Problem: A home is typically one of the largest investments of a person/family’s life. Being able to validate their agents reputation and history with client experiences is difficult unless they have sufficient reviews and a strong online presence. 85% people are going to investigate the online reviews of their real estate agent even after given a word-of-mouth referral
- Reviews older than a month are considered outdated
- The oldest review that consumers consider has to have been posted within the last six months.
Implications: Real Estate Is Highly Competitive
- Without having a strong collection of online reviews and testimonials from previous clients, it will be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Real estate is one of the most competitive industries out there and boosting your reputation is important for setting yourself apart from the competition and building trust with your clients
Solution: Implementing a solid online reputation management strategy will allow your real estate business to stand out among the competition, increase revenue, and help build long-lasting relationships with your clients.
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Why Are Reviews Important For Real Estate Agents?
- Reviews help establish your credibility as a real estate agent and help build up your reputation.
- A strong reputation and proven track record in helping clients either buy or sell property will help you show prospects that you’re the right choice.
Why Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) Is Important
- Google My Business is best thought of as a digital storefront. It displays details about your real estate business—contact information, client reviews, photos, and any articles you produce for publication (e.g., market insights, thought leadership), your website address, etc.—and it sits on the top right-hand side of the Google search results page on desktop or the top of your screen on mobile.
Google My Business isn’t just a convenient way to organize your business’ information online, it’s a hugely beneficial tool for real estate agents seeking to earn more organic leads from ranking higher on Google.
- 90% of the world’s searches happen on Google.
- More than 80% of interested homebuyers and sellers Google an agent prior to hiring them, even if they’ve seen an agent’s marketing or had a word-of-mouth referral.
- Google connects consumers to homebuying information more than 20 million times per month.
- Google is one of the most trusted tech brands, and consumers view reviews on its platform as more credible than anywhere else.
For any real estate agent, high Google rankings directly correlate to more leads, enhanced credibility, and the winning of new business. it’s Marketing 101, really: Those businesses that are prominently displayed in front of one of the web’s largest audiences stand to benefit the most.
Google wants agents to be active participants in the information-gathering and ranking process, not passive.
Recently, Homesnap ran a study that compared real estate agents who had an optimized, regularly updated (more on what that means later) Google My Business profile than those who did not. We found:
- After three months, agents increased their appearance in earned searches 380%
- After six months, agents increased their appearance in earned searches 1,037%
- After one year, agents increased their appearance in earned searches 3,087%
- After a year and a half, agents increased their appearance in earned searches 5,037%
Agents also saw their direct search appearances grow by 4,376%. That’s likely because prospective buyers and sellers discovered an agent via a broad, earned search, we’re intrigued by what they saw, and chose to search for the agent by name at a later date in order to learn more—e.g., visit the agent’s website and social media accounts, read reviews, customer testimonials, etc.
44% of all users click on a link contained within a Google Local Pack before any other result.
If you appear in a Google Local Pack and a consumer searching for an agent decides to click on a website or Google My Business profile, there’s a near-50% chance it will be yours.
Reputation management aside, reviews also do wonders in boosting your search rankings even further. When we ran the numbers:
- Homesnap Pro+ users with an average review rating of 4.0 or better on Google appear in 350% more Google searches than agents with an average review rating of 0-3.
- Homesnap Pro+ users with a 4.0 average review rating on Google received 300% more actions (calls, texts, website views, and direction requests) than those with a review rating of 0-3.
- The more reviews a user has, the better they perform in search, views, and actions.
These numbers are in addition to the search results mentioned above—an additional boost, if you will.
Is it that easy? Do I just set up my Google business profile and climb to the top?
Google places a heavy emphasis on management and frequent updates. That means continual postings, publishing thought leadership and marketing content, updating photos and headshots, and the regular submittal of new reviews. In fact, we found that the boost given to profiles by a review expires after about 90 days.
According to a Dimensional Research survey, 90% of all consumers read online reviews before engaging with any business, including real estate.
- Almost everyone reads online reviews before going with a business (92%).
- The more reviews the better; quantity of positive reviews are 2nd most important to consumers.