Part 1 of 3 part series: Agent Reviews
Online reviews have grown into one of the most trusted sources of research for consumers. More than 40 percent of female Internet users in the US consider online product reviews or blogs as the most credible source for product information, according to a SheSpeaks survey cited by eMarketer.
In the early days of the web, reviews were confined to product websites like Amazon and Ebay. Since then, reviews have made their way into virtually every kind of product and service, thanks in part to well-visited review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp.
So it should be no surprise that reviews have made their way into the real estate industry. Reviews help consumers use the power of their peers in choosing a real estate professional. In turn, reviews reward real estate agents who are reputable and offer superb service.
Today, virtually all of the top real estate portals offer consumers the option to search for a real estate agent based on reviews. And consumers are relying on these reviews. A recent report by T3 Experts shows that as many as 87 percent of top-producing agents consider agent reviews an important part of their online strategy.
Subsequently, agent reviews are becoming more and more robust. Websites like Zillow, Truliaand Realtor.com are tying in richer data like past sales history and current listings to an agent’s reviews. The more detail and decision-focused these reviews become, the more consumers will depend on them to make informed decisions.
Real estate professionals are seeing the impact reviews have on their business. This has led many to take charge of how clients publicly perceive them. Some agents take proactive measures such as requesting feedback from past clients. Others use communications to gauge a client’s satisfaction so that they can alleviate problems before they show up online as a bad review.
Agent reviews can take many forms.
You shouldn’t depend solely on been a “good” agent to build your online reputation. Instead, take the lead in monitoring your online reputation and take control of how reviews affect your business. In the next part of this series, we will examine some best practices to help you stay on top of your online reviews.
We would like to hear from you. What are some of the biggest challenges you face in maintaining positive reviews, and how have reviews affected your business?