Real estate is a very local business. Hyper-local, actually.
Check this stat out: Zillow’s consumer report says the #1 reason why people pick a realtor is because of their local market knowledge. AND, millennials, the largest group of buyers and sellers in the next decade are reported to be the most community-minded generation ever! Finally, the #2 and #3 reason why people pick a realtor is because of their local reputation and trust.
Therefore, it’s likely that whatever you’re doing to get more clients and referrals locally, you need to 10X that.
Now let’s talk about one amazing way to develop your local mark knowledge, your local reputation, and the trust you have with local homeowners and business owners – Reviews.
Why Reviews Are Important For Your Real Estate Business
See, Google loves review-based sites for some reason. The structured snippet data is something that initiates a user to click on your website compared to others. And when you create a directory of local businesses that others can review on your website it allows you to create an open channel of communication with these business owners.
Action Step: Ask your website developer how much it would cost to build a business directory on your site that people can log into, write reviews, and then the business can log in and reply to those reviews. This is a powerful feature you can add to your website.
Then, if business owners and professionals have a profile on your local website, you can call them up and ask for exclusive deals that can be featured on your website. This again, allows you to add value to the local business owners, making them want to refer you and use you. AND, it adds value to the homeowners, because if your website becomes a source for them to save money, then they will want to use and refer you!
Then, when your website starts growing, people will know you as the local go-to realtor. Do NOT expect this to explode like Instagram. Local websites have NEVER exploded. They ALWAYS take the time to build, however, the person who is consistent in their efforts to grow it, and patient with it, eventually will see the results that everyone dreams of.
Key Elements For A Business Directory with Reviews
- Review and rating system for each business
- Ability to flag fake reviews
- The ability for business owners to respond to reviews
- Create a dedicated page for each local businesses
- Interlinking of data and directory structure for better navigation
- Social sharing buttons
How To Generate More Reviews On Your Website
Past clients, friends, family, and your sphere of influence are definitely a source of reviews, however, you definitely want to get in front of local consumers who you don’t know, therefore here are some ways to generate more reviews.
#1 Email Your Existing Clients Asking For Reviews
First, you need to get reviews for your business. Therefore, If your existing clients have not left a review on your Google Business Listing or Facebook Page it’s time to ask them for a review.
Write up an email and use it as a template to send it to all previous clients asking for reviews.
You can also add an offer like “Get a free gift card if you leave an honest review about my service” in order to gain more traction.
The more reviews you have on your Google Business Page the more likely it will be shown in front of others for local searches.
Pro Tip: You can automate asking for reviews with your email marketing software anytime a client closes a transaction.
Then, once you have a website with business reviews functionality, you can email your entire database and run a contest. “Whoever writes the most reviews about local businesses, to educate the community on what’s good and what’s bad, will get $100 in gift cards to the local businesses.”
Because here’s the end outcome once you have lots of people write reviews on your website: your search engine ranking skyrockets. Your website will start showing up when people are looking for coffee, pizza, supplements, hair salon, dog walking, etc.
#2 Run A Facebook Ad Campaign Asking People To Claim Exclusive Coupons
Once you have a few businesses on your website with coupons that people can claim once they sign up, it’s time to let everyone know they can save money!
The fastest way to leverage these coupons is to run a Facebook Ad campaign and get people to sign up on your website.
Direct them how they can redeem the coupon code and ask them to review the business for additional coupons.
Other advantages of running this campaign:
Local consumers (who are also future home buyers and sellers) can be tagged when they land on your page. You can then run retargeting ads targeting these people for your real estate business.
#3 Write A Review Offers For Tenants
This marketing method applies only to real estate professionals who do a lot of rental deals every year. Basically, you should give a discount or a gift card to all your rental clients.
In this way, you can get a lot of reviews really fast. Also, people who are likely to get a new place or apartment will trust you more based on the number of reviews when they are looking for a reliable agent online.
Building a review-based website will be challenging in the beginning. You need to get both the technology and the content working seamlessly for you and your users.
However, once everything is up and running, the ROI can be huge!