As a real estate agent, you run a local business. That requires knowing your market, knowing the housing stock, and knowing what local buyers and sellers desire and expect. One expectation to bear in mind: Before consumers hire you as an agent, they want to read reviews about your real estate services.
In fact, 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The most popular place to read reviews is Google, so Google reviews are a must-have for high-performing agents.
Getting positive Google reviews doesn’t impress only consumers. Positive, plentiful reviews also signal to Google that you’re worthy of buyers’ and sellers’ attention, and up the odds that Google will place your Business Profile at the top of search results for queries such as “real estate agents near me.” Appear at the top of these results, and you’ll reach more buyers and sellers and win more business.
Impressing consumers and appearing at the top of Google Search results is achievable, but the wrong approach could suck up too much of your time or even cause you to be deranked and bounced to the bottom of crucial Google Search results. You can’t afford to be deranked, because if you don’t appear at the top of Google Search results and attract new clients, your competitors will.
Here are four must-know best practices for soliciting and receiving Google reviews the right way, all made easier by Homesnap Pro+.
4 Google Review Best Practices for Real Estate Agents
- Verify Your Google Business Profile
- Ask Professional and Personal Contacts for Google Reviews
- Get Positive Google Reviews Consistently
- Don’t Binge-Request Google Reviews
1. To Get Google Reviews, You Need a Verified Google Business Profile
Reviews aren’t worth much if you don’t have a place to display them. On Google, soliciting, receiving, and showing off your reviews requires a verified Google Business Profile.
Your Google Business Profile is the information box that appears when people search your name online. Your Google Business Profile appears on the top right-hand side on desktop searches, and the top of mobile searches. Google Business Profiles include business details such as contact information, operating hours, address, recent photos of your listings, and reviews of your real estate services and acumen.
Basically, a Google Business Profile is Google’s recognition that you operate a legitimate business. To determine that you are a real life business, Google conducts a verification process that can take weeks. During that time, consumers who search for you won’t find a profile, and you won’t be able to collect reviews.
Homesnap Pro+ offers a solution. As a Pro+ member, your Google Business Profile is verified instantly, and is automatically populated with relevant information from your Homesnap profile. Business hours, contact information, recent listings, photos – all appear on a verified profile that shows you’re for real. Now, you can transition from proving you’re a real estate agent to proving you’re the best real estate in your market. And that means filling your Google Business Profile with positive reviews.
2. Google Reviews Can Come From Professional and Personal Contacts
When you start to think about filling your Google Business Profile with reviews, your mind likely turns to past clients and fellow agents. Getting reviews from these connections is great, but remember that Google reviews are valuable from professional and personal contacts.
It’s a Google reviews best practice that many businesses and real estate agents miss. Google values reviews from everyone. Past clients, agents in your brokerage, your next-door neighbor, friends from growing up, cousin Larry – if they leave a 5-star review, it helps you climb Google rankings and reach more buyers and sellers.
Asking personal and professional contacts for reviews is made easier with Homesnap Pro+’s One-Click Review Tool.
The One-Click Review Tool makes getting reviews simple. All of your Homesnap contacts appear, and with the tap of a finger, you can ask them for a review.
The One-Click Review Tool is made for integration with your real estate practice and your daily life:
- Catching up with a past client? Ask for a review at the end of the conversation.
- Talking about the housing market at a neighborhood cookout? Take 30 seconds to send a review request.
- Answering questions about mortgages at Thanksgiving dinner? At least you’re not chatting politics, and with the One-Click Review Tool, you can make the most of the moment and get valuable Google reviews.
As an added bonus, the One-Click Review Tool automatically sends up to three follow-up messages to contacts who have been asked for a review but haven’t taken action. You want reviews from people across your social and professional networks, and the One-Click Review Tool makes review generation easier to accomplish.
3. Google Reviews Are Most Powerful When They Accumulate Over Time
Now that you know the value of Google reviews and realize how much easier review generation is with Pro+’s One-Click Review Tool, you probably envision yourself at the very top of Google Searches in your market, connecting with new clients regularly.
