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Success with Testimonials: 3 Steps to Getting Them with Ease
Remember the famous childhood rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me?" Well, think again. In today's digital age, words matter, and more importantly, what people are saying about you can make an impact on your business' reputation.
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Real Estate Website Testimonials Done Right
Do you have client testimonials on your real estate website? If so, where are they on the site? This is the top navigation bar from a real estate website, and many sites are much the same. You get solicited and unsolicited testimonials from past customers and place them all on the Testimonials page for interested site visitors to read through them. You're getting very little value from the good ones in this way.
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Why Google Reviews Are Crucial for Real Estate Agents
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How Can You Use Your Strong Reputation to Expand Your Online Brand?
If you're like most real estate agents, you probably only have a small digital footprint – your own website, and maybe a real estate listing portal. You have to rely on people stumbling across you online rather than reaching out and making yourself easy to find. Compare this with celebrities, for example. They have huge digital footprints. They turn up in hundreds of results on search engines like Google--all with the mere click of a mousepad. The bigger their footprint, the easier they are for people to find.
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Online Reviews and Testimonials: A Real Estate Agent's Best Marketing Tool
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The Importance of Facebook Reviews and Ratings
There's no denying the power of online reviews and ratings, including those on social platforms like Facebook. Ratings and reviews are everywhere, from being alongside each of the over 12 million products listed on Amazon, and every other major eCommerce site, to seller ratings on eBay and real estate agent ratings on ratemyagent.com. And if you need any more proof of the importance of online ratings and reviews, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews according to CREA, and over half of Millennials trust online reviews more than the opinions of family and friends. But perhaps more than any other online review and rating system, Facebook's is underutilized as much as it is underestimated by real estate agents.
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The Importance of Online Google Reviews and Ratings and How to Get Them
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How to Handle Negative Reviews Like a Pro
I'm a big fan of online reviews. Not only do they provide information about the product or service you're researching, they also show you how the company handles problems. To me, a negative review is worth more than a positive review. If I see a lot of uncontested negative reviews, I move on. If I see the business responded with a simple "sorry for your experience" or "please contact us" response, I typically assume they're answering just for the sake of answering and not because they really care, so I move on. However, sometimes I see a company handle a bad review very well and I work with them. After all, if I have a bad experience, I want to know that the company will do everything they can to rectify the situation. So, what should you do when you get a negative review online?
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How to Use Real Estate Testimonials Online the Right Way
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[Video] What Happens When Someone Googles Your Name?
Picture this: An old acquaintance from high school recommends your services to her newlywed nephew and his wife who are looking for their first home. What do you think the first thing they do is? Call you? Email you? Not quite. Ninety percent of people will research you before they contact you, including referrals. For the majority of modern consumers, this means typing your name into Google—but whether they convert into clients or not depends on what happens next.
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How to Win Over 'On the Fence' Clients — Once and for All!
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How to Leverage Social Proof as a Real Estate Agent
"Smart marketers know that social proof is the marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried customers." Social proof is the new cornerstone of a focused marketing campaign because it's the type of collateral that connects happy customers to prospective customers – and with the bombardment of modern marketing messages, this will strike a chord faster. According to a Nielsen report, 83 percent of consumers in 60 countries say they trust recommendations from friends or family over any other form of advertising. Why Social Proof Is the Driving Force of Your Marketing Plan Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here – what exactly is social proof?
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4 Best Methods for Getting Real Estate Testimonials
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How Do You Rate Your Online Reputation?
In today's online world, we all leave a digital footprint. Between social media profiles, third party real estate websites and other digital media, it's critical to effectively manage your online reputation. When looking for a local business, BIA/Kelsey reports that 97 percent of people read online reviews, and according to the annual Local Consumer Review Survey from BrightLocal, approximately 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from real people. As you can tell from this data, it's absolutely critical to effectively manage your online reputation and make sure you know what's being said about you on the Internet. Research from ReputationDefender finds there are generally four categories of online reputations that most people fall into and each one has its own advantages and vulnerabilities. These four categories include: Sparse online presence. Most or all of the sites in your search results are automatically generated listings. Like whitepages entries, you do not control many of these sites and you have a low search volume for your name. Professional presence. Most of your results are about your business or professional life. You control some of the results, and you have low to medium search volume. Mixed messages. One or more prominent results are critical or misleading. You control some sites in your results, and you have low to medium search volume. Under attack. You have significant critical search results, very little control over the top sites, and a medium to high search volume.
