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Online Reviews, What’s the Deal?

Online Reviews, What’s the Deal?

How do you shop for toys, electronics and big ticket purchases? When I start shopping for my boys, 9 & 7, I start online. Between school, work and sports our lives are busy. For me it is easier to shop online after the boys are in bed and from the comfort of my own home. Before I purchase ANYTHING, I will read the reviews. I want to know if the last customer who purchased an item LOVED or HATED it. And man, are people honest! If something has several good reviews, Sold! If an item doesn’t have good reviews or better yet, NO reviews, it makes me second guess my decision. I believe no reviews are as damaging as bad reviews. If people do not take the time to give an opinion, when we live in a very opinionated world, the item has no wow factor. It was not even worth the time it would take to give a review.

So, this brings up a question…do you think the consumer might be looking at reviews of Real Estate agents BEFORE they call you?? 80% of people believe online reviews vs. what they are told in person. If people believe what they read online more than what they are told, you need to have a way for people to find and learn about you. There are many media outlets to achieve this, but there is one proven site consumers love. It is the #1 searched real estate site for all things real estate. Yes, I’m talking about Zillow.

Where do you need to position yourself to be found? If you search Google for Real Estate Agent Reviews Zillow is the first to show up. If Zillow is first, wouldn’t it make sense to be on Zillow? I know you do not like Zillow because they are not accurate, but we have to face the fact that the consumers are using it to find information about homes and agents. You need to have a profile and not a wimpy profile, but a robust, in your face profile. You profile should showcase your experience as an agent, and the experience of your clients. When people are “checking you out” they want to see your reviews. Zillow allows your clients to give reviews and testimonials about YOU! Who better to brag about you than your past client’s? Set up your Zillow profile today and be where the consumers are. You do not want to be the agent that has NO reviews.

Gotta Tip — Be SEEN, Be FOUND, and Be TRUSTED

Use these step-by-step instructions to add your profile so you can be found:

 

  2 comments for “Online Reviews, What’s the Deal?

  1. 06/25/2016 at 9:24 pm

    Great post, very informative and built around a strong practice – using social media to influence purchases. I for one always head for reviews about products and companies before making unknown purchases. This is especially true now that I am being mindful of what impacts the products I use have on the environment and society. And we are not alone in this trend, consumers around the world turning to social media for reviews and advice. In a 2015 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers they found that, “nearly half (45%) of digital buyers worldwide said, that reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behavior.” (eMarketer, 2016). Much of this is because consumers are more likely to trust peer-to-peer reviews and testimonials over company’s own marketing materials (Morrison, 2014). This is definitely true for me, I think not only am I more likely to trust individuals that I consider to be likeminded, despite not knowing them, I also find it quicker to find the information that I am looking for in a review rather than digging through a company’s website and press releases. I do however comb through many reviews before making a decision. Do you ever find that you get bogged down with all of the information you find through your research?
    Firms are slowly beginning to take advantage of online reviews by adding buy buttons to social media sites, so that consumers can directly purchase their product after reading a review (eMarketer, 2016). Your Zillow example of adding a profile with robust client testimonials seems similar to adding a buy button. On Zillow are potential clients able to reach out to you directly from your Zillow profile? If so, do you tend to gain clients this way? I am currently working with a real estate agent and while I use apps to aide in my search I found my agent through a personal recommendation. I’m not sure I’d have the same trust had I found my agent online – maybe there is a price point at which social media reviews by anyone versus friends and family reviews matter. Even on social media consumers were found to first be influenced by family and friends reviews online (68%) closely followed by Amazon reviews (63%) in a recent study conducted by Crowdtap when conducting holiday shopping (Morrison, 2014). I believe these stats are probably true for most purchases with the percentage gap being greater with the increase in purchase price. Would you agree?

    References:
    eMarketer (2016, March 17) How Social Media Influences Shopping Behavior. eMarketer.com. Retrieved June 25 from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/How-Social-Media-Influences-Shopping-Behavior/1013718
    Morrison, Kimerlee (2014, December 22) Social Media Has Changed How Consumers Shop Online [Infographic]. SocialTimes. Retrieved June 25, 2016 from http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-media-changed-consumers-shop-online-infographic/209738

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