Marketing Academy
How To Ask Your Clients for Reviews (And Get Great Ones)

How To Ask Your Clients for Reviews (And Get Great Ones)

12 min read
How To Ask Your Clients for Reviews (And Get Great Ones)

You’ve probably already heard most (if not all) of the reasons why getting your clients to review your business is a solid move for your future. It’s true that more and more buyers and sellers are turning to reviews before they decide on a real estate agent, and it’s also true that good reviews can bump you to the top of search listings on certain platforms, including the almighty Google itself. So … what are you waiting for?

Here’s another truth you’re probably all-too-familiar with: Asking for reviews can be hard! How do you get started? Where do you tell your clients to go? Should you only ask the clients you know will give you a good review?

You’ll never get reviews (or you’ll get very few) if you don’t set up a system. If you aren’t already using these tactics to nudge your clients into sharing their thoughts about working with you, then here’s how you can get started on your pathway to becoming the best-reviewed agent in your neighborhood.

Acclimate yourself to asking

Nobody wants to be seen as the pushy salesperson, and you may feel especially sensitive to that stereotype as a real estate salesperson. It’s understandable! However, there’s a difference between being aggressive and being assertive. Aggressive people are unpleasantly forward, while assertive people know what they want and will go after it effectively.

Asking for something from someone you’re supposed to be helping can feel pretty uncomfortable. The best way to become more comfortable with it is to practice. You can do this outside of the review space, of course, but make sure that sooner or later, you’re taking the time to reach out to previous clients you know loved working with you. These people represent the lowest-hanging fruit in review territory, and asking them to review your service is an excellent way to become acclimated to asking everybody.

Once you’ve asked a few previous clients—and successfully gotten a review or two!—make it a point to start asking every client who closes a deal with you. Some will, some won’t, and you can increase the proportion who will by laying more groundwork later on, but if you’re in the habit of always asking, then your ask is going to sound seamless, and your clients won’t bat an eye at your request.

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Don’t make it all about you

Here’s a trick that a lot of marketers know: “I would love it if you …” is a less successful message than “I need your help,” or even “You have the power to help me improve by …”

The truth is that people are busy, and that goes double for the people who have just bought or sold a house! They may care genuinely about you as a human, and they might have absolutely adored working with you. They also probably would be lying if they said they cared deeply about what you would love them to do. But asking for help? People feel bad about turning down a request for help.

Think about what your clients are getting out of leaving you a review. Many websites and even the FTC frown upon offering incentives for leaving a review (in other words, you could get in trouble for kicking your client a Starbucks or Amazon gift card in exchange for their review). So don’t focus on monetary or physical incentives. Instead, focus on the future: You’ll use their feedback to tighten your systems, eliminate roadbumps, and give future clients an even better experience than they got—and that includes them if they come back to work with you again. The opportunity to shape the future of an industry? That’s more enticing to most people than giving you warm fuzzies by doing something you’d love. (No offense!)

Set your expectations clearly

You don’t need to have this conversation right off the bat with your buyers and sellers; that might come across as a bit strange, unless you already know them well. But at some point in the early stages of the relationship, let them know that reviews are important to your business, and that you’ll be sending some requests for a review later in the process.

Give them some idea why you’re asking. If you don’t explain your reasons, they might (inaccurately) conclude that you’re just keeping up with Agent Jones down the street, and that will make it easier for them to ignore or forget about your requests. Keep it in language that your customers already use; don’t start regaling them with your lead generation challenges.

Some good ways to explain to your buyers and sellers why you’re asking for reviews: 

  • “Google uses review information to help buyers and sellers find me.”
  • “Lots of people read reviews before deciding to hire an agent—you might have yourself!”
  • “I ask all my clients to review me so that I can get better, and so that people who have similar home sales challenges understand how I can help them.”

If this is the only thing you’re going to be asking clients to do for you, tell them that! “I’m really happy to be working with you; there’s just one thing I’d ask you to do for me in exchange—write me a review.”

You’ll probably be sending multiple reminders to fill out a review, so explain that process to your clients, too. For example: “I know that it’s insanely busy right after closing; there’s moving and all kinds of stuff to handle. So I’ll send a review request about once every week until you have time to fill it out.” Setting some expectations around when and how often they can expect you to ask for a review can alleviate some of the annoyance later on, when you keep asking every week!

And thank your clients in advance for leaving you a review, every time you ask. You can also get details from them at this stage about any platforms where they already have an account, or keep track in your CRM. For example, if you’re working with someone who’s using a Gmail email account, then it should be easy for them to leave you a Google review. If your client contacted you through Zillow or initially, then you can assume they’re familiar with that platform and probably have an account.

