I remember 8 or 9 years ago when I would suggest that my real estate clients start to focus on getting online reviews… and they would look at me like I was crazy.
Why would I want to do that? They would ask me.
That gives my clients the opportunity to say bad things about me. No one uses those review sites. That will not help my business. How would I get my clients to do that.
I get it. Change is scary.
I hope that we are past all of that now. I think most agents today will agree that online reviews are important, bordering on critical.
“There’s no denying the fact that word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways for real estate professionals to attract new business. But even the friends and families of your past clients will be interested in knowing a little bit more about the person they’re about to trust to help them make such a major financial decision.” (Inman.com)
I have written extensively about real estate online reviews including:
- 5 Tips to earn agent reviews
- The Facts About Online Real Estate Reviews
- What To Do With All Those Reviews
Building Trust With Online Reviews
Statistics show that online reviews are critically important to establishing trust with future clients, with 84% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and 60% of consumers saying that negative reviews make them question the quality of a business.
But which online review site matters the most? We all know that consumers search Yelp for restaurants, but what about when they search for real estate agents? Where do they go?
Before you ask your next client for a review, you might want to know which site to ask them to go to.
As it turns out, new evidence from Rising Star Reviews shows that Zillow is the most important review site for real estate agents to focus on first.
More people search for real estate agent reviews on Zillow than any other site.
This wasn’t always the case. Prior to 2017, the leader in real estate agent reviews was actually Google! No, not Trulia or Realtor.com or any other real estate site…and not even the review-focused site, Yelp, but Google!
In 2017, Zillow surpassed Google for the first time as the #1 place people go when they want to find reviews of real estate agents.
But Google remains a very strong #2 behind Zillow for now. So as soon as you have your Zillow reviews under control, your very next priority should be to get lots of strong Google reviews.
Coming in a distant third, Yelp should be your next priority after Google.
And finally, the remaining real estate sites barely rank as “also ran’s.” Trulia is the most important site specific to the real estate industry after Zillow…although you don’t have to do anything to get reviews on Trulia, since the same reviews you get on Zillow automatically transfer to Trulia now that Zillow and Trulia are fully integrated. After Trulia, Redfin is the next most popular place people search for real estate agent reviews, followed finally by Realtor.com.
So, long story short, here is the complete list of review sites real estate agents should focus on in order of most important to least:
- Zillow – Essential! (It’s important to get lots of great Zillow reviews)
- Google – Essential! (It’s important to get lots of great Google reviews)
- Yelp – Nice to have (It’s good to get lots of great Yelp reviews, but not as essential as Zillow or Google)
- Trulia – Gimme (You’ll automatically get Trulia reviews by getting Zillow reviews, since they’re integrated)
- Redfin – Meh (Spend time on Redfin reviews if you have the time to spare)
- Realtor.com – Meh (Spend time on Realtor.com reviews if you have the time to spare)
One thing to keep in mind is that any of these big sites that you collect a high number, 40+, 5 star reviews you will start to pop to the top of the search results.
If you are having good luck with one of the other real estate online review sites, stick with it.
The New Leader In Online Reviews For Real Estate Infographic
Here’s a handy infographic to visualize the relative importance of each review site, courtesy of Rising Star Reviews’ coverage about Zillow reviews surpassing Google reviews in real estate.