[Video] What Happens When Someone Googles Your Name?

August 30 2017

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.

Your Name and the Science of Search

The links at the top of Google's search results are the ones with the best SEO, or search engine optimization. The more reputable and popular website or page, the higher up in the results they rank. Typically, that means that your profile on big sites like Facebook, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and LinkedIn will rank first for searches of your name.

If people click onto these pages, what will they see? An updated profile full of fresh content and testimonials from past real estate clients will convert more leads. A profile full of digital dust and a lack of "social proof" will net you... well, not much.

So what's the best way to boost your digital reputation? According to one real estate expert, and our guest on a recent webinar, the trick is in growing your collection of client testimonials and strategically displaying them online. This shows leads that you're a trustworthy real estate professional, and feeds search engines exactly what they crave--a steady stream of fresh content.

We talked about how real estate agents can cultivate more testimonials with Jonathan McGowan during a recent webinar. McGowan, VP of Sales at SmartZip and Reach150, introduced agents and brokers attending the webinar to an automated tool that can solicit and curate client testimonials for you.

Couldn't make the webinar? No worries, we recorded it for you! Check out the video (and our handy, time-stamped summary!) below to learn more:

Webinar Summary

0:35 - Panelist introduction: Moderator Marilyn Wilson, RE Technology President, and special guest Jonathan McGowan, VP Sales, SmartZip and Reach150.

1:35 - Attendee poll: We ask agents to tell us what kind of referral system they currently have in place?

2:42 - Wilson goes over WAV Group research that reveals the most important ways that agents say they can grow their business this year and next. "It's clear that Realtors across the country understand that the area of referrals and repeat business is absolutely one of the most profitable ways to grow your business and probably one of the most easy ways to grow your business," she says.

4:40 - McGowan talks about ways to grow your referral business and the challenges of consistently getting referrals and recommendations.

9:30 - McGowan introduces us to Reach150, a tool for managing client testimonials. Step 1: use your computer or phone to request recommendations. You can a) do this manually with built-in messenger that can text or email your contacts, b) auto-trigger Reach150 to send a recommendation request upon a status change to "Closed" in your transaction management system or CRM, and/or c). Port in recommendations from other places like Zillow, QSC, RealSatisfied, etc.

13:15 - Steps 2-4 of using Reach150: Send a simple message to your selected clients. Don't forget the "three magic words" - no login required. This tells clients that there are no hoops they have to jump through to write a testimonial, which, according to McGowan, results in 30-50 percent of people writing you a recommendation on the spot. When they submit their testimonial, the Reach150 system will then ask for a referral on new page. "That's the perfect time to do it," says McGowan, because they've just been thinking of you in a positive way.

16:30 - Next, you're notified of the new recommendation and can review it before publishing it. Once posted, it appears on a SEO-optimized Reach150 profile page. (McGowan says Reach150 profiles typically appear in the top 3 or 4 search results.) From there, you can share individual recommendations on social media.

22:18 - That was the "Basic" version of the Reach150 platform. The upgraded "Pro" version also lets you target your contact database with branded digital ads. Just upload the email addresses of your sphere and prospects, and the system will display your ad to them on the websites they visit, a strategy known as "retargeting."

33:20 - McGowan shows us a widget you can embed on your website to display your testimonials. The widget will collect cookies of people visiting your testimonial tab/page and add them to your advertising targets.

40:30 - Brokers can use this advertising feature for recruiting. McGowan demonstrates how this works.

Special Offer: Try 1 Month Free!

Want to try Reach150 for free? RE Technology readers can get their first month of Reach150 Basic for $0 at smartzip.com/re150.