Real estate agent reviews are the testimonials that clients share for others to read after having done business with you. Positive reviews can bolster your business and increase your leads by creating a favorable impression of your work and are best shared where prospective clients will find you, including Zillow, Realtor.com and your own website.
Here are the five steps to follow to ask for reviews and the platforms to refer them to.
1. Review & Complete Your Realtor Profile Across Platforms
Be sure your agent profile is complete and reflects your brand before asking for client reviews. Making sure your profile contains your photo, real estate biography and homes listed or sold assures former clients of who you are and helps future clients to see you as a professional. Begin asking for testimonials when your profiles on the leading platforms, such as Zillow and Realtor.com, are complete.
Creating an exemplary profile for your Realtor.com page like the one above should tell a story of who you are and your work ethic, along with showcasing the properties and clients you have represented. Be sure your profile is complete, and use the tips below to create an outstanding profile.
Use the Pros to Create an Amazing Profile
Building on the success of others is paramount to having your profile seem professional and solid. Be sure to review highly reviewed agents across platforms and see how they structure their own profiles and the things they include.
If you need help creating or adding certain essential elements to your profile, we have a number of resources to get you started. For example, here is an article on drafting a fantastic real estate bio and our guide to the perfect Realtor headshot. After you have your profiles completed and up to par, then you want to focus your efforts on the ask.
2. Drop Subtle (or Not So Subtle) Hints During Your Work
Talking periodically with clients about the importance of online reviews is a good way to start the conversation. Remind them at points that you get a large percentage of your clients from your great online reviews. Many of your current clients may have even found you this way.
Keep It Natural
When dropping a hint about online reviews, be sure to keep the conversation sounding natural. A great time to bring it up is when referring back to how your clients may have found you. For example, if they found you through Zillow, you might say, “I’m so happy that we connected on Zillow, and I bet you noticed I got some great reviews, I hope I can make you pleased as well so that we’ll be adding to the list!”
You don’t want to sound desperate or pushy, so be sure to remark briefly about it and let it go. The goal is to set up how you do business subtly so that the email you send clients later requesting a review won’t come as a surprise.
Include Links to Review Pages in Your Everyday Email Signature
A quick line like “Happy with my service? Leave me a review on _______” with a direct link to your review site of choice will remind clients that you are expecting a great review if they’re happy with your service. They might never click on that link, but they will at least know that you want a review and where you want it. Sometimes, you won’t ever have to solicit clients after closing, and they’ll leave a review organically.
3. Send an Email After Closing
Clients are far more likely to leave reviews if you make the process easy for them. Many clients don’t know to leave reviews on their own, have never left a review previously or know where to go or what to say. Here’s how to give your clients a nudge and make the process seamless.
Make the Review Process Easy for Clients
About 2 or 3 after the closing is the ideal time to send a follow-up email. Clients may still be unpacking, but the chaos of the experience is behind them while the freshness of the services you have provided should still be there. Be genuine in asking how they are settling in if they appreciate their new location, and ask for a review if they had a good experience.
A useful tip to constructing an effective email is to start the email while you are concluding work with clients so that details can be included that you may otherwise forget down the line. By having a terrific customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Contactually, you can add details and be sure to schedule those contacts at just the right time.
Guide Your Reviews within the Ask Email
Reminding clients of your work together in your follow up email, can help them formulate something constructive to say about the experience of working with you. For example, if you had a tough negotiation where they ultimately acquired the property, feel free to talk about it casually.
An example of reminding them of your work together in an email might be saying something like, “Hi Janet, it was wonderful working with you, and I was so happy we came out on top in negotiating that home that had such high competition. Would you mind leaving a review so that future clients can see what can offer them?”
Direct How They Get There
By directing the client directly to the page on sites where you would like a real estate agent testimonial, you increase your chances of a review dramatically. Send a direct link to the area where they can leave a review, and do not leave them to try to find your profile on a large site. For many who are not as technically savvy, but had wonderful experiences, they’ll simply become frustrated.
4. Ask for a Video Testimonial
Video reviews come across as personal, sincere and connect to audiences in a very different way than written real estate agent testimonials. Seeing real people talk about their experiences is powerful and, if you’ve had some special clients you’ve done good work for, broach the possibility of creating a video testimonial enthusiastically.
Select Those Special Clients
Choosing to have clients talk about you on camera can be a difficult ask, so you want to be sure you approach clients with whom you shared a fantastic connection. We all know the clients who were fun and easy to work with, with whom we shared an easy rapport. Be sure to choose homebuyers or sellers that would be compelling on camera and had a wonderful experience with you that they’d happily attest to.
Make It Approachable
Requesting video testimonials is a special task, so pick up the phone and call or ask in a face-to-face meeting. Ask clients how they are doing, talk about how much you appreciated working with them and ask if they would mind swinging by your office for a quick video testimonial. Being on camera is intimidating for many people, so you want to make the process seem casual, easy and approachable.
5. Send a Card and Acknowledge Client Testimonials
Positive real estate agent reviews can be worth thousands in future commissions, so be sure to thank each client who leaves you a solid review personally. Be creative and genuine in your thanks, as these clients now join your future referral network.
Give a Small Gift
Make your gift personal and neighborhood specific. Consider both your former clients’ tastes as well as what the area can offer. It can be as simple as a gift card to the area coffee shop, a bottle of local wine or a box of holiday cookies from the bakery down the street along with a card showing your appreciation.
Bonus Tip: Display Testimonials Creatively to Increase Engagement
Having an interesting display of real estate agent reviews on your website encourages potential clients to read them. People are used to seeing reviews and often just skim over them, but a unique display catches the eye and helps grab attention to an important social proof.
