtor reviews during closings. He lets the customer know:
“My assistant’s going to send you a request for a review. You think you can give us a good one?”
He also makes sure the request is sent while the conversation is fresh in the customer’s mind.
As before, if they bring up any problems or feedback during closing, do whatever you can to resolve their concerns. If they only have good things to say, repeat that you would appreciate a review that lets other prospective clients know that you’re a great go-to agent.
“It’s been so great working with you! I’m really happy how things worked out and hope you are too. If you remember, when we first met, I told you that we wanted to help you make a wise decision and to earn your future referrals and reviews. Have we done that?
If so, we’ll be reaching out to get feedback and let you know how you can share your excellent experience with others!”
One of the unsung benefits of a rock-solid review strategy? Writing a review reminds your clients why they love working with you in the first place!
Great service? Helpful resources? Quick response times? You’ve got it all, and your clients won’t soon forget it. But more often than not, you won’t get a review you didn’t ask for. So don’t skip this critical step in the process.
And don’t forget to make the most of the reviews you receive. Share them on social media, feature them on your website, and even incorporate them into your email marketing campaigns.
A little love from your clients can go a long way across your marketing channels.
Remember, you’re great at what you do. All that’s left is to remind your clients to tell the world why they loved working with you in the first place.
Now it’s your turn. Go forth and get those top-notch testimonials. Ready. Set. Review!