I am always searching for great tools to share that save time. My philosophy on technology is that it should shorten your work day, not add more tasks to your to do list.
ReachFactor.com is definitley my kind of technology. They offer the easiest way I've ever seen to engage with past clients, collect testimonials from them and spread their kind words about you around the web. In addition they have some great tools for easily syndicating your properties.
I told Suresh I wish I could use their online survey and reputation tools for our referral marketing and email marketing services Happy Grasshopper - he said their services are only for agents right now so I would have to wait. At least I can share what he had to say about how ReachFactor works and what you can do to make sure the testimonials your clients give get found on Google.
Celeste: How does the client feedback system work on the web?
Suresh: It's actually quite simple. ReachFactor auto-creates a Web survey that an agent (or brokerage) can either send to clients themselves or let ReachFactor send for them. When ReachFactor handles the process, we send an email to past buyers or sellers asking them to complete a brief survey to provide feedback on the agent. ReachFactor even sends a few polite reminders just to make sure agents are able to collect a large number of reviews. By using ReachFactor's automated service agents save countless hours of follow up and don't have to appear to be begging for a testimonial. Past clients also get a sense the agent is a consummate professional since they're using a 3rd party market research service to collect the feedback.
Celeste: How does ReachFactor help agents build credibility?
Suresh: ReachFactor has a verification process around reviews to ensure that responses received are actually legitimate, verified opinions from past clients. Our verification process includes making outbound phone calls and researching transaction information. Once verified, we place a 'Verified Seal' on these reviews to give prospective buyers and sellers some assurance that these testimonials weren't 'gamed' or made up like the reviews appearing on almost every agent rating site out there. What ReachFactor does is provide the agent something akin to a Good Housekeeping seal of approval so agents are able to establish instant credibility. Many agents are using our verified reviews in their listing presentations already.
Celeste: Where should agents be sharing the testimonials their clients give?
Suresh: The important thing for agents to remember is that the reviews ReachFactor collects for them are not anonymous testimonials that anyone could have handwritten into their own website. These are bona fide reviews that were verified by a 3rd party (ReachFactor). Agents should enhance all their marketing with these testimonials because it will help them improve their lead conversion rates. And ReachFactor makes it really easy to do this.
Agents are enhancing their direct mail with badges we provide, they're embedding our widgets in their blogs (like ActiveRain), they're showcasing their bona fide reviews in listing presentations, and they're using our syndication to spread the reviews to search engines (Google, Bing) and social media.
For example, we provide the HTML code for a widget that anyone can embed on their website's About Me page or References page. The widget automatically scrolls through all the reviews they've received. We've heard from customers that they've seen an appreciable increase in contact forms being filled out.
Another prime location to share testimonials? Social media! People tend to share, comment, and 'like' things that are heartfelt, warm, and touching - which testimonials tend to be. Social media is the new farming ground for referral business and those 'likes' and 'comments' are the fodder. Our social media connector helps agents get the word out with their own custom landing pages for Facebook and an auto-post feature that shares their testimonials to Facebook and Twitter. This is content that populates into social media that promotes the agent. Agents don't have to do a thing.
Celeste: Can you tell me about your syndication tools?
Suresh: We empower 2 kinds of content publishing (syndication) from our platform - reviews and listings. These are great assets agents possess that can help them land new business when promoted properly. In ReachFactor syndication is as easy as checking a box 'on' or 'off'. The agent decides what to syndicate and where. We include publishing options to social media, craigslist, and the most popular real estate portals for listings. We've heard from many real estate brokerages that our syndication tool is the simplest thing they've seen on the market.
Celeste: What is the cost of the service, how do agents get started - do you have an offer for our readers?
Suresh: Our Smart Marketer package is for agents and is just $24.95/mo. We also have a separate service for brokerages and associations. There's no setup fee and we offer a 60-day money back guarantee. If your readers use promo code: HAPPYGRASSHOPPER they can get the entire platform for $99 for the first year. They just sign up at http://www.reachfactor.com/signup