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Reputation Management: Placement of Online Reviews Matter
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'How are we doing?' – Asking for feedback
Do you ever wonder how good you really are at the work you do? If the clients you work with feel valued and supported? Do you close every deal with a client, and leave wondering if you could've done anything to take your service level from good to great? There's really only one right answer to these questions. You should always be wondering how good you are, and what you can do to improve. The best of the best are always striving to make the customer experience the absolute best it can be. Now that we've determined that you should always be challenging yourself to go the extra mile for your clients, how do you know if your customers are feeling the love? You may feel like you're putting in 110 percent effort to keep your clients happy, but your clients may feel differently. Like it or not, the adage is true: perception is reality. If your clients feel like you're only giving 75 percent, it's up to you to change that—and fast. Customer feedback and reviews are the best way to find out what you're doing right and what things you may need to improve. Customer Reviews One way, and probably the best way, to find out how your clients feel about you is to simply ask. Seems so simple, right? We're not talking about literally asking them right after they leave your office. Can you say 'awkward'? Customers aren't usually going to be eager to share their true feelings about you and your service if you put them on the spot like that. But what you can do is ask for their feedback. Ask them to share their experience.
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The 3 Best Ways to Get More Real Estate Testimonials
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Are You Using Online Reviews to Generate Referrals? (7/19)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 7:30 AM PDT How often do you encourage your clients to leave you a testimonial and rate your services? Studies have shown that 80% of consumers will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. During the webinar, we will show you how to build a system for generating more reviews and referrals from your sphere of influence by previewing, giving, guiding and asking. Why it is so important to collect ratings and reviews. A 4-point strategy to get your customers wanting to give you testimonials. Techniques for turning reviews into referrals. Ways to turn a negative comment into a positive experience. Register now!
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How to Delight Your Negative Commenters into Clients
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How to Create an Online Reputation That Gives Clients Confidence! (6/9)
Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT The latest numbers are in, and many agents are stunned: "Currently, 2 out of every 3 people are Google-searching agents beforechoosing to do business with one." That's why this week's live training features a "done-for-you" plan to create an online reputation that gives more clients the confidence to choose YOU! Here's just some of what you'll learn this Thursday: How you can get on the first page of Google Search, dominate the competition and impress prospective clients who find you online How to improve your online reputation in 30-days or less, so you can attract new clients who are looking for you online right now! Easy ways to improve your online presence (and how to always look professional and competent) ... even if you don't have a website! The essential social posting strategies to showcase your skills, knowledge and expertise to get more referred customers and "warmed-up" prospects Live Q&A session with two industry experts so you can get your most pressing real estate marketing questions answered Register now!
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How to: Get More Testimonials
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RankMyAgent: A powerful new tool in the real estate market
RankMyAgent will be featured at this week's Inman Connect SF as one of the "new kids on the block." Here's a sneak preview. What is RankMyAgent? RankMyAgent is an online platform that connects Real Estate Professionals to Homeowners by using the power of reviews to get them recognized, generate leads, and build their online reputation. RankMyAgent helps real estate professionals to: Build trust with homeowners. Generate leads and expand clientele. Get recognized for their professionalism. Build their business. Proactively collect and manage reviews and leads. RankMyAgent helps home buyers and sellers to: Read credible reviews and decide. Make the home buying and selling process simpler. Receive advice from industry leading experts. Provide feedback about their agent experience.
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3 Ways to Get More Reviews
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Friday Freebie: Scripts that Make Asking for Recommendations Painless
Asking clients for a recommendation can feel awkward, especially if you don't have a game plan for initiating the conversation. If being unsure of what to say has been holding you back, you're in luck. This week, we're highlighting a compilation of free scripts you can use to ask clients for reviews that highlight all of your hard work. Scripts: Asking Clients for Reviews Scripts are valuable because they alleviate the discomfort of not knowing how to request a recommendation. Asking for reviews requires a different approach for each buyer or seller. What you'd say to a client upon closing differs from how you'd broach the subject six months later. A new guide from Zillow provides helpful scripts for each situation. It even offers dialogues that help you plant the idea that you will eventually be asking for a review early in the transaction. This mentally prepares your client for your 'ask' moment starting from the beginning of the relationship. Not every client is comfortable with writing, so this downloadable guide offers scripts that help guide your client into drafting a painless review. Conversation prompts encourage clients to write reviews highlighting your niche expertise (condos, dealing with HOAs, etc.). The idea is to earn more client reviews by making writing them as simple as possible for your clients. Ready for more recommendations? Download your free copy of 'Scripts: Asking Clients for Reviews' now!