Google domination can absolutely be your reality, but know that Google reviews are most effective when they accumulate over time.
Consider how word spreads in the real world: You start a real estate practice. In your first day or week as a licensed agent, not many people know you’re in real estate. But over time, your clients, friends, family members, and neighbors think to recommend you when they talk to someone who wants to buy or sell a home. Eventually, individual home buyers and sellers in your market hear your name again and again when they’re looking for an agent, and figure they should send you an email or give you a call. On your reputation alone, you’re earning new clients.
Google wants its search results to work similarly. Positive words and a 5-star rating from one client is nice, but Google wants ringing endorsements from across your network to put you at the top of local search results for queries such as “real estate agents near me.”
As you can see, agents with Google Business Profiles that rank above the competition have dozens of positive reviews and a sterling rating. These aren’t agents that started in real estate yesterday. They’ve spent several months or likely years serving clients, establishing their practice, getting reviews, and ascending to the top of local search results.
4. Binge-Requesting Google Reviews Could Cost You New Business
Since ranking at the top of Google means dozens of positive Google reviews, a motivated agent like you might be thinking of asking all of your contacts for a review today. The enthusiasm is great, but you should instead take a more consistent, gradual approach – otherwise, you risk being deranked by Google.
Again, Google fashions itself as representative of the real world. Imagine if in a single afternoon, 50 people you barely knew pounded on your front door or blew up your cell phone to tell you they loved a specific local restaurant. You’d be weirded out, right? Maybe the restaurant is good, but you’d probably think they had a coordinated, spammy, and annoying marketing campaign. By the tenth knock at the door or ring of your phone, it would be reasonable to disregard any positive commentary and possibly even vow to never step foot in the restaurant.
In contrast, if over the course of a year, 50 people mentioned to you in conversation that they loved a specific restaurant, your interest would likely be piqued. The recommendations would feel organic and genuine, and it wouldn’t be surprising if you booked a dinner reservation.
Google wants its search results to work in the same organic manner. When the search engine receives a glut of positive reviews to a Google Business Profile, something feels fishy. It’s just not how things happen in the real world, where people hear good things about agents over time. So, if you receive 50 reviews in a week, Google will be more likely to mark these reviews as spam. They won’t be posted, and your profile will languish without reviews and sink to the bottom of search results. But if you spread out your review generation over the span of a few months, Google will see you building your reputation through hard work and stellar client service.
How and When to Ask for Google Reviews
We have two recommendations. The first is to request Google reviews after an event. Events that could motivate a review request include:
- Closing a deal for a client
- Catching up on the phone with a past client
- Discussing the real estate market with a friend
- Exchanging emails with a mortgage broker
In each of these instances, use the One-Click Review Tool to request a review. This way, you’ll receive reviews at an organic, reasonable rate. Plus, your reviewers will have a specific and positive experience in mind when they write your review.
Our second recommendation is to include your official Google review request link in places that are easy for clients, colleagues, or other connections to find organically. For example, include your review request in your email signature, or on your Facebook page and other social media. This way, people in your network who have a high opinion of your work know that you’d appreciate a positive Google review.
Google Reviews Can Turbocharge Your Real Estate Business
Positive Google reviews can up to odds you appear at the top of Google searches about real estate services and put your name and abilities in front of more buyers and sellers.
But there are best practices to follow when getting Google reviews as a real estate agent. Remember to:
- Solicit Google reviews only after verifying your Google Business Profile.
- Ask people you trust for Google reviews, and don’t limit yourself to only your professional connections.
- Receive positive Google reviews consistently.
- Avoid binge-requesting Google reviews. Instead, ask for reviews after specific events, or as a consistent, organic part of your business information.
Prioritize Google reviews, and you can make sure consumers in your market know who you are and what you can offer as a real estate professional. To get Google reviews and win more business, upgrade to Homesnap Pro+.