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Build Your Portfolio of Online Recommendations

September 13 2012

www glassOnline reviews are an increasingly important part of real estate agents' lead generation arsenal. In fact, a recent surveyrecent survey found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Search technology relies heavily on consumer recommendation data, too, further underlining their importance. Bing and Siri, the iPhone's voice search, both use data pulled from Yelp in their results. Google uses data from Google Places to determine which search results are most relevant.

Online Ratings and Reviews Sites

Here is a brief overview of important sites to begin building your portfolio of recommendations on.

  • YelpYelp – This ratings and reviews site has achieved appeal across a variety of industries. This familiarity makes it more powerful, because it's where your customers are already going to pick things like a restaurant or dentist. You may be surprised at the volume of consumers who look you up using their iPhone, or in their automobile's navigation system. If you are not on Yelp, they will not appear in the results.
  • LinkedInLinkedIn - Never spam all of your contacts on LinkedIn looking for a recommendation. Instead, be selective about who you ask. Find satisfied clients you're already connected with and ask them to write a review for your profile through LinkedIn's interface.
  • Zillow - Real estate websites like Zillow are probably the most important place to have agent reviews. This is where the most serious consumers will begin their search for an agent. The more in-depth your reviews on these sites, the better. Stick to asking satisfied clients with whom you have completed sales for recommendations.

Asking for the Recommendation

If you don't have an online "portfolio" of recommendations, don't fret! Building one can be easier than you think. In addition to asking current or former clients for recommendations, try asking potential leads for just a small recommendation at every opportunity.

For example, if you successfully answer a consumer's question about a property, ask them if the information you provided was helpful. If they say "yes," ask if you can send them your Yelp! or LinkedIn account. Nine out of ten times, they will agree.

Even if they don't write a recommendation, you'll still have, at minimum, their name and contact information--a genuine lead to follow up with in the future!

For More Information

Other articles of interest: dsSearchAgent IDX | Top Producer IDX