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How to Get Real Estate Testimonials and Where to Use Them
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Let Your Clients Market Your Services with Online Reviews
Are you using real estate agent reviews for your marketing? If not, you might consider it. Online reviews are big business for companies investing in major efforts to create positive reviews about their company on popular review sites. Not too long ago, the New York Times published the article For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews. Retailers, the article explains, have been offering major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. Say what you will about the ethics of such practices, what they demonstrate is that client reviews play a major role in a product decision or the choice of one real estate agent over another. Since the World Wide Web transformed from being somewhat editorially regulated to more participatory and user-generated (a.k.a. web 2.0), merchants and professionals have slowly opened up to product (or client) reviews on their websites as a way to market their goods and reputations. Yet, everyone involved still has concerns. Customers may worry that the reviews are canned (written by people hired by manufacturers) and professionals may worry that competitors will find a way to publish bad reviews on their sites. This is why merchants like Amazon and sites like ReachFactor have safeguards in place to verify the testimonials so that a customer can simply concentrate on what's being said about the product or professional. In the matter of real estate testimonials, it's stressful enough trying to find the right real estate agent for a home transaction than to have to worry about whether the agent's testimonials are legit and not reviews spam.
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Online Reputation Management 101
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Are Reviews Radically Reshaping Real Estate?
Nearly nine out of 10 of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations or referrals. The New York Times went so far as to say, "If you provide a service or sell a product and you are not reviewed, you might as well not exist." More specific to real estate, a recent survey from Google shows two in three customers "researched prospective real estate agents extensively online prior to working with them." Real estate agents are being reviewed everywhere, so it's time to build a strategy for watching and managing your online reputation though review sites like Zillow, Yelp, Trulia, and many others. According to Real Estate Confronts Agent Reviews, a white paper just released by T3 Experts, these are among the primary reasons online reviews are significantly affecting the income of top agents and teams. Real Estate Confronts Agents Reviews summarizes several years of research, in addition to the results of a survey T3 Experts conducted earlier this year. This document is a roadmap to understanding reviews and how to build a strategy to protect your online reputation. Other highlights from the white paper: 88 percent have used online reviews Nearly 9 out of 10 people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 15 percent search online for a local business "almost every day" (this statistic was 7 percent in 2013)
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If You Read One Article About the Importance of Online Reviews, Read This One
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5 No-Pain Strategies for Getting Testimonials and Online Reviews
Years ago if you'd wanted to find a new service provider, say a dentist or dog groomer, you'd probably have asked a friend for a referral. Times have changed. These days, nearly everyone is going online to not only find nearby businesses but to research and evaluate them. Online reviews and testimonials are the best way for any business to demonstrate a track record of happy, successful clients. But asking past clients for testimonials can seem awkward. After all, it's our job to help them, and now suddenly we're asking them to help us! I liken it to exercise. We know it's good for us, but for some reason rarely make it a priority. It's not enough to just be in business anymore. In the past you'd hear, "Hey my uncle's in real estate, you should give him a call." Now you need to be proactively managing your reputation—online and off. They are going online to find an agent, but they also want to know why they should hire you. Given that 92 percent of consumers use the Internet at some point during their home searches, agents must take control of their online reviews and reputations or risk losing many of their prospects' business. There's nothing like testimonials and online reviews to help you enhance your professional credibility with the online reader. In fact, a recent article published at Search Engine Land revealed 88 percent of consumers have read online reviews in order to determine the quality of a local business. Quick aside: To boost consumer trust in agents found on Trulia, we recently added a new, improved, and far more robust agent ratings and review section to our free agent profiles. These new ratings and reviews are your chance to get free endorsements from your past clients and offer the social proof needed to generate even more business from your Trulia Agent Profile.
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3 Action Steps You Can Take Now to Leverage Online Reviews
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The Power of Real Estate Agent Reviews
The internet has transformed the way we make decisions about nearly everything in life -- which products we buy, which doctor we visit, who we date -- that it's clearly no surprise that online reviews play a major role in all of these decisions. Now that the internet is powering real estate -- with nearly all home searches beginning online -- REALTORS® using client testimonials in their marketing the same way merchants use customer reviews to sell products. Real estate agents always want to be developing and marketing their skills. There's really no better way these days to sell a product or service than to gather and publish reviews from real people. It works on Amazon, it works on e-commerce sites and Facebook, and it also works in the service industry. In the old days your real estate business might have relied on word-of-mouth, print ads and home-sale figures to promote itself. Now it relies on your online marketing and internet profile, including your website, social media accounts, blog and listings. While it's crucial to keep your online presence fresh and up-to-date, it's important to know what people are looking for when deciding to take you on as a real estate agent. That can be answered in one simple question: "Can you sell their home or find them a home?" Client testimonials can help sway those potential customers by showcasing what past clients think of your skills and experience. Online reviews are becoming big business with companies. As the New York Times points out (For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews) some retailers offer major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. Aside from any ethical judgment about what these retailers are doing, the article makes a larger point about the "value" of client testimonials. If a company is essentially offering free products for positive reviews, it's a sign that more and more customers, prospects and clients are consulting user-generated reviews and making major decisions based upon them.
