When it comes to review options, Google Reviews stands out by a mile.
It’s the one everyone knows.
It’s the one that’s free.
It’s the one that doesn’t need any explanation.
Google Reviews are becoming increasingly influential in customers’ buying decisions.
Search for a sandwich bar or a hairdresser in an area.
You’ll be Googling it, no doubt.
The most prominent thing that’ll be put forward to you are the reviews the type of service or product you are looking for has received from its customers.
For estate agents, these Google Reviews need to be taken as seriously as a brown envelope landing on your doormat from HMRC.
If people are using Google Reviews for making decisions as small as where to buy a cheese and ham sarnie, what do you think they’ll make of an estate agency that they’re considering using to sell or rent their property that has a 2.5 (out of 5) star rating across 85 reviews.
That score tells a story. And it ain’t one that has a happy ending for your agency.
Who is more likely to get called in for a valuation?
The agency with 150+ reviews, a 4.9-star average and a legion of fans? Or the agency that might be good but doesn’t have review gathering as part of its marketing strategy?
Here are six ways to get more Google Reviews:
- Use QR codes to direct people to where they can leave a review.
- Use an app like the one Estate Apps has created that provides you with a link you can share with clients that makes leaving a review simple and quick to do.
- Have a system around when you ask – such as a) on instruction, b) on acceptance of a successful offer, c) when contracts are exchanged, d) on completion day, e) a week after the move has happened.
- Ask for reviews when you do community work with local groups and individuals.
- Text message clients a link to your review page.
- Make it as easy as possible for people to leave you a Google Review. Be proactive, consistent and responsive.
But Google Reviews are far from perfect. In our experience, Google are frustrating and impossible to deal with if there’s an issue.
And one of the biggest issues is genuine reviews being taken down or not appearing.
We’re currently on 150 five-star Google Reviews – at one point, we were up to 182, but during lockdown, loads got wiped off.
In one case, 16 five-star reviews got wiped out overnight. For. No. Apparent. Reason.
We couldn’t get a sensible answer from Google – in fact, every response from them was generic and didn’t even attempt to answer our questions.
But they’re a very necessary evil.
Our Google Reviews provide us with our Category of One – We’re the #1 Estate Agent Content creator, according to them. We lead with this on most of our marketing.
Could your agency’s Category of One be that you’re the highest-ranked estate agents in your town?
Thanks for reading,
PS: Check out Luc Durand from the Ranking Academy. His YouTube tutorials on Google Reviews and SEO are excellent.