In todays marketplace, information is everything. The internet have democratize the accessing and dissemination of information. When you meet new people, you google their name to quickly know who they are. When you hear of a new company, you fire up your search engine to know all about them.
Now, imagine there is little or no information about you found online. Today’s consumers make their decision based on the information available to them, especially when it is positive information. This is why your online profiles must be well polished with enough information to aid potential consumers know more about you and to judge your professionalism. This is another reason why online reviews of your products or services are very crucial.
The real estate agents with online reviews get far more quality clients that the ones without reviews. This is a no brainer.
The Role Of Online Reviews In Selecting a Real Estate Agent
The real estate market is a very tough and emotional market. Huge amount of money are involved so the issue of trust, honesty and professionalism are at the fore front of consumer’s mind when they go a shopping for an agent to work with.
Imagine you are a homeowner looking for a real estate agent to sell your home? Or you are a homebuyer looking to purchase a home? If you’re a prospective seller or a prospective buyer and are looking to hire a real estate agent who knows the real estate market, which agent will you go for? The ones with enough information about his/her professionalism with reviews from his/her past clients or the one you could hardly find its footprints online and virtually no reviews to aid your decision making process?
There are several ways potential home buyers and sellers can find real estate agents online. But is being online merely enough? Being online has proven to simply not be enough anymore.
Research (conducted in the US for US consumers) shows that consumer reviews on products and services received are much more powerful and convincing compared to other forms of marketing especially among agents in the real estate industry. Online reviews are becoming so powerful that one positive review can bring an agent far more clients than (s)he ever had just as a bad review can run an agent aground. This is good for the industry as good agents are propelled upwards while the bad eggs are fished out and relegated to the bottom where they belong.
Ideally, every agent worth its salt have served some clients in the past and these clients have their own independent opinion about the agent and the type of service they received. It is for the good of the agent that such feedbacks or reviews are made available against the agent’s profile to showcase the desirability or otherwise of working with that agent.
Effect of Reviews
While agents can get leads through any type of referral, majority of home buyers who receive recommendations by word of mouth will perform an internet search to learn more about the agent. Once a potential customer is given a referral, most will continue to do their research online. Positive online reviews help to bolster what searchers are hearing from friends and colleagues.
Also, reviews provide fresh, unique content for search engines. They increase your chances of being found by Google. Reviews increase click-through. People who leave reviews frequently use language other people use when searching, increasing your chances of being found using long tail keywords.
Online reviews are 12 times more trusted than what you say about yourself online (eMarketer, February 2010). In fact, people who interact with reviews and other people looking at reviews are 105 percent more likely to buy.
How to Get Online Reviews
For a review to be trusted, it must be provided by real people who are third parties to the agent. Hutbay have been at the fore-front in providing tools and online profiles to help agents get reviews. Hutbay provide real estate agents with free online profile that features their reviews, information about the agent and his/her company and their listings. An example of such profile is that of Mr Patrick Ogungbola.
Research shows that consumers value authentic, natural language reviews that represent diverse points of view from real people. Prospects want to see through the words of others if you are a real, credible and active professional.
And don’t be afraid of bad reviews. Bad or neutral reviews are valuable. Bad reviews actually increase conversions by 87 percent (in the retail world to be specific). That’s because a bad review makes all the positive reviews real.
So, to start with, get your online profile on Hutbay by creating your free account. If you are an existing agent, click here (hutbay.com/me/reviews/invite) to ask your past clients for reviews (sign in required). It is free and it is very effective.