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Recommendations for Going Digital
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Managing Your Personal Online Presence: A Guide For Real Estate Agents
As a real estate professional, how you present yourself is paramount to your success in the industry. While you often hear about employers doing background checks on potential job applicants, your real estate clients are doing the same to you. They want to know that you’re a good person to do business with and are doing their homework on who you are, using search engines. When someone looks you up online, do you know what they will find? Spring Cleaning For Your Online Presence Google Yourself Try running a simple search in Google and Bing search engines and see what shows up. Maybe you’re fortunate and have a unique name that makes it easy to find you. If you’re like me and have a really common name use a search query, like Jane Jones + Columbus OH or Jane Jones + Awesome Realty + Columbus OH to specifically target you and your real estate business. Do you get search results that pertain to you? If you do have a common name, you may find there there are online twins that share your name and live in the same area as you. Take Notes Make a spreadsheet of what you find, categorizing the Good (leave as is), Neutral (ignore or not worth bothering with) and Bad (action required), among the search results you find. The goal here is to create an actionable list to address any blemishes you might find when you search your name.
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What the Internet Is Saying About You
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We are Not Borg
There's a kerfuffle going on (isn't there always?) in the real estate industry. One of the largest real estate portals has started experimenting with a system to "rank and review" real estate agents, so buyers and sellers can "search and match up" with one. For some in the industry, rating and matching salespeople is a logical evolution in online marketing: Everyone reviews everything these days - restaurants, smartphones, airlines - in the have-your-say-Yelp-ish world. So why not real estate agents? But for others, marketing agents as "data sets" of listings, closings and statistics seems like the ultimate un-differentiator: turning value propositions into "just the facts" of MLS data. For me, the idea is bogus, but for a much simpler reason: We are not Borg. This isn't just a real estate issue. Salespeople everywhere should be concerned about the "rate, rank and match" trend in marketing and lead generation. It started with websites like AngiesList, TripAdvisor, and Amazon. "Tell us what you think about your purchase" became a norm that can make - or break - products in a fast, powerful, and permanent way. Perhaps you've decided - or undecided - to eat at a restaurant, stay at a hotel, or complete a purchase after seeing how many "stars" or "likes" had been earned from other people (strangers, really). Yet ratings aren't Consumer Reports or JD Powers, who rely upon expert testers to measure comparative performance. Rather, today's internet is filled with feedback from everyone and anyone: expertise notwithstanding. We're now are at the mercy of the nameless, faceless mob. The Borg.
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6 Steps You Can’t Build an Online Reputation Without
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Negative Agent Reviews: What to Do
Online agent reviews are a hot topic right now. For years people asked their friends and family for recommendations when they were searching for an agent to help buy or sell a house. Consumers still ask their friends for recommendations, but now they are increasingly likely to look agents up on the Internet, too. Popular consumer portals like Zillow and Trulia host agent reviews, but they aren't the only ones. If you come across a negative review about your services, don't panic. The occasional bad review can happen to even the best agents. Whether it stems from a disgruntled client, genuine misunderstanding or total stranger (and liar), here are four steps that will stop you from making a mountain out of a molehill. Take a deep breath. So you found a bad review online. Someone said you were too something or not enough something and maybe they have a valid point and maybe they don't. Whatever the case, if you are upset by the review, don't immediately engage. Even if you know it's 100% false and can prove it. Take a deep breath and walk away from the Internet. An angry or frustrated response won't do anything to indicate what a kind, reasonable and responsible agent you actually are. If you feel like you absolutely need to write something down to get it out of your head, draft it on a separate word doc or sheet of paper. Or tell a loved one. Just don't let your first reaction leave the room.
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What to Do About Bad Reviews
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Choosing a Solution for Online Reputation Management
This is the latest in a series of 'Buyer's Guides' that feature questions to ask and options to consider before making a new purchase. See our previous guides to purchasing a CMA, CRM, Document and Transaction Management, Electronic Signature, iPad App, Lead Generation, Lockbox, Listing Syndication, and Market Analytics tool. How Do I Manage My Online Reputation? You may have a certain reputation among colleagues and consumers in your local market, but is that reputation reflected online, where many new prospects are doing their research about real estate agents? Today, the Internet is where most consumers are making major decisions about the things they buy and the professionals they choose – real estate agents included. How do you ensure that your online reputation is stellar? It's a complex question that requires a multi-pronged solution. This may include agent ratings, agent profiles on consumer-facing property search portals, social networking, your personal website, and much more. Sound intimidating? If so, you're not alone. That's why many companies with expertise in digital marketing for real estate have taken much of the responsibility off your hands. Each company manages online reputation management differently, so it's important to understand your objectives and your options.
