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Getting And Using Online Reviews

INTRODUCTION

Consumers trust multiple crowd sourced reviews from strangers as much as personal referrals! Read how 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and how 92% of consumers read online reviews. This is basic crowdsourcing as its best. If a group of people online say you are a good realtor that is as trustworthy as when the neighbors or work friends of a potential client say you are good. People want more data points, one or two is no longer enough.

The crowdsourced review is where the opinions of the crowd are collected to help customers decide what to purchase or whom to hire and has proven to be one of the most disruptive business forces of late. 86% of people in a study say they’d pay more for a residential services provider with higher ratings and reviews.

Openness and transparency is what people want now. People who feel uncomfortable under the bright light of scrutiny and criticism often have a reason to be. And I have to say that opening myself up to scrutiny online has honestly made me a better loan officer.

The below videos have general information on asking clients for reviews, using reviews in your marketing, and differences in regional review sites versus national ones.

Brian’s intro video for realtors.

Asking for reviews: how to, when to and how to follow up.

Using reviews in your marketing, such as listing presentations, back of your business cards, business website, email signature, LinkedIn profile, Facebook, etc.

Geo specific sites versus national sites.

Other benefits of online reviews.

YELP

You need profiles on numerous review sites ideally because different consumers use different platforms. Look at Yelp, Zillow, Trulia, AngiesList, Google and anywhere else I may be missing. When you ask a past or present client to review you and you offer them 5 different websites to do that at the chances are higher that they’ll already be a participant in one of them. If they do not have a profile on any of the websites let them know which is easiest to use without having an active profile (answer: Google). And FYI, with Yelp you’ll want the client to be active user on Yelp or their reviews will be buried in the “reviews that are not currently recommended”. Being active means that they have already left at least several reviews for others and maybe even have some Yelp friends.

And you need to setup a system to make it a habit to work on getting reviews and improving your profiles. Put it on your calendar weekly, call and email clients and follow up to politely remind them to do a review for you.

With Yelp, claiming your Yelp profile is step #1. What should your Yelp profile look like? What does a Yelp user see when they use Yelp? How do you deal with negative Yelp reviews? Use your Yelp badges! What does the Yelp business owner profile page do for me? What city/town/market should I focus on in Yelp? Watch the below videos to find out.

Step #1: claim your Yelp profile.

What does a Yelp user see from their end, and how do they search?

How does a Yelp profile look?

How to handle negative reviews and why they are not the end of the world.

What is a Yelp badge and what do you do with them?

What does the Yelp business profile page do for me?

What market/town/city should I focus in? PART 1. (Example: Dallas, Texas)

What market/town/city should I focus in? PART 2. (Example: Rockville, Maryland)

What market/town/city should I focus in? PART 3. (Example: Rockville, Maryland)

What market/town/city should I focus in? PART 4. (Example: Arlington, Virginia)

What market/town/city should I focus in? PART 5. (Example: Marina del Rey, California)

GOOGLE

Yes, once you are out there in the public domain someone is going to do a negative review. But you can either do nothing with your review profiles online and eventually someone will leave you a negative review somewhere anyway and you’ll look horrible because it will be the only review you have. Or, you can get 10 good reviews and when the inevitable bad or average one comes it won’t look so bad with all the other good ones. Consumers are reasonable enough to know that when they see 4.5 of 5 stars on 12 reviews and only one bad one that you are a good service provider.

Watch the below videos to learn about using Google and see how Google reviews are good for leads and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You want to sign up for a Google My Business page, not a Google+ profile.

Google My Business

ZILLOW

You are building an online reputation presence and strategy! Pay attention to it, make it a regular part of your business, and then watch it pay off. I personally think LinkedIn and Facebook are not worth the effort. People are not on those sites looking to source providers to buy or sell real estate, they are looking to chat and stay connected with friends and industry professionals. When they want to buy or sell a home, they are on Google, Trulia, Yelp and Zillow.

Watch the below videos to learn how to use Zillow, how NOT to pay for Zillow leads, and how to answer questions in the Zillow user forums to drive people to contact you.

How people find you on Zillow.

Zillow profile basics.

The question forums.

The question forums, part 2

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