Online reviews play an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of today’s consumers.

Think about your purchasing habits. If you go to Amazon to buy anything, you pay close attention to the customer reviews and the number of stars the product has received. You might even read a few reviews to see what positive and negative experiences other buyers have had with the product. Increasingly, the same is true for people shopping for anything, including real estate service providers.

Reviews are now a vital part of the research process for your leads and prospects. They want first-hand insight from other consumers that have used your services and, if they don’t find reviews of your business online, they may continue their search without you. The numbers tell a similar story. Consumers trust peer recommendations, like online reviews, 6.5 times more than traditional advertising. And that trust is increasing. In 2013, 73% of consumers trusted reviews — that’s a 15% increase over the year before. As a real estate professional, you simply can’t afford not to have reviews online.

While there are quite a few tips and tactics you should apply to your review strategy, the best way to get your first online reviews is just to ask. You’d be surprised how willing happy customers are to post a review if they’re asked.

We recently had the opportunity to gain early access to the T3 Experts 2014 Agent Reviews and Lead Generation Survey. The findings are astounding — not only do positive reviews help close the immediate deal at hand, but they become a highly effective word-of mouth marketing tool.

Do you have a plan for getting reviews for your work as a real estate agent, broker or team? Even if you have a plan, study the infographic we’ve put together, The Insider’s Guide to Online Reviews for Real Estate, and start generating online reviews on a consistent basis to drive leads and referrals to your business. Let us know if reviews are playing a part of your marketing plan by leaving a comment below!

– Written by Seth Price


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