Established platforms are more constraining, so get creative on your site and get users engaged with your reviews. Here is a great example from the website of Canadian real estate agent Suzanne Lewis.
The 3 Best Platforms for Real Estate Agent Testimonials
For the most effective use of real estate agent testimonials, the best return on investment (ROI) will be referring your former clients to your biggest lead sources and places clients look to check local businesses. The biggest lead sources are likely the real estate marketplaces that will service your future clients who are looking for homes online.
As the largest real estate marketplace on the internet, Zillow tops the list of places to refer your clients. Zillow not only hosts the most individuals searching for homes, but offers features through the Zillow Premier Agent program that can get you in front of more local buyers and offer exclusivity as well as a presence on competing agent listings in your area.
If you want more exposure and use the Zillow Premier Agent program, having great reviews on Zillow is even more important. When you advertise on a listing with Zillow Premier Agent, you will be presented in a list with other agents advertising on the same listing. Here’s what that ad looks like:
Notice the list of agents to consider in the image above and how a potential home buying client might select one. Most people, if scanning the available agents, will select the agent with the best reviews. In this case, Christine Hong has the most five-star reviews.
In order to see how effective positive reviews can be or how damaging bad reviews can be, think about whether or not the same home buying client would select Ms. Hong if she had the same number of reviews, but her average was two or three stars instead of five.
How Clients Post Reviews on Zillow
Getting great reviews up on your Zillow page requires you to send your clients a link to your Zillow profile page. By clicking on your reviews, they can leave one of their own. Just be aware that Zillow verifies any reviews submitted to its site in order to determine authenticity. If your clients don’t have a Zillow account, be sure they sign up for one or are logged in before leaving a review. If not, have them include a regularly used email address and phone number for Zillow to verify.
Realtor.com is the second-largest online real estate platform. Although they get only about one-third of the traffic of Zillow, they do offer some distinct advantages. There are no for sale by owner (FSBO) listings, and many find that Realtor.com listings are more up-to-date than Zillow.
Realtor.com works a bit differently than Zillow for reviews. Reviews don’t show up on the property listing page on Realtor.com as they do with Zillow. However, when a homebuyer goes to Realtor.com searching for a local buyer’s agent, the search results show reviews at that time. If clients click on your profile, they can read the reviews.
Here’s what a typical Realtor.com agent review page looks like. Note how the reviews are broken down into market expertise, responsiveness, negotiation skills and professionalism and communication.
To learn more about how Realtor.com works for agents, check out our guide.
How Clients Post Reviews on Realtor.com
The process of having your clients post real estate reviews on Realtor.com is easy. Just send your clients a link to your profile page. Be aware that Realtor.com also requires that individuals posting reviews be verified and so do require a profile or to be logged in to that profile much like Zillow.
3. Google Local
Reviews on Google can be an important factor in how well your site ranks on Google as well as inform the brief snapshot potential clients might have of you when searching. If customers are using Google to search for a real estate agent or company, they are provided results that show local companies and reviews even if they never add their town or city. Google knows that if people are looking for services, they usually prefer ones in their area and try to provide the best quality experience.
Here is an example if you Google “real estate agency” and live in Manhattan. Note that you don’t have to search for “real estate agency Murray Hill” or even “real estate agency Manhattan.” But the results still showed brokerages that were located very close to whatever location you are in.
The ranking of various agencies on the page is partially determined by the number and quality of reviews on Google for that business. According to search engine optimization (SEO) specialists Moz, local reviews were responsible for 8.4 percent of a local business’ ranking in Google search results and do show your reviews given on that platform.
How Clients Post Reviews on Google
Anyone with a Google account, such as Gmail, can leave a review for a local business on Google. One of the best ways to simplify the process is to create a link that will send people directly to the review form on Google to rate your business. Google provides a quick tutorial on how to create that link directly to your review page here.
Google calls its local search features for small business Google My Business. This is where your reviews will show up when people Google you. If you’re new to Google My Business and want to learn better how to manage your business on Google, check out our authoritative how-to guide on setting up Google My Business.
Bonus Tip: Be Sure to Post Reviews to Your Website
While having reviews on Zillow, Realtor.com and Google are very important for your business, be sure to include real estate testimonials on your website. You can do this a number of ways, but be sure they are included so that when others go to your business site to learn more about you, they inevitably encounter the good experiences of others.
Posting Reviews and Testimonials on Your Website
Your website will be the one tool that remains with you when you switch brokerages or marketing strategies. It is common to switch brokerages at some point during your career or to decide to spend more ad dollars on varying platforms, but your website remains a constant of your career.
For 2018, best practices for posting reviews and testimonials on your website include:
- Having an entire page of your site dedicated to reviews or testimonials
- Gaining permission from the reviewer to add their comment or image to your website
- Posting video reviews or testimonials
- Include headshots of the person leaving you a review, to add increased credibility to their real estate testimonial
An example of an effectively integrated real estate testimonial can be found on the website of Bob Gordon. He simply recorded great video testimonials, embedded the YouTube videos on his site and added a quick description.
If you have a WordPress site, most good real estate website templates will have a built-in reviews/testimonials page ready to go. However, if you want to make it easy, you can use a turnkey real estate website provider like Placester that will have a reviews or testimonials page already in existence for plug and play ease.
Other Real Estate Agent Review Websites to Consider
While these sites might not be as high priority as the ones listed above, they are companies where you still may be discovered and want a solid reputation. There are millions of people choosing many different search paths, so covering your bases is always a good idea. Here’s a quick list of other places you may consider for real estate agent testimonials.
The Bottom Line
Real estate agent reviews are one of the most important things you can get to build your business. By focusing on the right review websites, doing a great job for your clients and using our best practices, we hope you find great success in acquiring those reviews and thriving in the marketplace.