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Stik: Authentic Reviews
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Get Them Talking: Client Reviews
Every real estate agent, whether just starting out or an established local expert, can benefit from the marketing power of client reviews. Reviews – a more objective, contemporary term for testimonials – help prospects both on and offline feel confident choosing you to be their agent. In fact, the 2013 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report found that the two most important factors for choosing a real estate agent, as cited by buyers and sellers across all ages, are agent reputation and whether an agent is found to be honest and trustworthy. Sharing reviews will help you meet both of these requirements. The more reviews an agent has, the more experience and stronger record he or she is perceived to have. Does this mean that you need to send every client home with an essay question about their experience working with you? Of course not! Today we'll share with you a variety of easy ways to get and share more client reviews. Words from Friends (and Clients) You can send a request for a performance review – not a testimonial – to clients after closing. The easiest way to do so is by email. Ask for honest feedback. Positive comments can be used in your marketing efforts (with their permission) and other comments may help you find ways to improve your service.  
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How to Use Client Testimonials
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Friday Freebie: Free Tools from realtor.com®
Did you know that realtor.com® offers a wide selection of free tools that help real estate agents grow their business? This week, we're taking a peek into realtor.com®'s tool box and providing readers with a full list of apps and services available to them. If you already use or are planning on investing other realtor.com® products, like Top Producer® and Showcase Listing Enhancement(SM), this page will show you exactly how the tools below complement the products you already use. Free tools from realtor.com® Here's a comprehensive list of tools from available to real estate professionals for free from realtor.com®: Agent Profile - Build repeat and referral business. Use this tool to manage what people learn about you on realtor.com® and from major social media networks. Listing Presentation - Download this presentation tool for use on a laptop, iPad® or as a printable document. It demonstrates how consumers habits have changed, including the importance of marketing a home online. HyperSocial™ Tools - This tool lets you get recommendations from your satisfied clients and share them with the world.   Collaborative Search App - Invite your clients to use a version of realtor.com® mobile apps branded with your photo and contact info. All primary inquiry actions are routed to you, and you receive immediate notifications on your smartphone or tablet. 
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The Painless Path to Reputation Marketing
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Consumer Alert: Avoid MyBizCard
Every now and then, a product comes along that seems to provide a great resource for real estate. Then everything goes horribly wrong. You push the wrong button and a series of events is set in place that you cannot control. This happens a lot with apps and social networking. There is a service called MyBizCard. It promises to help you with "ratings and reviews from your peers that shows how awesome you are." Every agent wants that. Moreover, it is free! BE VERY CAREFUL, IT IS A VIRUS. Free is the first flag. "Ready for you in under 5 seconds. Try it now." That is the second flag. The service asks you to sign in with your LinkedIn profile. When you do, it provides the app with the following: Your full profile, including experience, education, skills, and recommendations Your email address Your connections – your first and second degree connections. That is everyone you are connected with on LinkedIn, along with everyone they are connected to. Your contact information – address, phone number and bound accounts. Invitations and messages – allows MyBizCard to send messages and invitations to connect with you.
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You Don’t Always Want a Client Testimonial
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Sham Rating Site? Oregon Agents Raise the Alert
Agents at RE/MAX Equity Group in Portland, Ore., were suspicious. A site called agent-ratings.com was giving F grades to agents as a result of what appeared to be faked customer ratings. They consulted with the company's general counsel Jeffrey S. Davis. Agent-ratings purports to protect consumers from "lazy, irresponsible" real estate practitioners. But its ratings are highly suspect, Davis says. At the site, agents are given a grade in five categories: knowledge, professionalism, reliability, experience, and communication, as well as an overall grade. The site offers an A ratings for life to agents who pay $99. If you look at the ratings of agents who haven't paid for the A rating, you'll see some obvious patterns, Davis says. First, it appears that every agent who hasn't paid has an overall F rating, he says. In addition: No agent has an F ratings in every category. Every agent has two or three—not one or four or five—different grades. No agent has any individual category rating of B or A. "These factors suggest a limited attempt to make the ratings appear to be genuine," he says. "There would be much more diversity in the ratings if the ratings were real." I did my own search of the site. When I searched for agents from Oak Park, Ill., where I live, the site returned results from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Thousand Oaks, Calif. So I tried using the "Find Agents by State" function and clicked on Illinois. Lo and behold, every name I clicked on had D and F ratings in the individual categories and an overall grade of F. Davis investigated the provenance of agent-ratings.com, and, again, what he turned up was suspicious. "The WHOIS record indicates it was created on Jan. 25, 2013," he says. But when he scanned the site, the customer ratings supposedly predated creation of the site. "I just took a quick look at about 100 of the ratings, and all of the agents' ratings are dated 2011 and 2012," he says.
