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“You’re gonna like this guy. He’s all right. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.” Henry Hill Goodfellas 1990

How many of your closed clients in the last 12 months gave you an online review? If your answer is “none” or “I don’t know,” then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to be proactive in getting those referrals that your business depends on.  Yes, I said referrals. That is what an online endorsement is becoming. No, it’s not as direct as what you think of as a “traditional” referral, but in some ways it can be even more valuable.

Depending on your generational membership, you may be less comfortable trusting the kind words of a total stranger online, but the Millennials, who are projected to grow to a total of 21.6 million households by 2018, are totally comfortable with online reviews. In fact, peer reviews were ranked 68% trustworthy coming in second only to brand conversations with friends and family.

You need to do two things in order to get online reviews that you can leverage to win more business. First, you need to ask for the reviews. Most of you have likely purchased something from Amazon or downloaded an app on your phone. Those companies go out of their way to solicit reviews from you. You need to do the same for your business.

Secondly, you have to make it easy for your clients to fill out the review. When you go to get a contract signed, you bring a pen with you, right? You might even highlight all the lines they need to sign. The reason you do that is to make sure that nothing gets in the way of them completing the task. The same is true for online reviews, you need to set them up to have everything they need to give you that review. This means providing a direct link to where they should fill out the review.

The Homes.com free Endorsement tool was built to make it easy for you to ask for reviews and for your clients to complete the reviews.  Step-by-step instructions can be found here, or simply log into your Homes.com Profile and start using it.  Once your client has submitted the review and you have read and approved the review, then it automatically posts on your Homes.com agent profile and to your Homes Connect agent website (if you have that product from Homes.com).

Leverage those Endorsements even more with Local Connect ads.  Local Connect positions YOU prominently in front of the right consumers at the right time, with branding showcasing your photo or logo, phone number, and endorsements.

Sources:
The Demand Institute Millennials and Their Homes: Still Seeking the American Dream; 2013
Ipsos MediaCT/Crowdtap, Social Influence Research Paper; Jan 2014