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You Need Customer Reviews on Your Site

May 16 2021

delta need customer reviews on your siteSeventy-nine percent of customers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In younger demographics, the figure can be even higher -- up to 91% for consumers aged 18-35. Regardless of age, most people read online reviews, and many customers won't buy until they've read a review.

Don't think online reviews only matter for eCommerce stores: 87% of consumers used them to compare local businesses in 2020, up from 81% in 2019. Only a meager 48% of all respondents would even consider using a business with fewer than four stars.

What does it all mean? If you don't have online reviews, you don't exist!

When your neighbors go online to get help buying or selling a home, odds are they type in "real estate agents near me." On Google, that provides a list of agents along with their average star rating — and easy access to their reviews. Sites like Yelp also centralize reviews, serving as a proxy of a company's reputation.

In effect, your future customers use the same methods to compare real estate agents as they do to compare pizza places or burger joints. Say what you will about whether that's fair or not: to excel in a fast-paced real estate market, you need to find ways to use it to your advantage.

The best way to do that is to make sure you have customer reviews right on your website.

Customer Reviews on Your Website Build Trust and Motivate Leads

You can't stop people from looking on Google, Yelp, or wherever else they might search around — and most big review platforms also penalize you if you incentivize reviews in any way. But you are always entitled to ask for reviews, and all of your best online reviews should be displayed prominently on your website.

Some great places to showcase reviews include:

  • The footer that appears on each page of your site
  • Your website's "Contact" and "About Me" pages
  • Your calendar or scheduling app, if you use one
  • Your social media accounts and YouTube channel

When you give online reviews pride of place, you are doing more than just encouraging more business for yourself. You are adding value by creating ways for leads to make an informed decision. That's something everyone can appreciate, even though not everybody who sees your website will ultimately work with you.

Let's consider some of the benefits of using online reviews on your website:

1. Reviews Foster Trust

Your website is a terrific way to introduce yourself. It helps people understand who you are and what you can do for them. But that doesn't mean they want to take your word for it! Reviews function as social proof, giving greater weight to everything you say. When leads see that others "just like them" have had great experiences with you, they feel more comfortable reaching out. That helps you build rapport and work together.

2. Reviews Help People Avoid Scams

On the flip side, remember that many of your clients will be first-time buyers or sellers. They may have limited or no experience working with a real estate agent. Being unfamiliar with the industry and its credentials, they are on guard for foul play. Reviews on your website are among the most important trust signals you can send. Your site may help guide others so they know what to look for in a reputable expert.

3. Reviews Draw More Website Traffic

Online reviews have a major role in driving more traffic. Yes, reviews posted on Google or Yelp may inspire more people to check your site, but it goes beyond this. The reviews you post and promote help search engines to recognize you as an established and trusted local authority. Over time, posting reviews can help your website become more visible when prospects search for topics related to your business.

4. Reviews Act as "Tiebreakers"

When two businesses seem similar from the outside, which one gets the sale? Usually, it's the one with a bigger roster of positive, credible reviews. This goes back to the idea that many future clients won't know the ins and outs of real estate — they depend on their agent to keep them informed. Your reviews highlight your successes, skills, customer service, and other points of comparison that could be harder to spot otherwise!

Whether you're new to real estate or an old hand, it's valuable to make customer reviews an ongoing part of your practice. That means recognizing the right time to ask for reviews, following up, and cultivating reviews on your own website, as well as responding to the reviews you collect on other platforms.

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To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.