Why online reviews are more important than ever
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Why online reviews are more important than ever

Harry Tunnecliffe

BY HARRY TUNNECLIFFE

6 SEPTEMBER, 2018

Online reviews are trusted as much as personal recommendations

In the digital space, just as in real estate, the numbers really do say it all. Last year, 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses. A huge 85% of consumers trusted online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (compared with 72% in 2012 and 79% in 2013.)

What’s more, a 2017 report from the National Association of Realtors found that 74% of buyers and sellers contacted just one agent – the one they wanted to use. In other words, almost three-quarters of buyers and sellers do their due diligence by searching for, reading and evaluating real estate agent reviews before they even pick up the phone!

Sure, agents still receive business leads the traditional way, through verbal recommendations and repeat clients. This is unlikely to change – but the percentage of people doing their research online has been growing steadily, and is likely to continue.

"With almost three-quarters of people choosing an agent based on their online research, they’re essentially ‘interviewing’ you before they ever speak with you."

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Get your ‘digital interview’ up to scratch!

As an agent, you spend a lot of time and money getting the ‘physical interview’ (listing presentation) right. You drive a nice car, dress well, produce glossy marketing materials and have a well-rehearsed presentation.

Yet, with almost three-quarters of people choosing an agent based on their online research, they’re essentially ‘interviewing’ you before they speak with you.

If you don’t capture their attention and trust in the digital space, you’ve lost them. You could be the best agent in the area, and the best one for their requirements – but if you don’t come up to scratch during the digital interview, your chances of getting that all-important phone call are much lower.

It’s vital to ensure that the way you present during the ‘digital interview’ is as good as the way you present during a listing presentation. Here's some more information on the 'digital interview'.

 

 

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Verified reviews: the key to an effective digital interview

Buyers and sellers want to know two things about you: 1) your experience in the local area; and 2) your level of client service. The best way to communicate these credentials online is through genuine client reviews that are linked to the relevant transactions.

Because each transaction on RateMyAgent includes the property address, the date of sale and the agent who represented the seller or buyer, it provides three levels of verification – so the consumer has more confidence in the review.

Triple verification also makes the review more publicly visible and accountable. Buyers and sellers know a lot of people within various community groups (schools, churches, sports clubs etc). If someone sees that a local resident has posted a review about a specific purchase or sale, there’s a good chance that they know that person directly, or know someone who does.

To keep your digital interview presentation as strong as possible, make a it a habit to request reviews for every new transaction, and post existing reviews to get your backlog up-to-date.

 

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Suggested reads:

Your digital footprint

What is a ‘digital interview’? – and why is it more important than a listing appointment?

5 tips to get all your missing reviews

Optimise your social media reach – with Facebook Business Pages

 

 

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