NATNews Blog > September 2016 > Leveraging the power of client reviews

    Leveraging the power of client reviews

    9/13/2016 9:46:27 AM
    Commentary by Nick Bailey
     
    One of the most common questions I hear from our clients is, “How do I grow my customer reviews?” Client reviews are a powerful marketing tool — they offer the peer evaluation shoppers have come to trust, and you can bet that in this digital age, potential buyers or sellers will look you up online to see your reviews from past clients.
     
    Getting these reviews should be a top priority in your overall marketing plan. Here are some tips for requesting reviews to attract leads and build your business.
     
    Not all reviews are created equal. Be deliberate and consistent about approaching clients for a review. Are you trying to attract first-time homebuyers or grow your business in a certain neighborhood? Don’t be afraid to ask former clients to highlight your expertise in specific areas. You’ll also want to get a diverse range of reviews from both buyers and sellers. Reviews that are too narrowly focused could result in you being passed over by potential clients.
     
    Set goals. Trying to get reviews can feel intimidating at first, so start small and aim to get five. Identify a few of your past clients who were happy with your work and request a review from each of them. Don’t expect or even strive to receive only five-star reviews — that’s not the point. Let your clients know that you value their honest opinion about your service, and that it’s okay to give you fewer than five stars.
     
    Keep it personal. Don’t abandon your personal, client-focused approach just because the transaction is over. Send a handwritten note or personal email when requesting a review. If your clients appreciated your work, putting in the effort to show you care about their feedback will go a long way toward reminding them how dedicated you are. Avoid an email blast or generic template — it’s impersonal and increases the chances of your message being ignored.
     
    In addition to finding the right time to ask, create a review strategy that is deliberate and consistent, helping you attract new leads and grow your business.
     
    Customer reviews are the best marketing that money can’t buy. Agents with 10 or more reviews receive five times the leads on Zillow and Trulia. Zillow Group makes it easy for agents to capture client reviews: Our free agent app offers text and email scripts to request feedback from buyer and seller clients, on-the-go and at just the right moment.
     
    Nick Bailey is VP of Strategic Partnerships at Zillow.
     
    For more information, visit www.zillow.com. 
     
    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.