All agents know that online reviews are absolutely crucial to growing our business.
Our team, The Velocity Group, has put together a specific system in place for retrieving these client reviews.
1. We determine the "happiest" time during the closing to send the review. This varies, might be a week prior to COE, at signing, when retrieving the keys, or even a week after COE. This varies from client to client based on their moving schedule, if this was an emotional transaction, etc.
2. Our "inital touch" is a personalized email thanking them for using the Velocity Group in either the purchase of their new home or the sale of their home. We include a little blurb explaining how important a review is to our business and how much we would appreciate it. Then, we include the live Zillow link which takes them directly to the tesimonial questionaire. Since Zillow does require an account to submit a review, we do like to include that so it is not a surprise once they get there.
3. If within 7 days of the initial email, they do not submit a review, we then send them a letter asking to consider writing a review for us. In this letter, we include an small token to thank them for the few minutes of their time -- for example, a $5 Starbucks card.
4. If within 7 days of the letter, they do not submit a review, we send our "final touch" which is another email asking if they received our letter and reminding them to submit a review for us, and again explaining just how important these reviews are to our business.
Our experience has shown that people are generally willing to leave reviews. The key is making it as simple as possible. However, we understand that life always happens and people are very busy now-a-days & simply forget! We feel that 3 requests increases the likelihood of their cooperation, but doesn't become a bother that might lead to resentment.
According to Zillow itself, these are the top 10 ways to ask clients to review:
1. Focus on where you want future business to come from
Before approaching clients for a review, think about what kinds of business you want. For instance, if you’d like to work only with home buyers, focus on getting reviews from your past buyer clients.
2. Plant the review seed early and mention it often
Being asked for a review should never come as a surprise to clients, so let them know that you’ll be requesting a review and that you’re going to do everything in your power to earn their five stars. Remind them that reviews are a big part of how your business grows, and mention it again while you’re working together.
3. Keep it personal
Doing an email blast to past clients is the absolute worst way to get a review. It’s way too impersonal and easy for them to ignore
4. Don’t strive to get only five-star reviews
If you have six reviews, and each one is five stars, the contacts who read them might become skeptical. They will probably think you simply asked good friends and family to rave about you online—which may cause potential clients to question your authenticity and experience.
5. Make it easy
Many consumers find it difficult to come up with an original review on their own because they have to jog their memory about what they liked about you or how great the transaction was.
6. Offer an incentive and a thank-you
When your clients sit down to draft a review for you, they’re doing you a favor, so show your appreciation.
7. Capture the client’s excitement as soon as possible after closing
Did you get clients the deal of the year? Were you able to help them overcome a major obstacle in escrow? Ask for their review when you close. Don’t be shy about highlighting something amazing that wouldn’t have happened without your help.
8. If you don’t get a review soon after closing, follow up!
After closing, clients might feel overwhelmed by everything they must accomplish in the immediate future and forget to do your review in the flurry of packing and moving. Call them one to two weeks later, invite them to coffee and ask them for a review. If you have to make additional requests from unresponsive clients, wait a week or two after your initial communication.
9. Mine your database
Identify past clients who never got around to giving you a review and put them on a drip campaign.
10. Plug reviews at your summer barbecue and winter holiday party
These events are low-key gatherings where your clients and guests are relaxed and happy—perhaps even exchanging stories about you. If they’re jogging their memories by reminiscing about their experience with you, it’s the perfect time to pick the “low hanging fruit” of satisfied clients.
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What is your strategy for receiving Zillow reviews? Do you find it successful? What do you think is the reason why a client does NOT leave a review after you have asked them? Please comment below and give me your opinions, thoughts, experiences, etc.