Estate agents: 10 steps to successful review management
This article is intended as a comprehensive introduction to review management for agents. Where relevant, the points made are reinforced by links to other articles on this blog.
But, before we start, we would like to show you real results – so see what these HelpHound clients have achieved:
After a month:
After a year:
Now for the 10 steps we promised:
- Understand exactly what review management (RM) is: Review Management is part and parcel of modern professional marketing – by adopting professional review management a business ensures it is doing its utmost to promote its customers’ opinions across the web – on its own website and on other sites that matter (Google being the main one) Read Google and Reviews: Q&A
- Understand what it is not: RM is not about manipulating what is said about your business on the web (that is reputation management – the sort of strategy BP engaged in to suppress negative comment after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill). Some businesses will promise to suppress bad news and promote good news (and good reviews). If you represent a well-run business you do not need reputation management. Whilst not designed specifically to enhance SEO (your business’s visibility in natural local search) professional review management should enable you make significant savings in PPC. See Are you Paying to Drive Traffic to your Website?
- Decide to adopt a professional strategy: RM is not going to be merely bolted-on to your day-to-day marketing, but become integral to it. Only by adopting an holistic approach – and fully integrating review management into everything you and your colleagues do – will RM truly bear fruit. If you would like to understand the difference between review management and review sites like AllAgents and RaterAgent read Independent review sites: Yesterday’s Answer and for those considering going it alone read this
- Factor RM into your sales strategy: You should aim to be telling all your prospective clients that you invite reviews, as part of your sales pitch – “Why do business with us? Because we are so confident we will do a great job that we will be inviting you to write a review that we will display on our website.” For the wider uses of review management in your marketing – from window displays to portals to newsletters to leaflets – read Reviews 2016 Style
- Factor RM into your customer service: all your staff should be trained to invite clients to mention positive experiences in their reviews “Oh, thank you for [that compliment about whatever aspect of our service] Mr Smith, it would be great if you could mention it in your review.” Read Advice for Managers to get a flavour of how our clients are shown how to succeed
- Learn to welcome negative comments: this is one of the hardest tasks facing our new clients, but in 2106 you definitely want your less-than-delighted customers to be communicating their dissatisfaction in private rather than seeing them posted on one of the many places on the web that will welcome them with open arms (Google in the main, but comments posted on the smallest site, which will not normally be served in search, will be used by your less scrupulous competitors against you – “Have you seen this…”). HelpHound’s Resolution™ enables you to manage – and respond to – any comment in private. To date over 98% of such comments have been resolved to the satisfaction of both business and client – and not resulted in a final published review (anywhere). Here’s a detailed explanation of Resolution
- Welcome the HR benefits: Our clients say that their staff invariably up their game when they understand that they will be the subject of a review by their clients
- Welcome the new business that having great reviews brings: Your prospective clients always find you through Google – if only to look up your phone number after a personal recommendation – and then they invariably check out your website. Having great reviews in both locations leads directly to new business. Here are two case histories: the Fastest Yet describes the recent experience of a brand new client and What a Difference a year Makes shows you what you should be aiming to achieve in the longer term. And when you’ve won that business and it is time to negotiate the fee? See how review management helps you with that too in Reviews and the Great Fees Debate
- Welcome the client retention aspects of RM: How valuable would it be to given advance warning that you have a landlord who is thinking of moving their portfolio? We recommend that our clients invite reviews from landlords and any other ‘ongoing’ clients at least annually
- Don’t put off adopting RM: You will know for cast-iron certain that professional review management works when a competitor adopts it! As soon as a business in your area adopts RM you will be playing catch-up – just ask any agent near a HelpHound client! So don’t hesitate to speak to Fiona or Karen today
And, as if those ten were not enough reasons to seriously consider adopting professional review management read Estate Agents: Don’t risk being Filtered by Google to see just how important looking great on Google is going to be when Google move their filter over to cover estate agents: no reviews – no show in search!
By now we hope you are thinking “All this – it must cost hundreds a month”. But it doesn’t: our fees for a single branch independent agency start at £90 and reduce for multi-branch businesses. Join us – without having to sign a contract for six months – and see for yourself.