Ask your colleagues who are getting lots of reviews how they “prime the pump,” so to speak. Being straightforward and direct about asking for reviews in the early days of your client relationship can go a long way toward boosting your actual review numbers.

Nudge your client before closing, then again after

By the time you reach the closing table, you’ve been working with your client for weeks, you’ve probably experienced some stress together, and now you’re reaching the finish line. When you speak with your client in the day or two leading up to closing—at the final walkthrough for buyers, or while you’re helping your sellers move—remind them that you’re going to be asking them for a review after closing.

This doesn’t need to be a ponderous or weighty discussion. “Hey, remember I mentioned how online reviews are a big part of my business? I’ll be sending over an email after closing to show you where you can leave one for me. Thanks again!”

After closing, they’ll be expecting the email you send that gently reminds them you’re waiting to hear about their experience. Remember to give them a good reason why they should want to fill out a review, which has nothing to do with your personal desires and everything to do with making real estate a kinder, friendlier place for consumers like them.

Get personal with your request

At this point, if your client hasn’t already left you a review somewhere, it’s because they’re incredibly busy, they’re ignoring you … or, possibly, they simply don’t know what they should say. This is common, and you can help!

Put together a list of questions that you can ask your clients to extract the best nuggets of information from them to craft a review. When you send another review request via email, ask your client one or more of these questions, and personalize them as much as you can.

Some good options might include:

  • Why did you decide to work with me instead of other agents?
  • How did I help explain home pricing to you? What did you learn working with me?
  • How many homes did you look at before you hired me as an agent? How many did we make offers on before we were successful with getting one accepted?
  • How did I help you negotiate price or contingencies? What concessions were we able to secure from the other side that you didn’t expect?
  • What was the trickiest point during the transaction? (Name this if you know!) How did I help you resolve it?
  • What kind of negotiations did we engage in after the inspection or the appraisal? How did those resolve?
  • What expectations did you have going into this sale? Were they missed, met, or exceeded?
  • Would you work with me again or recommend me to friends and family?

You probably don’t want to ask all of those to everyone; pick and choose the two or three that you think will generate the best responses, based on the transaction.

Send follow-up requests within two to four weeks

Now that you’ve written a personalized request to your client, if they still don’t respond with a review, conserve your resources and recycle it (just a bit). Reviews left within about a month of closing day are going to have more detail and feel more “real” to readers than reviews left after six weeks or two months, when the memory of the stress and effort is truly starting to fade. If you want to keep trying after a month, there’s certainly no rule against it, but don’t expect the same level of recollection and clarity that you’d get from a fresh review.

Hopefully, you set the expectation with your clients that you’d regularly be pinging them with requests to review your services. Send another reminder every week. The tone should be, “I know you’re busy, and I am sorry to bother you again, but these reviews are critical to my business and your best opportunity to share how I can make it better.”

Remove barriers for them

In other words, make it as easy as possible for your buyers and sellers to leave a review. Remember to pay attention to which sites they’re most likely to use for review purposes, and curate your ask to only those websites. Include links to the review platforms and some suggestions for what to write, including question prompts to nudge them to explain just how amazing you are.

If you can, include some of the pertinent details in a personal email you send. Maybe your buyer client sincerely doesn’t remember touring twenty houses in one weekend with you; they lost count, or everything blurred together. Perhaps your seller doesn’t recall the conversation you had upfront where you suggested lowering the price to attract more attention. Spoon-feed them the information you’d like them to recall and include in a review.

Leverage technology

In this case, “technology” means some kind of review platform (there are a handful specific to real estate) that will give you the option to automate some or all of these review requests, and will also distribute the reviews to different outlets, or publish them on social media whenever they’re submitted.

This can save you some time if you’re using reviews regularly, but make sure you’re reading the terms and conditions carefully. Review platforms can be amazing tools, but none of them currently works with every last review site or widget that you’ll need to use. Think of them as a supplement or automation instead of a one-stop shop for your review management needs.

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Pick just one or two review sites

We’ve mentioned several review sites so far, and the list is far from comprehensive. The most popular places for real estate reviews include Zillow, Facebook,, Google, and Yelp!—but should you be trying to get reviews on all of them? That can be overwhelming, both for your clients and for you.

Remember that most regular humans might not be registered on Zillow or, and in order to leave you a review, they will have to do so. This might not be a big deal to many of your clients, but to others, the prospect of creating yet another sign-in account with a password to remember (or to forget—or to get hacked and in doing so reveal your password strategy) is going to be a huge barrier preventing them from filling out a review.

On the other hand, Facebook and Google aren’t exactly real estate-specific, but it’s a pretty good bet that most of your clients will have an account already with one or both platforms.

