5 Online Review Stats Real Estate Agents Need to Know in 2021
January 22, 2021
As a digital marketing consultant, I’m always interested in the impact a real estate agent’s online presence has on their business. To that end, I love checking out BrightLocal’s
year end consumer reports. They do a great job at measuring different data points like consumer trust and behavior, SEO, and other types of helpful online insights. Here are 5 stats from their 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey
that are particularly helpful for real estate agents. I hope they inspire you to focus on asking your clients for more online reviews and responding to them regularly!
87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019.
It’s no secret. People are paying more attention to online reviews than ever before. As Tom Ferry
puts it, “we live in a review economy” and your clients and prospects are used to consulting online reviews before they purchase anything – from a $10 product on Amazon to an expensive European vacation. They are also looking YOU up online to determine if they’d like to work with you. If you have outdated reviews, a small and inconsistent smattering, or worst of all, no reviews at all, it’s highly unlikely you’ll built enough trust and credibility for them to confidently take the next step to reach out to you (hello, lost lead!). Imagine what would change if you had tons of positive reviews that told the story of your strong dedication, incredible service, and badass negotiation skills as reported by client after happy client? Social proof is real, and it matters a lot to your real estate business.
Consumers read an average of 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a business.
This number has held strong for the past 3 years, and it tells us that before making a decision, people consume more reviews than we might think they do! Additionally, keep in mind that the more expensive the product, the greater the number of reviews that are read. That means that if you’re expecting to earn the trust of someone and be chosen as their real estate guide on the purchase or sale of an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, you need a MINIMUM of 10 positive reviews on each platform where they may find you. That’s not asking too much, right?
76% of consumers that are asked to leave a review go on to write one.
If you believe you are bothering someone by asking them to write a review, it’s just not the case. Please don’t use this false belief as your excuse for not reaching out! If someone genuinely enjoyed working with you and felt that you did a great job for them, they will want to help you. This statistic shows that 3 out of 4 people who you ask will actually DO it too! The hardest part is doing the asking. I recommend you add asking for online reviews
to your process so you don’t forget, then create some sort of a plug and play email or text script to send out that includes the link to the review platform(s). Consider adding a few question prompts to make it easy on your client to answer and improve your response rate. Or, consider using an online reputation management system to like GatherUp
to help you automate the process. And finally, don’t forget to follow up a few times. Even though they may be happy to write you a review, you’re not at the top of their priority list, especially if they are in the middle of moving. Gently nudge them…they will appreciate the reminder!
Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews. 45% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.
Not only is gathering reviews important, responding to those reviews – ideally within 24 hours – is also critical. Almost all the people who are reading your online reviews are paying attention to whether you respond or not and they are making judgments based on what they see. Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, responding to reviews shows future prospects that you CARE. If it’s a positive review, responding with a short and sweet “thank you” or message of well wishes and appreciation will suffice. If the review isn’t positive, it’s still an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and turn lemons into lemonade. A negative review can be hard to swallow, but if you respond graciously and professionally, over half of the people reading your response will be MORE LIKELY to use you. That’s definitely worth your time.