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Leverage Your Real Estate Reviews in 5 Steps

Leverage Your Real Estate Reviews in 5 Steps

12 min read
Leverage Your Real Estate Reviews in 5 Steps

If you haven’t already implemented a system for curating and promoting any rave reviews that you’re getting from clients, then we don’t blame you—nailing real estate reviews is challenging, standing out from the crowd is nigh-impossible, and you don’t want to feel like a pest blowing up your clients for their opinions.

But for whatever reason, you’re here reading because you’re interested in making reviews a bigger part of your business. They’re good for building social proof, generating trust with your clients before you even meet them, and you can link them to your website on a single page or with rotating carousels of nice things that clients have said about you. You can also integrate reviews into your social media pages, email signatures, and other parts of your digital presence.

From where to create and monitor reviews to how to ask for them to what to do if someone says something rude about you and your skills, we’re covering the basics of getting a review system up and running in your agent business.

Step 1: Create your review site profiles

This should really technically be something like step 1(b)—you might already have profiles created for some or all of these platforms, and people might have already been reviewing you! Whether or not you “claimed” the business or are even aware of the review is a different story. So the very first step is to search for any pages or profiles that people might have made for your real estate business without realizing that you already have one, and then “claim” them as the owner so that you can work with existing reviews.

You’ll want to create a business page or profile for Google, Zillow,, and Facebook, and probably one for Yelp! as well. Some websites like RealSatisfied that work specifically with agent reviews might also be good ones to consider as you grow your strategy. It’s more likely that you’ve already got accounts for most (if not all) of those platforms; if that’s the case, then this is a good time to make sure that the basic information about you and your business is consistent across every website, and your headshot and bio are up to date.

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Step 2: Ask former clients to review you

If you’ve been hesitating to create a review strategy, then this step here is probably nine-tenths of the reason why. Reaching out to people to ask them what they thought of your services is awkward! Nobody enjoys it.

On the other hand, this is the perfect opportunity for you to curate the perfect review page by asking the clients whom you already know had great experiences with you. So start with your all-time favorites, the one who think you’re a rockstar combined with a superhero because of the problems you solved for them during their home sale transaction. They’re going to be the easiest to convince because they’ve probably already been telling their family and friends about you.

What do you say when you’re asking for reviews? It’s definitely easier when the transaction is fresh, but you can still find good reasons why you’re looking for that review now, including:

  • “I’m working with other clients in (your situation) and it would be great to help them understand what the challenges are and what solutions worked for you.”
  • “I saw (relevant real estate statistic) the other day, and it reminded me of how we almost lost your deal due to (reason), so I was wondering if you’d be willing to write a review about that experience.”
  • “The market where you bought or sold is more popular than ever, and I’d like to help other buyers or sellers understand how agents can help get the deal done.”
  • Even “I just updated all my profiles across different real estate websites and am hoping to increase the number of reviews in the ‘reviews’ section” is a good enough reason to ask!

These should be individualized, one-on-one requests, so you can even make suggestions for specific things that would be helpful for the client to note—whether you helped them close in a record number of days, identified a dealbreaker in a house they thought was a dream (and then helped them find a real dream), juggled the balls so they didn’t have to, this is an opportunity for you to put words in their mouths, so to speak. “Remember this specific situation that emerged when we were working on that deal? I was hoping you’d write a review about it” can be a surprisingly lucrative framework to use if you’re specific enough.

Make it super easy for your clients by telling them exactly what you want them to write, giving them the link to the website, and then following up in a day or two to gently nudge or remind them if they haven’t done it yet.

A few things to note: Some review sites, like Yelp!, specifically prohibit soliciting reviews, or offering incentives to write a review. So be careful when you’re reaching out, or just skip including your Yelp! link altogether. And don’t tell your clients that you’ll send them a Starbucks gift card as a thank-you, though it’s always acceptable to offer to catch up over a cup of coffee when they’re available!

Step 3: Implement a system for generating new reviews

After working with past clients to ensure that everyone who had something wonderful to say about you has the opportunity to do so, it’s time to think about how to nudge current and future clients to do the same thing. The good news is that once you’ve set up a system for this, it will more or less take care of itself (especially if you have some administrative help sending email requests and other tasks).

First, set the expectation with your clients from the beginning that you’re going to be asking them for a review. This doesn’t have to be a big, heartfelt conversation; it can be as simple as: “Reviews are becoming a bigger part of business, and they’re everywhere, so after we close successfully, I’ll be sending you a request to review my business, with instructions on exactly where to go so it’s all in one place and very clear.”

