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Become a 5-star review machine.

Your guide to online reputation management.
By Justin Kerby Jan 21, 2022

Stars and thumbs-ups. Reviews from your mom and dad. Poor testimonials from people you’ve never worked with. This is just a small taste of the battlefield that is online reputation management. 

If you’re new to this topic, say a small prayer now that your Google My Business page hasn’t been perched on the front page of the internet for the last three years with a single one-star review. This could explain why you haven’t seen much traffic from Google to your website. If you’re a seasoned expert on reputation management, don’t worry - there’s something here for you too. We’re going to guide you through the world of reputation management, and show you how to use reviews and testimonials to grow your business. 

The bottom line: This guide is for all agents who want to show as many people as possible that they’re good at what they do. 

 

Reviews are important 

If you’re a great agent with no online reviews, we understand that this is a pain, an annoyance, a piece of the digital world that you’d rather wasn’t a thing. Why should you have to go through all of this effort, and not just let your service speak for itself? 

The answer is simple: people trust reviews. Not as much as they trust a word of mouth recommendation from someone they trust - but (and we’re serious here, as crazy as this sounds) almost as much. For better or worse, online reviews are often the reason many real estate agents do, or don’t, get an initial phone call from a buyer or seller seeking new representation. 

Don’t let this frustrate you. A little effort goes a long way when you start planning how you want to be received online. Here’s where to begin. 

 

We’re going on an adventure.

To the land of sales opportunities. Let’s start with the top two places where agents are most often evaluated by buyers and sellers online. 

 

-Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

-Home Search Platforms

 

Buyers and sellers who begin looking for an agent online will typically start at one of these two places, and there are ways to prepare for both. 

 

Working with robots. 

First, search engines, a topic that has been frequently known to cure insomnia. We could write a book on how to rank higher in search engines, but we’ll keep this brief and actionable. 

 

Agent 1

 

Set up a Google My Business (GMB) page for yourself. Google owns 92% of search engine share, so even though we’d also recommend setting up your business on Bing, just keep that in mind. 

Your GMB page will show up in search results when people search for your name or brokerage. It displays your service options, location, contact information, website, and most importantly for our purposes, your reviews. Your first action item is to set up your profile. 

Once your GMB page is set up, it’s time for action item number two. Click your reviews, copy the link to share to get more reviews, and start contacting your happiest past clients. 

Let them know how much you’d appreciate an honest review, and always include the link to your reviews to make it as easy as possible for them. Trust us on this one, if you don’t include a link, you won’t be getting a review. More on strategies, timing, and soliciting these reviews later. 

 

Home search platforms.

It probably won’t surprise you that a lot of people searching for homes are also searching for an agent. This makes home search marketplaces an important piece of your online reputation management strategy. 

 

Agent 2

 

Some home search marketplaces don’t allow agents to highlight reviews and testimonials, while others (see: REW) do. In the case of the former, there’s not much to be done to showcase your reputation, but when reviews and testimonials are available, opportunity awaits. REW.one agents have the ability to request reviews from past clients directly from their One Account, or by copying and pasting a link in a personalized email. These reviews and testimonials are displayed to anyone that visits your profile page, giving buyers and sellers confidence that you’ve got what it takes to help them on their journey. 

 

Facebook & Twitter & TikTok & YikYak & WokShop.

Okay we made up that last one. But what about social media? Should it have a place in your online reputation management strategy?

Most agents have bought into the idea that creating social media content should be part of their marketing plan, as a way to reach and communicate with an active following. However, there’s another important aspect to having an active social media page that often gets overlooked. When evaluating agents, it’s very common for buyers and sellers to head to social media for research purposes. Ask yourself these three questions: 

 

1. Do your social media pages look professional?

2. Do your social media pages show activity and demonstrate expertise?

3. Do your social media pages have recent reviews from happy clients? 

 

If the answer to these three questions is anything but an emphatic, “you betcha,” then it’s time to get to work. Start posting professional, high quality content on your social media pages, and take the time to solicit reviews on Facebook. Your social media accounts play an important role in your online reputation strategy, don’t let it slide. 

 

Time is of the essence.

A few common questions about timing as it relates to reputation management.

 

Agent 3

 

Question: When should I reach out to a happy client and request a testimonial? 

After your clients move into their new home. Give them a call after you’ve delivered a closing gift to check in with them. Make sure their needs are met, and let them know you’ll be sending them an email shortly requesting a review. Explain how important reviews are for your business, and follow up with them if you don’t see anything posted within seven days. 

 

Question: When should I respond to a not-so-happy client?

Immediately. Leave notifications for social media reviews on, watch your inbox for new reviews on other platforms, and never let a negative review sit unattended. Respond quickly, move the conversation to another medium (direct message, phone, in-person), and address any issues right away. An unanswered bad review will hurt your online reputation, along with your relationship with the person who left the review. 

 

Question: How recent should your reviews be on social media, SERPs, and home search platforms

Open your calendar and on the last day of each month, set a goal to reach out and collect a predetermined number of reviews, depending on how much business you do. Having new reviews come in once every month lets your potential customers know that you’re active and ready to help.  

 

Building a strategy that works for you. 

As we mentioned above, we’d recommend collecting reviews on your Google My Business Page, on REW, and on social media (specifically Facebook). How you attain these reviews, and what you do with them afterward, is all part of your reputation management plan. 

As suggested, set some time aside to work on gathering new reviews at least every month. Alternatively, you could add it straight into your workflow that when a closing gift is sent, a personalized email requesting a testimonial follows it up. Some agents attach physical printouts to their closing gifts that encourage reviews, while others prefer to give their buyers and sellers a call and request a review over the phone. All of these systems work, what’s important is that whichever one you pick, you stick to it. 

When a new review or testimonial is received, respond to your client with a heartfelt thank you. Then it’s time to think about repurposing. 

 

Flaunt it if you got it. 

Agent 4

 

Collect your reviews, then share them with the world. Turn positive five-star reviews into social media posts, especially if the testimonial showcases your top qualities and what makes you stand out as an agent. Facebook is the only major social media platform that accepts reviews for business pages, so resharing some of these testimonials and reviews on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter can help you demonstrate your abilities to your followers on other social media channels. 

 

Keep going.

It’s common for agents to put a lot of effort into collecting reviews once every few years, without consistently improving their online reputation. Build a testimonial collection strategy into your process and make getting new recommendations a much lighter task. 

 

Agent 5

 

Good luck, and good reviews. 

 

Justin Kerby
Justin Kerby is the founder of Something Great, a digital marketing agency that specializes in real estate branding and content creation. They help companies create social media strategies, newsletters, blog content plans, and advertising campaigns.
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