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Friday Freebie: Mountain of Agents Online Directory
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Win the Listing Before You Get to the Presentation
Guest contributor Ian Grace of REALTOR®Mag says: These days, there's so much technology around that it's easy to get caught up in it, thinking it's the secret to real estate success. But sometimes it's the absolute basics that can be the most powerful business tools, but they've become neglected or overlooked entirely. How would you like to win the listing before you even get to the presentation? What a great situation that would be, and it's so simple: A prelisting kit and four to eight photo testimonials with a contact phone number (and that's really important) can do the job for you. In my training seminars for real estate professionals worldwide, the responses amaze me time after time when I ask these questions: "Do you or your office have any satisfied customers?" This answer (hopefully) is always a yes. But when I ask, "Do you have testimonials from them?" you would expect everyone to say yes – but sadly, for many, the answer is no. Then, for those who have testimonials, when I ask if they have the sellers' photographs to go with the testimonials, almost always, the answer is no. This is really scary because these real estate salespeople are making life difficult for themselves when in fact, it can be so easy.
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Don’t Worry About Keeping Up, With One Big Exception
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3 Practical Ways Real Estate Agents Can Get More Testimonials
Check out the websites of competing real estate agents in your area. Chances are, there are a few that are impressive and stand out, as a result of a long list of client testimonials. How did these agents get these "raving fans" saying such nice things about their services? Many agents think that testimonials just happen. You do a good job for a client and – fingers crossed – they write you a nice "Thank You" letter. Over time, this passive approach will generate a few testimonials. It's not a great real estate marketing plan. However, if you want more testimonials, sooner, then you have to be more proactive. Here's how you can do just that. 1. Plant a seed. Show clients your testimonials and let them know that you are open to receiving them. You: "I'm really proud of the testimonials clients have sent me over the years. Here is my most recent list..." Tip: You may want to add a few testimonials to your email signature. IXACT Contact's CRM for REALTORS® makes it easy to create a beautiful custom email header and signature.
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A Better Approach to Agent Ratings
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Testimonials: The untapped source of your Web business
Guest contributor Delta Media Group says: The way of doing business has changed. Consumers want to be educated without being sold to. They want to find the best deal, even if that means waiting for it to be delivered. They are influenced by their friends and family's positive experiences, and aren't just asking for referrals. Borders offered great products in a warm atmosphere that allowed consumers to touch and feel their purchase, and maybe even sample it before buying. They could take it home with them right away. And yet, Borders went bankrupt. Best Buy offers the same, and allows consumers to sample products side by side. To compare and contrast the picture difference between LED and LCD TVs, and listen to the quality of a surround sound system before making a purchase. If you have questions, you can ask an educated employee. And yet, Best Buy has begun closing stores and is in financial trouble. The two businesses have something in common—they are/were both really good at the old way of doing business. But new methods of doing business have allowed companies like Amazon to take market share from Borders, Best Buy, and a laundry list of other retail stores.
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How to Rack Up the Reviews
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Build Your Portfolio of Online Recommendations
Online reviews are an increasingly important part of real estate agents' lead generation arsenal. In fact, a recent 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. Yelp – 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.
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Product Review: RatedAgent.com
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Great Service… Going Beyond the Talk!
There’s a lot of industry talk these days about the need to provide a better, more valued and more satisfying service experience for home buyers and home sellers. Unfortunately it remains just that, mostly talk. At the heart of any serious examination is the recognition that great products and great services in the 21st century are a team sport. And the winning teams in other industries have systems, processes, standards and controls to assure consistent, high quality results. So can an industry with the ultimate independent contractor culture learn and employ similar disciplines and systems to deliver better service? Some broker/owners and real estate professionals are pursuing the notion that the way to deliver better service is to offer more services - believing that more equates to better. More is not the same as better… better is better. What, then, is better service and who decides anyway?Many service professionals believe that personality, style, good intentions and attitude are the key ingredients to good service. But great service requires more. When service is a matter of importance, consumers prefer competence and results to attitude and personality.
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The Right Way to Respond to Negative Feedback
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How to Gather More Client Reviews
In the wash of lukewarm real estate news, there's good news for real estate agent marketing. New reports reveal that young people are soon going to be entering the homebuying market, as opposed to renting. (See How to Ride the Next Wave of Homebuyers) ReachFactor helps make your real estate agent marketing easy and effective by facilitating and verifying and promoting your real estate agent reviews. But where do you begin? The real estate process is already a complicated and time-sensitive one without having to gather client reviews for your real estate agent marketing. Here are some hints: One of the easiest rules of thumb is that people writing product or service reviews are most likely to do it early in the process when the experience is fresh. A number of our agents make testimonial requests part of the closing process, because it allows you to explain the importance to the client in person (rather than via email) and they are more likely to respond—especially if they've had a good experience.
