With a love of architecture, design and houses, Eileen O’Reilly thought about being a real estate agent more than 20 years ago. Three years ago, she left a career in transportation and logistics and became a licensed realtor.
O’Reilly, a realtor for Keller Williams, said online reviews are an essential part of client trust.
62 percent of online home buyers said if a real estate agent has excellent reviews, they are most likely to contact that agent, according to a True Focus Media study, which is based on responses from 2,500 online home buyers.
“The hardest part about reviews, though, is managing them all into one place,” O’Reilly said.
“As a licensed realtor, it is important to have reviews because most clients will look at your online presence and what others say about you, in the form of reviews, before they work with you.”
33 percent of home buyers said it is “very likely” they will contact an agent with a few two-star ratings if they have plenty of five-star ratings, according to True Focus Media.
Like O’Reilly, Coral Gundlach, realtor for Century 21 Redwood, started in real estate as a second career. She said if someone ever gave her a negative review, she would take the opportunity to correct what she had done wrong.
In addition, reviews are a great referral system, Gundlach said. “It really helps people pre-qualify you and they don’t need to interview multiple agents if you got a great set of reviews online. They read your reviews and they feel like they just got 50 referrals.”
Gundlach said if anyone is referred to you, or they get any piece of your marketing material, they’ll do a search for you on Google. If you have reviews, they can find you. And finding you is important to increase your chances of being hired.
“Consumers want to be able to vet you ahead of time,” she said. “Reviews are the way you can do that.”
Implement a review management strategy
Jeff Knox, broker and owner of Knox and Associates Real Estate in Dallas, Texas, said, “With all of the competing real estate platforms and ‘big box’ websites like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and others, it is becoming increasingly hard to watch and monitor online reviews since consumers now have an abundance of forums from which to choose to post a review (either positive or negative).”
In today’s housing market when home buyers are looking at online reviews to search for a real estate agent, it’s essential to have a review management strategy in place.
Mike Brown, associate broker for McEnearney Associates, said consumers expect to see reviews of the real estate agent they are considering to hire.
Brown obtained his real estate license in 1986 and has “30 years of experience in sales, marketing and business negotiations.”
(Source for infographic data: True Focus Media)