The public relies on digital resources for information, reviews, and entertainment more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For REALTORS®, this means your online reputation can impact your business. It’s important to understand, leads and potential clients will use the internet to learn about you and decide whether they want to work with you.
Building a comprehensive digital plan, including an online review strategy, and nurturing past clients is essential for real estate professionals to building a positive reputation in a digital-first world.
For starters, your website is the foundation of your digital strategy. A good website can help improve your reputation by being mobile-friendly and by providing valuable content that lends to your credibility.
Social media is also a great place to spread the word about helping your community; you should communicate your contributions and encourage others to do the same.
Additionally, you can promote your brand identity by practicing authenticity. Give your followers insight into your interests with photos of your home-related hobbies and causes that interest you on social media. This will help drive people with similar interests to learn about you and your services.
Online review strategy
In 2020, 87% of consumers read and included online reviews in their selection criteria for local businesses. With reviews, it’s important to consider star ratings, legitimacy of the reviewer, recency of review, sentiment, and the overall quantity of reviews you have.
There are many strategies for building your online review presence. First and foremost, provide excellent client service to warrant a positive review. This means ensuring you understand your clients’ needs, you personalize your services, and overall, you’re approachable. After completing a sale, ask for feedback from your clients to understand if they were happy with your services. If they were, send them a request for a review on your chosen platform and ensure they’re comfortable with doing so.
REALTOR.ca is an excellent platform to display your reviews. In 2020, REALTOR.ca visitors viewed REALTOR® profiles 11 million times—up 24% since 2019.
Make sure to add your RankMyAgent and RealSatisfied reviews to your REALTOR.ca profile as well as your website. Potential leads will then find added confidence in your professionalism and reputation as a REALTOR® who will help them secure the best deal possible on their next transaction.
Keeping in touch
A positive reputation means more than putting your best foot forward to potential leads, it also means nurturing past ones. Sending personal newsletters to an email list of your past clients is a great and easy way to do this. Newsletters shouldn’t only feature the new property you’re listing, or the deals you’ve done; consider highlighting small businesses in your community that you believe in and want to help. Especially right now, they may appreciate all the publicity they can get. Or, you may be able to provide useful tips on how to stay mentally engaged during COVID-19 lockdowns. This type of communication can help you maintain important relationships you’ve worked hard to build. Sending handwritten cards to your clients to mark special occasions such as birthdays, or the anniversary of their purchase is another way to go the extra mile and show you care.
The new way of working around the COVID-19 pandemic has proven how vital a digital-first lead generation strategy is to your business. By focusing on building a positive online reputation, you can help foster a trusted brand image, and thus become more attractive to clients.
Want to hear more about the role online reviews play in our decision making? In REAL TIME Episode 5, we join Riti Verma, real estate entrepreneur and CEO of RankMyAgent.com, and REALTOR® Ben Sweet to discuss the importance of managing your online reputation.