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Why More is Not the Same as Better
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Product Review: RealSatisfied
Agent ratings is a relatively new concept, with a variety different approaches. Unlike many providers in the “agent ratings” category, RealSatisfied is not focused on posting public-facing comments online. Instead, they are collecting data and using it to generate reports so that agents and brokers can track their progress and pinpoint areas for improvement. AgentsRealSatisfied is useful for both agents and brokers. We took a look at the platform from the agent’s perspective first. The first thing an agent sees upon logging into RealSatisfied is the Agent Dashboard:
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Siri, Find Me a Real Estate Agent
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Get Client Feedback Without "Survey Fatigue"
The escalating trend in customer satisfaction surveys has reached such a crescendo in recent years that some of us dread even the smallest query to a technical support number, sales support representative or even a doctor's office. Inevitably at the end of the call, we're asked if we wouldn't mind sparing a few moments out of our busy day to "rate" the experience. The experience of a two minute phone call, that is. When we have a bad (or especially good) experience it's a no brainer, but according to a new article in the New York Times (When Businesses Can't Stop Asking, 'How Am I Doing?'), because software companies like SurveyGizmo and QuestionPro have made it possible for small companies to create customer surveys cheaply, we are having these questionnaires come at us so often that a new phenomenon called "survey fatigue" is setting in. So, how do you prevent this onslaught of surveys from interfering with the reputation marketing you conduct for your real estate business? Here are a few pointers:
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In Search of Negative Feedback (The RETSO Prezi)
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Word-of-Mouth vs. Online Agent Ratings
How do most people find their real estate agent? Research shows that many consumers ask their friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. With help from some agent ratings experts, I'm going to explore the problems related to these word-of-mouth referrals. I'll also explore a growing trend in finding an agent: online agent ratings. A Broken System There are a variety of problems with word-of-mouth referrals. Two of the biggest I see are: Strain on interpersonal relationships. Not only with the agent themselves, but also with the person that referred them. If you ask someone to recommend a real estate agent, the person that they recommend will most likely be a friend of theirs or their own real estate agent. What if you decide not to use the agent they recommend? There's a very good chance you'll run into them at a BBQ, party, or even around town – and it could be awkward. That's just one example of the myriad interpersonal conundrums that can ensue. What are the criteria for the recommendation? Most consumers wouldn't ask, but they really ought to – "Why are you recommending this agent?" Chances are, the honest answer would be, "Because I know them and I like them." Does that mean the potential client will like them? Does that mean they're actually good at what they do? Oftentimes, the person making the recommendation has never even dealt with the agent in a professional capacity. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to choose an agent who was only recommended because he's on my Uncle Charlie's bowling team. However, as Larry Romito of Quality Service Certification, Inc. (QSC) points out, "Word-of-mouth recommendations are impactful. People trust their friends and family members and value their opinions." Given how powerful word-of-mouth recommendations are, we can certainly expect them to stick around. So how do you make the most of them?
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4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation
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3 Easy Steps To Maximizing (and Preserving) Your Online Profile
How much do you value your reputation online? Most agents would say they greatly value their reputation, but what can Real Estate Pros do when a bad review is posted of your service? It’s a common trend, that people are more likely to post bad reviews when they are unhappy with the service/product  they were provided. The same goes for Real Estate Professionals. If you do a great job, people will refer you, but will they go out of their way to Yelp about you? Probably not. On the flip side, what if they were upset with your service. Do you think they might post bad reviews on every site they can find? Maybe. Online reputation management is a serious business that can make or break an agent or  firm.  Now the question is, what can you do to maximize your profile online and minimize bad reviews? A new product by Homes.com just may be able to help. It’s called Search Impact, and it has a proven, three-step process to maximizing your visibility online while minimizing the effects of negative reviews. Here is an overview of what Search Impact can do for you:
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Friday Freebie: RealSatisfied
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What's a Client Review Worth to You?
Since the world wide web transformed from being somewhat editorially regulated to more participatory and user-generated (a.k.a. web 2.0) merchants and professionals have slowly opened up to product (or client) reviews on their web sites as a way to market their goods and reputations. Yet, everyone involved still has concerns. Customers may worry that the reviews are canned (written by people hired by manufacturers) and professionals may worry that competitors will find a way to publish bad reviews on their sites. This is why merchants like Amazon and sites like ReachFactor have safeguards in place to verify the testimonials so that a customer can simply concentrate on what’s being said about the product or professional. In the matter of real estate testimonials, it’s stressful enough trying to find the right real estate agent for a home transaction than to have to worry about whether the agent’s testimonials are legit and not reviews spam. Which makes last week’s New York Times article For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews as interesting as it is disconcerting. Retailers, the article explains, have been offering major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. This is great for the consumer and a brilliant marketing campaign, but needless to say it also corrupts what has become an almost essential element to product purchases these days.
