It takes time to get a client to commit to writing a review but to then ask them to do it on 3-4 platforms becomes a stretch. So, where should you be directing your efforts?
On Rainmaker, your choices include:
- Google Business Reviews
- Facebook Recommendations
Take a moment to inventory and assess your listings across these review sites to determine which Review Sites you'd like to display and highlight for your visitors.
Careful consideration needs to be given to the following points when deciding on what’s best for your agency and online profile:
- Where do your prospective leads typically find you online?
- Which sites would they already have signed up with?
- Which sites do they most trust to be independent and genuine?
- How easy is the review site to manage and moderate reviews?
Google Business Reviews
In many cases, Google still acts as the first point of contact between a potential landlord or vendor and your agency. So the first impression they have about you can be paramount for an individual’s transition to seeking your services. People enter keywords into Google such as ‘real estate agents [suburb]‘. Right away, Google allows people to see a number of reviews displayed in both the search results and map results for real estate businesses in close proximity to where they’re located.
Another important factor, and probably the most important, is that Google reviews are a major search ranking factor. Having a good Google rating (4 stars and above) will likely increase the click-through rate to your website and enquiry. This star rating serves as a trust builder, reassuring potential clients to consider you in their agent selection process – or reassure someone who has already signed an appointment with your agency that they made the right decision. These stars have been shown to increase click-through-rate (CTR) by as much as 20%. Which in turn, helps boost your ranking on Google search for highly competitive search terms.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool for customer testimonials and brand advocacy. With around 17 million active users in Australia on Facebook alone, incorporating social media into your Agency's interactive review process is a must.
Facebook recently changed the "Reviews" feature to focus on "Recommendations." The main change is that the Recommendations option is integrated within the reviews and all recommendations that were previously given by customers or other Facebook users will be also listed in this Reviews/Recommendations section. This means that recommendations are not only the opinions given by customers directly on the business’s Facebook page but also when people respond to their friends when they look for a recommendation on Facebook.
Note: The old Facebook reviews are safe and sound, and your Facebook Page will continue to display all previous reviews that you’ve generated.
Productreview.com.au is the only Australian approved Google Review Partner which improves the performance of paid ads by highlighting seller ratings automatically within thead. Having a strong presence on ProductReview is important for garnering the attention of property investors and home sellers just starting their agent search, but haven’t yet noticed you or your agency.
The big new entrant into this area cannot be dismissed considering the number of visits it attracts to its website every day. Your clients too would instantly recognise the brand and wouldn’t need a lot of convincing to leave a review on their website.
In short, having your reviews on realestate.com.au could only help boost your online profile. They are just too big to ignore and exclude as an option.
Agents who have been using RMA will probably continue to recommend this to their clients. It is a good platform as the reviews are verified and this gives assurances to both consumers and agents that the information is correct. Agents can access RMA for free but can also access a fully featured subscription service but it is quite expensive.
There is no precise answer as to which Review Sites you should be focussing on. You need to consider all the options carefully and decide which Review Site will be your primary site and which of those you will offer as secondary options.
Keep in mind that certain sites such as realestate.com.au and RMA are sales specific unless you have an enterprise subscription with RMA.