Modern technology, and especially social media, has transformed many aspects of our lives as well as the business arena. Almost every business today has embraced the online world, with many coming up and creating apps and websites to help them stay relevant and ahead of the game. Most of these businesses (e.g., real estate agents) use the online platforms and apps to keep in touch with their clients and customers. These online tools have provided an excellent communication platform for most businesses. One can thus use these channels to build and manage their reputation online.
Why Is Online Reputation Crucial For Real Estate Agents?
About a decade ago, businesses depended on word of mouth and Radio/TV advertisements to get their businesses known out there. Millennials today use the power of the internet to window-shop and even view houses online, all from the comfort of their chair. All one needs to do is chuck out his/her phone and visit a bunch of realtor websites. A simple search on Google also reveals numerous potential homes for the buyer. Reputable realtors have a better chance of winning a customer over as compared to unknown ones.
Unlike the olden days when you’d ask a friend about a company before engaging them, online reviews do all the talking (marketing). A potential customer will first check out reviews about your company before they can think of contacting you. That said, real estate companies with plenty of positive reviews will attract more potential customers than those with negative reviews and low ratings.
As long as the information provided for on your website is credible and trustworthy, more and more customers will trickle your way. The trick is to have and maintain a good reputation online. There’s, however, more to maintaining a good reputation online than simply providing an excellent service. Here are a few strategies and tips on how to manage your online reputation.
1. Add An Online Reviews Feature To Build Loyalty And Trust
Online reviews are considered a visual representation of your company. Enabling and encouraging customers and clients to leave reviews on your site makes it easier to build reviews over time. You, however, need to provide great service for the customers to leave positive reviews and ratings. While it might be almost impossible to leave everyone satisfied, ensuring the vast majority of your customers are happy can help you get to the promised land. Be sure to enable this feature if your website doesn’t have it already.
2. Work On Your Online Reviews To Improve SEO
Online reviews play an integral part in how search engines will rank your website. Highly rated companies have a better chance of showing up on the top pages of a search result as compared to poorly rated ones. Working to improve your reviews and ratings by providing exceptional service can thus help boost your SEO as well as establish your brand.
3. Encourage Customers To Rate And Leave A Review
Simply adding the review feature isn’t enough to build a reputation. You still need to encourage your customers and clients to take a minute to leave a review or rate your service. Customers will even feel valued when allowed to share their opinion. You can also use these reviews to interact with the customers and even fix issues that they raise. The humanized interaction can change how people see your company, hence want to be associated with it.
4. Positive Reviews Warrant New Leads
A home is one of the most significant investments anyone can make. That said, many people will want to do it right each time, hence do as much due diligence as possible before contacting a realtor. Although there may be dozens of real estate agents available, first-time homebuyers are more confident working with a reputable agent than the first one that comes their way. Striving to provide as much credible and useful information as possible, among other insights, can help with the reader/audience’s trust. One thing you can be assured about homebuyers is that they will always leave a positive if they had a pleasant experience with you. They might even choose to buy through you, or recommend you to a friend. If you have negative yelp reviews for instance then you need to hide these – here is a good guide to removing bad yelp reviews..
5. Start Responding To Reviews
As mentioned earlier, there is more to building a reputation than simply offering a great service. One way to build trust with your customers is by responding to their reviews and opinions. The customers use the review’s section to air their views; you, too, should use the same to provide a personalized response to the same. Be sure to react accordingly to both positive and negative reviews. This shows how professional you are.
Try to understand where the customer is coming from (instead of ignoring it) when responding to a bad review. Is it someone that genuinely got terrible service or experience, or just a troll trying to ruin your reputation? It can be even worse if they post negative reviews on social media. Nevertheless, responding to such professionally and accordingly helps potential customers see how lenient and professional you are.