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How To Effectively Use Testimonials
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Moving Mountains In Real Estate
Right on the heels of our most popular show ever, where we talked about raising the bar in the real estate industry, agent ratings and verification, today’s show covers a different perspective on agent reviews. Mountain of Agents is a directory where people can easily and quickly search for real estate agents. Is this something the really needs, another “review” site? Michael Becker, the CEO of Mountain of Agents, thinks so.
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Video: How To Deal With Negative Comments And Reviews
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Redfin Pulls the Plug on the Scouting Report
Before reading this article, we highly recommend you read Jay Thompson's first and second posts about the Redfin "Scouting Report." For those that have been following the saga of the Redfin “Scouting Report” for the past several days, you should read the latest post on the Redfin blog, Requiem for a Dream. Redfin pulled the plug. You can read the post for all the reasons why. As I said here in my two previous posts on the subject, I don’t have a problem with displaying agent sales data. But that data has to be accurate. And it wasn’t.
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Reviews Spam - Where Will It End??!!
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Q and A with Michael Becker of Mountain of Agents
When we heard about the new iPhone/iPod Touch app from Mountain of Agents, we were interested in learning more about the agent directory itself. So we called Michael Becker, CEO, to get the 4-1-1 on this growing online community. If you'd like to see the Mountain of Agents directory in action, you can visit MountainofAgents.com. Click on to the next page for our discussion with Mr. Becker.
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Creating Something Positive Out of Negative Testimonials
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4 Ways to Create Lasting Client Relationships
The guy who sold me my Toyota last year is truly a piece of work. It was raining in the lot, and none of the salespeople came out to help me. But this guy did. With an umbrella. We drove a few vehicles around the block, and he didn’t push me too far one way or another. He didn’t act like my long-lost buddy, but he wasn’t too formal. He knew his stuff, but I still felt like I was driving the bus. When it came time to negotiate, he was really transparent about price, value, the vehicle’s history. I could have walked away, and it would have been no big whoop. He probably would have even walked me out with the umbrella. But what really made this guy stand out was his work station. All the other salespeople had empty cubicles, or cubicles with calendars and family photos. This guy’s walls were literally plastered with photos of his clients standing next to their new vehicles. And, of course, when I completed my sale he took my photo and put it up with the others. To this day, every two months I receive a handwritten letter from him sending best wishes and asking me to call him if anything goes wrong with my vehicle. By all means, I’m calling him for my next purchase. A good service professional (and that is just about anyone from doctor and lawyer and real estate agent to freelance photographer and masseuse) must think long-term in every transaction by assuming that every transaction is going to lead to another, whether with that particular client or that client’s referrals.  
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Your Reputation: To Be Shared Online?
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Part 4: Are You Reaching for Reviews? (ReachFactor)
You're not afraid to walk up to a new house, knock on the door and hand a stranger a flyer. You're not afraid to self-promote online through websites, blogs and social media. You're not afraid to work with that high-maintenance seller and list their split-level. So why do many REALTORS® find it so intimidating to ask past clients to review them? In this Agent Ratings 101 series we have showcased a number of different solutions and platforms that provide a means to generating and sharing agent ratings/reviews online. What's better than self-promotion? Client testimonials.
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How to Meet Prospects Halfway
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Part 3: Setting the Bar (QSC Agent Ratings)
As real estate professionals compete for the attention of local homebuyers, the question is “How do customers’ choose service providers?”  Traditionally, they would ask a neighbor, friend, or family member for a recommendation.  Today, people are casting a wider net by increasingly seeking the advice of their social networks and popular search engines. Have you ever typed into a Google search bar “reputable plumber in ”? Have you ever seen a Facebook update that read something like “I need a good lawyer, anyone who knows of someone in the Sacramento area?”
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Part 2: Build a Mountain of Compliments!
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Part 1: The Perfect Storm
All service professionals have been rated since the beginning of communication between people. Word of mouth sharing of opinions is perhaps the core foundation of interpersonal communications. "As societies have evolved, so too have ratings systems. In many ways, civilization is reaching a crescendo as a result of the information age. There are dozens of ratings systems for everything – doctors, lawyers, restaurants, products, entertainment. You name it, it's rated," says Victor Lund, partner of WAV Group. Over 20 years ago Larry Romito, CEO of Quality Service Certified and father of agent ratings, watched the germination of two key forces taking place in the real estate space collide. The result was a need for agent ratings.
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