Why reviews matter, and 5 ways to get more
If you're not prioritizing reviews, you're losing clients. Learn when and how to make the ask, even if you're just starting out.
- Without reviews, you're at a disadvantage: 56% of sellers and 60% of buyers rely on reviews to choose their agent.
- You don’t have to wait for the deal to close to make the ask.
- People are busy, so make the process simple for them.
Clients send you emails and texts, grateful for your ability to guide them through the homebuying process. They call to thank you for helping them sell their family home.
It all feels great. But it doesn't really help your business if you're the only one hearing the accolades.
That's why asking for client reviews is paramount.
"Agents who don't get reviews are losing market share and not attracting the buyers and sellers they want," says Janelle Boyenga, a managing partner of the Boyenga Team-Compass in Silicon Valley.
"Reviews allow people to figure out who you are. There are agents out there for everyone, and reviews give insight to who you are and how you work. They're an opportunity to attract the best clients for you," Boyenga added
A Zillow spokesperson agreed: "Online reviews help agents build their brand, attract potential clients and strengthen their online presence. They are an important factor buyers and sellers consider when making their decision to hire an agent." In Zillow's 2022 Consumer Housing Trends Report, 56% of sellers and 60% of buyers said online reviews were a very or extremely important characteristic when hiring their agent.
Making the ask
Jason Delatte, a New Orleans-based business coach for the Tom Ferry organization, says many agents have the misconception that you need to wait until the deal is done and the keys have been exchanged before requesting a review.
"There are often moments along the way when the client is thrilled that their offer has been accepted or the buyer is overwhelmed because they got a bunch of over-ask offers — those moments are the perfect time to say, 'Hey, would you mind sharing about your experience so far?'," he says.
Boyenga likens those moments to the climax of a book. "The story's not over but a lot of the main action has taken place," she says. "Whenever the client starts talking about how happy they are is a great time to ask for a review."
If those along-the-way moments don't present themselves, Delatte says closing day brings about its share of waiting — which makes it another great time to ask for reviews. He prefers Google business reviews and has an app on his phone that allows him to text the link to his clients while they're waiting for final signatures to be gathered and copies to be made.
Boyenga's brokerage prefers to spread reviews out a bit. "Most clients are checking you out in more than one place," she says. "We try to have current reviews on as many platforms as we can."
5 tips for gathering and sharing reviews
If you want more reviews but aren't sure where to start, these tips can help:
If you're new and don't have a large client base, ask stagers, lenders and agents you've assisted to leave you reviews from their perspectives.
Personalize the email or text you send asking for a review. This would be a great time to remind clients how smoothly the transaction went, or how you were able to steer them through some sticky negotiations.
Make the process as easy as possible. Text or email your client links to the review form on your preferred site. Prominently display links or buttons on your website and social media profiles that take clients to review forms.
Provide prompts for clients who may not know to write: Why did you choose me as your agent? What about our client-agent relationship worked best? Would you recommend me to your friends? Why?
Amplify positive reviews by sharing them on social media or as testimonials on your website.