In the real estate industry, working with reviews is especially important.
This is due to the specifics of this area: as a rule, people buy houses or apartments very rarely, once or twice in their life, and it takes a long time to decide on a deal. The cost of a mistake for buyers is very high, because they will then live in the house and, most likely, pay the mortgage for it for a long time. People are afraid of many things when making a decision, and these fears affect both the speed of closing a deal and the choice of a developer.
Therefore, when planning to buy real estate, they spend a long time studying all possible sources of information about the developer and real estate agent, and reputation plays an important role. And first of all, you need to take care of reviews and recommendations. According to research,
48% of buyers read recommendations, making a decision.
Step 1. Ask customers to write reviews about you
According to research, people rarely give positive reviews; much less often than negative ones. They have no motivation: if everything went well, why write about it?
Another thing is if something went wrong:
Therefore, if you need positive feedback, ask for it! Just remind you that you would love to hear from them. At the same time, direct satisfied customers exactly to those sites where it is especially important for you to increase the company’s reputation rating – this will be a specific aggregator, reviewer or card service.
It is worth asking for a review for a specific employee working with a client. You can link the number and percentage of positive reviews to bonus, optional real estate agent bonuses. So they will be directly interested in working on the brand’s reputation.
When asking for feedback, don’t wait for the deal to close. They can be requested at any stage of the interaction with the client:
after visiting the house;
obtaining a cost estimate;
obtaining final loan approval;
when signing an agreement;
when closing a deal.
Take a personal approach, it always captivates. For example, try writing a personal handwritten letter thanking your clients for choosing you and asking them to rate their experience with you.
The last opportunity to ask for recommendations about you is the final meeting with the client. Give your customers a gift on it or invite them to a festive dinner. This will remind them of everything you’ve already done for them and give them an incentive to thank you.
Let’s add a few words about the gift. When choosing it, think about what your customers would like to receive now. Let it not be printing or a circle, but what they really appreciate, for example:
- a vacuum cleaner, like a good set of household chemicals – they will need to do the cleaning;
- a gift card to a furniture store or hypermarket, for example, IKEA – this will definitely come in handy;
- to a restaurant or movie theater nearby (important!) from their new home – there they can celebrate their purchase.
Such a gift will not be the most spectacular, but thoughtful and caring, and it will reflect what you really think about your customers. They will appreciate it and you will have a very good impression.
Step 2: incorporate positive reviews into your marketing strategy
If reviews are already being left about you, they need to be built into a unified brand reputation development system.
Each positive mention of your company increases your visibility and trust in you. Amplify the impact of these reviews by responding correctly, and remember to showcase them to potential customers.
There is no limit to where you can share good reviews. Here are some of the more popular options:
add a testimonial slider to the home page, place a testimonial block on the company page and on service pages;
select a whole page for reviews (and add the ability to sort them by different services or types of real estate);
share reviews on social networks, post them on forums;
add a short snippet of your customers’ testimonials to your email signature;
add testimonials to your flyers, magnets, brochures or calendars.
Be creative! There are many sites where you can include good reviews and recommendations.
For example, give your customers who recently bought a home a free “we have moved” card to inform friends and family of your new address. Add a short, positive feedback about yourself to these cards – and increase your brand awareness.
Always consider where specific reviews will look best. While a longread from a client about how you helped them buy a house can certainly show you in a better light, you shouldn’t try to squeeze the entire speech into one Facebook post. Instead, use a short excerpt from a review on social media, or even a screenshot from a review site.
We are waiting for you at the industry conference on internet marketing eTarget.Real estate!
Based on the article “How to Harness the Power of Positive Real Estate Reviews Avatar” by Carolyn Berk.