Learn how to get real estate reviews on a variety of search engines, apps and website to increase a Realtor’s online presence and attract more clients.
Today we are talking about how to get real estate reviews. Why are online reviews so important? Online reviews are the new currency when it comes to online real estate. If you don’t believe me, go on Amazon and watch your own behavior. Are you going to buy the item with 1,000 5-star reviews, or the item with 11 5-star reviews?
The item with 1,000 5-star reviews means that you will likely be very satisfied with what you receive because so many other people are satisfied.
Online reviews are, for the first time in history, the closest thing to absolute evidence of the level of customer service you provide as a Realtor. If you want to look like you’re going to do the best job for clients, we can measure that now by the amount of 5-star online reviews you have.
VIDEO: How to Get Real Estate Reviews to Grow a Realtor’s Online Presence
Where to get online reviews
- Google. Google is the most universal platform, and gets the most traffic, by far. It has also seen enormous growth in the past year and shows no signs of slowing down.
- Zillow. Prior to 2021, I would have probably told you Zillow was the most important place to have online reviews. When Google entered the game with their Local Services Ads at the end of 2020, everything shifted. This trend will likely continue down for Zillow and in the coming years, they may no longer be a part of this conversation.
- Yelp. In some areas, Yelp is really big. If you are in a metro/urban area, Yelp is usually very popular. In a rural area, Yelp is not as popular. So it really depends on where you live. Of course there are exceptions to this but in general, this is what I’ve seen.
How to use real estate reviews to find referrals
Referrals used to be so complicated. There once was a time, not too long ago, when you would have to do a lot of footwork to find an agent to refer a lead to who lived in a different city. You might talk to your office, ask around, or check on Facebook for agents in that area. “Hey, who knows an agent that lives in Spokane, Washington?”
The problem with this referral technique is that just because someone knows someone in Spokane who happens to be a real estate agent, you don’t know that this means they are a good real estate agent.
There are many ways to find any old agent that lives in a given place. But if you want proof that the agent is a good one, you look to the online reviews.
An agent that has a good number of reviews, of course, is not guaranteed to be an excellent agent. However, we at least know that they were dedicated enough to get verified by Google and had the wherewithal to go about the tedious task of requesting reviews from past clients.
Do you get referrals?
Now, think about this scenario in terms of anyone looking for a real estate agent in your area to send referrals to. If they type in your area and “real estate agent,” will you pop up? Well, this depends on whether or not you are signed up for Local Services Ads, whether or not you are verified by Google, and how many Google reviews you have. Are you going to be the “safe bet” this agent will choose?
Agents with a ton of 5-star Google reviews receive a ton of referral business from agents outside of their area. The highest producing agents always seem to have the most reviews. And they keep getting more business from other agents that have lots of reviews because they know this is a safe option for referrals. It’s a “rich keep getting richer” scenario. Get in on it!
FREE DOWNLOAD: Asking for a Review Guide
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How to get real estate reviews
Systematize your reviews. Asking for reviews must be a part of your process. It all starts in the Buyer Consultation or Listing Appointment. When you first have contact with your client, it must come out in that conversation that it is your goal to provide 5-star service.
You must mention that you believe in client reviews and you do your business by word of mouth. Stress that your goal is to represent them in a manner that makes them fully comfortable giving them a 5-star review when all is said and done.
You can close this by saying, “Does this sound fair to you?” and they will likely say “Yes, of course!” It’s simple to do, but you won’t do this unless it is part of your process. Plant this online review seed right in the beginning of your relationship with your client.
When to ask for an online review
We can add many opportunities to ask for a review into your Listing to Contract and Contract to Close checklists. Add these “asks” into any part of the process that calls for celebration. That’s any time you are bringing good news to your client.
An example would be after a successful open house. When you deliver this good news, you can bring up the 5-star review again. “Does this make you feel more comfortable about giving me that 5-star review on Google?” If they say “Yes, absolutely!” you can send them the link right then and there.
Every time you bring up your 5-star service in these moments of celebration, ask them to do it now. Don’t wait for the very end to give them the link to give you a Google Review. Once all is said and done, your client is going to be very busy with moving forward and will likely completely forget about you. Your chance of getting a review goes down significantly if you wait until closing.
If you don’t have the review yet after closing, continue to follow up with them. This can be part of your checklist for client follow-up, too. Thirty days after closing, you can check in and see how everything is going with their new house. “Our customer service does not stop at closing! Do you need any help? Do you need any contractor referrals? Oh and by the way, here’s the review link!”
Do it again at 90 days post-closing, too. And if a year goes by and you still don’t have a review, call them on their 1-year anniversary to congratulate them on their first year in their new home.
These are all valid reasons to call, and you can naturally weave in your request for a review. You must systematize these check-in calls and review requests or they just won’t happen.
Get your Google Review link
Log on to your Google My Business profile and on your home page, the first thing you will see is a link generator. This is the link you give out to your clients when asking for a review.
Another golden opportunity: client events
If you’re wondering how to get real estate reviews, this is a super fun and positive method. Client events provide you with a great opportunity to ask for online reviews. Let’s use a December favorite as an example — “Photos with Santa.”
Everyone wants to bring their kids to get photos with Santa. These are very popular client events for Realtors. They are affordable and generate so much positive feedback.
Guess how your clients gain admittance to Santa’s workshop? Have your laptop out and “register” each client at the event. Get their phone number, and text them immediately with the Google Review link — while they are standing with you! Ask them in person, “Hey, while you’re here, would you mind giving us a 5-star review? Once you submit the review, show me on your phone and I’ll give you a ticket for this raffle I’m doing for a new iPad. I’ll be drawing a winner later!”
How to get real estate reviews: additional ways to ask
- Get social to ask for reviews – You can make a simple social media graphic to post across your channels asking people to leave you a 5-star Google Review. You can make it a contest or a giveaway to motivate your followers to participate! “Leave me a 5-star review and enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card!”
- Email your SOI database – Use a simple email template and ask for a 5-star review from members of your SOI database. Of course, remember that this method may only turn up a handful of reviews even with hundreds of email recipients. It’s quick, easy, and free, though, so this is a good place to start in your campaign for more reviews.
- Direct Message on Facebook – Using a similar script to your email, you can DM your Facebook friends. This will take you more time, however, because you have to message each person individually. However, there is a higher return with this method, because it is more personal and you can see on Facebook when someone has received and read your message!
- Take it to the next level – Everyone wants to know the secret to getting a ton more reviews. One trick that we share with our clients is to hire a temporary assistant. They get paid per review. Give them a proper onboarding to your team, so they know about you and can feel good about doing this job for you. Have them go through their own contacts and send your review link to everyone on their contact list. Note: This is not unethical! If you have misgivings about this, be sure to take our course, which will walk you through this method and explain in greater detail why it works.
The goal: get to number one
Realize that you need to be number one in your area, in terms of Google Reviews, to get listings from your Google Local Services Ads. Number two is o-k and number three isn’t great. Anything below that simply won’t cut it. If you want to reap the benefits of Google Reviews, jump all the way in. Go the extra mile and it will pay off!
Want to learn more?
- Read The High-Performing Real Estate Team. You can buy Brian Icenhower’s best-selling book on Amazon.
- Subscribe to The Real Estate Trainer Podcast. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, and anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.
- Join the Real Estate Agent Round Table. We are always posting fresh content, including market updates, free templates, and host dynamic discussions with the industry’s top producers.
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