Next, take notes while you’re working with this client around what things they might say in a review that can help other clients like them. What challenges did they encounter, and how did you help them get to the finish line?

Consider how you want to go about asking for reviews. An email is usually best, with links to the different profiles on different websites. Give clear instructions on how clients can cut-and-paste from one site to another (if that’s possible); the easier you make it for them, the more who will be willing to go through this process for your sake. When you’re at the closing table, remind clients again that you’ll be sending over an email with details on how they can review your abilities.

At the conclusion of each deal, send the email. Include a greeting, the links to the different profiles, and a suggestion for what the client might be able to address.

The best reviews will explain how the client felt about the service or product (happy? angry? indifferent?), what their situation was before they met you, how you were able to connect them with the buyer or the home that was the best fit for their real estate transaction needs, and why they would or wouldn’t recommend you to others. If there was a big hurdle or challenge you want to highlight, include a reminder in the email about it.

Save the review request emails you send to your clients, even if they seem too specific to apply to anyone else; you can always use them as a template later on and tweak them to fit someone else’s circumstances.

Keep tabs on whether or not they follow through and ping them again in a day or two. Use a different method—text or call instead of email—and ask first whether they got your review request email. Spam filters can be finicky, and you’re also giving them plausible deniability in case they just happened to space it. Tell them you’re resending it, thank them again for filling it out, and then shoot the email over to their inbox again.

Should you follow up more than once? It really depends on whether you want this particular review. If you’ve already got a few banked, and this transaction wasn’t especially challenging or meaningful, then you should probably leave it alone; you definitely don’t want to get a reputation as a review pest.

But if it was an especially challenging or meaningful transaction, try sending one more newly written email telling your client why their opinion matters and asking them one more time to share it.

Step 4: Promote your best reviews

Ideally, at this stage, you’ll have at least one review that you think speaks to your prowess and abilities as a real estate agent, and hopefully much more than one. Now the question is what to do with those reviews?

You likely have a social media presence, so consider contracting a designer (or using Canva yourself) to turn some of your most glowing reviews into social media content. You don’t want to go too long; just a sentence or two that explains why you’re the best agent in the area.

Some agents like to embed reviews in their social media signatures, or at least provide a link for people to see what others have said about their services. Others might print them on business cards or add them to fliers, depending on the review’s focus. If you’re hosting a first-time homebuyer seminar at the local library, then some informational fliers with a few testimonial blurbs from first-time buyers you’ve helped can help establish your credibility with attendees.

Your real estate website should also have the ability to showcase those reviews in whichever way appears best on the page, from a pull quote-type widget to a rotating carousel to video testimonials, depending on what page it is and what you’re trying to say using the review. If you want to explain why you’re the go-to agent for a particular development or neighborhood, then perhaps you can use website features to promote reviews from people who have moved to or from that area with your assistance.

Step 5: What if someone says something mean?

For many entrepreneurs, this is the reason why they don’t bother with reviews in the first place: If you make it easy for people to review your business, then inevitably you’re going to have an unhappy customer dunking on you publicly. Is that really something you want?

Most people want to avoid conflict, but another way to think about negative reviews is as an opportunity for you to show how you deal with adversity. There are going to be snags and challenges and unhappy people involved in many (if not all) real estate deals, and showing your prospective clients how cool and level-headed you can remain under pressure and criticism is one way to win them over permanently.

In the customer service world, when you are faced with an angry customer, the steps to appeasement are to listen, apologize, empathize with them, and if you can, resolve the issue. You aren’t face-to-face with this person, but take time to read their review with an open mind and ask yourself if there’s even a grain of truth to what they’re saying. Can you understand why they’re so upset? Granted, some people are downright unreasonable, but we can often discern our own part in the issue.

Apologize sincerely, showing that you understand why they are upset and what you did to contribute to their distress—and if you honestly can’t do that due to the circumstances, then consider not replying to this particular review at all. It’s often better to let readers draw their own conclusions about a reviewer’s expectations vis-a-vis reality than to point out what’s clear.

This might be all you can realistically do in your position as an agent. By the time someone is leaving a negative review on your website, any deal you were negotiating has likely already fallen apart. But showing prospective clients that you understand why this person was upset and are at least willing to own your part in it can give them confidence that you know how to manage yourself in times of conflict.

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