If you’re focusing on just one review site, or one at a time, then you can collect a good number of reviews there before moving on to the next. Alternatively, put agent profiles up on every review platform you can, but only ask each client to review you on a handful, and be strategic about which ones. Your clients who are super-active on social media would be good for leaving a Facebook review, whereas a client you know logged into Zillow to make changes to their home’s data might be more receptive to leaving you a review there.

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Respond to your reviews (good ones, too)

The logic behind responding to a poor review is obvious: You’ll have an opportunity to (kindly, sympathetically) refute the narrative that’s being bandied about in the review, while also showcasing your skills handling people in a tough situation. Dealing with an irate customer is nobody’s idea of a fantastic time, and something that most people actively dread. If you show that you can do this with grace and empathy, future clients will take note.

Why leave a response to a good review, though? This can also be an opportunity for you to better explain the nuance of the deal, drop in some context—and show any readers that your clients are real to you, you remember their struggles and challenges, and you’re committed to finding a workable solution. 

“I remember showing you houses from out-of-state before you flew in for one weekend to do some walkthroughs. It was amazing we found the one on that first trip!” Or, “I know that speed was the most important factor to you while you worked on selling your house; it was extra awesome to be able to snag you $10,000 over your list price.” Your CRM is a fantastic place for you to keep notes on the details so you can allude to them later when you respond to a review

Practice gratitude for every review

Rating someone’s performance from one to four or five seems like one of the simpler tasks that humans could perform, but as you’ll learn, everyone has a different opinion about what five-star service even is. Some people will slap five stars on their scale just to get the rating over with (while some always default to three); others will tell you that they never give five stars to any product or service because it represents perfection, which is unattainable.

So if you’re expecting every client to rate you five stars, then you’re setting yourself up for a world of disappointment. And, of course, there are going to be the clients who rate you one or two stars, even though you had nothing to do with whatever snag enraged them, or even if you can’t think of anything specific that went wrong during the transaction!

This is when you should take a deep breath and thank every single person who took the time to share their feedback with you. Remember: People are busy. If someone has given you a review, even if it’s not glowing, it means they cared enough to share. That’s not a small thing, and if there’s nothing else you can thank that client for, you can at least be grateful that they took time for you.

And there are other reasons why a not-perfect review is worth some gratitude. Online reviews that are exclusively five-star are also inherently suspicious. People aren’t that easy to please, and we all instinctively know this. If some product or service has only perfect reviews, are you inclined to think those reviews are real … or might you suspect that they’ve been purchased by one of those digital farms? A less-than-perfect review makes your profile appear more believable and therefore more trustworthy.

It’s also an opportunity for you to learn and grow. Even if the client was incredibly difficult and had astronomical expectations, and nobody could have pleased them—a criticism might still have more than a nugget of truth. This is feedback that can help you improve. Use it!

Remember: Incentives could get you into trouble

We’ve mentioned this above, but it bears repeating because even some real estate websites will suggest this as a good idea that you should be doing with all of your customers (including some of the platforms that collect and post reviews). We’re not here to tell you whether that’s a good idea or a bad one—but you should be aware that the FTC has an opinion about the issue, and if it appears like you’re incentivizing positive reviews, you could get into some regulatory hot water over that practice.

Furthermore, some websites and platforms, like Yelp! and Google, explicitly prohibit using incentives to cultivate reviews. If you’re caught doing it, your profile could get flagged or removed.

Don’t forget to share everywhere!

After you get the reviews, the easy part is over … right? Well, maybe not! As we’ve indicated, most customers are going to be willing to post reviews on a handful of sites, but you’re deluding yourself if you think anybody is going to set up or log in to five different accounts so they can give you a star rating and a review on each one.

A platform that helps you request and manage reviews can be one solution to this problem, but none of them are comprehensive, stretching across every potential review site. Many agents and brokers tackle this challenge by creating a review or testimonial page on their website that includes all of the top reviews left across every platform.

This means you’re going to have to keep tabs on reviews and import them periodically if you get a new one; or, if you’re using Placester, you can ask us to handle importing your reviews for you every month. 

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Thank everyone who leaves a review personally

While it’s a good practice to respond to reviews and say “thanks!” in the platform where the client has left their thoughts, it’s also smart to send a text message or email that thanks them for their time. They might not ever go back to see their review (sad, but true!), and an extra “thanks” never hurt anybody. In fact, your buyers and sellers will know that you were paying close attention to their participation, and taking the time to thank them privately also will give them the (correct) impression that it’s not just about the traffic and impressions to you. Check out our article abou yelp realtor reviews.

If you can, thank them for something specific that they said in the review; this might also be a good time to follow up regarding any changes they suggested for your business. “I appreciate you leaving the Yelp! review and just wanted to let you know that I’ve put together a list of contractors who specialize in leak repair work on your recommendation,” could be one example.

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