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Agent Reviews – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

As review sites like Yelp grow in popularity, so does the need for real estate agents to be cognizant of how that can affect their business. Many agents are reluctant to have this level of transparency, yet this is a reality of today’s web 2.0 and not likely to go anywhere. Consumers have been empowered with platforms on with to voice their opinions and give a (sometimes unjustifiably) high level of trust to reviews. Sites like Zillow, which happens to have the lion’s share of real estate traffic, continue to innovate in ways to engage their visitors and have place effort/emphasis on agent reviews, making it easier for prospective clients to learn more about agents.

There are many benefits to reviews and ratings, but to expand on a few:

  • Authenticity – Reviews provide a level of authenticity that simply cannot be duplicated via other methods. Long gone are the days when placing ‘Testimonials’ on a site were the thing to do, which only brought skepticism from visitors. To have genuine, verifiable reviews by past clients/consumers goes a long way towards establishing credibility in the eyes of potential clients.
  • Value – Reviews give agents a quantifiable value that cannot be achieved by past awards, long resumes, accolades, testimonials, etc. Potential clients can see what’s in it for them, they can relate other’s experiences to their own and how they can gain value from an agent’s input/expertise.
  • SEO – From an SEO perspective, the type of link diversity from authoritative domains is a golden opportunity. The fact that most of the review sites have do-followed links is the icing on the SEO cake.

It may seem counter-intuitive to put oneself in a vulnerable position whereby reviewers can (up to an extent) leave anonymous reviews for the world to see. However, the benefits far outweigh the risks and agents should take this opportunity to further differentiate themselves from the competition.

Review on!

About Alex Cortez

Maui Realtor specializing in Honua Kai Condos For Sale, Wailea Real Estate and Wailea Condos for sale.

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  • Hey Alex – Good article…  Could you give an example of how you would use a review platform like Zillow to boost the SEO on your own site?  “The fact that most of the review sites have do-followed links is the icing on the SEO cake.”

    Thanks!

    Jeff Riber
    Jacksonville, FL

  • Aloha Jeff,

    Visit Zillow and see an agent’s profile. As you will note, the links to the the ‘website’, ‘blog’, etc. are do-follow links. With more user-generated content (i.e. reviews) on an an individual’s page, the page authority/PR (depending on what metric you’d like to use) grows. Just from quickly perusing the pages of a couple of highly-reviewed agents, I see PR in the range of 4-5. Having a PR4-5 do-follow link from a niche-relevant site (with the added benefit of increasing your credibility as an agent) is golden. Check out Yelp, same thing.

  • Since there’s always been a
    negative connotation coupled with the idea of “public ratings” for agents, we
    took a completely different approach with the Mountain of Agents directory. Our unique spin on agent ratings only allows for positive endorsements. Member profiles are also automatically SEO’d to help prospective new clients find you easier. 

    •  Mountain,

      I see what you mean regarding agents’ profiles being SEO’ed. However, have you had any feedback from consumers/clients who wanted to leave reviews (not positive in scope) but were not allowed? As a consumer, I would be skeptical of a platform that didn’t allow me to voice my opinion fully, but that’s just my 2 cents.

      • We feel there are already a ton of platforms that allow written testimonials; we’re trying to simply the process. Real estate agents always cringe at the thought of being exposed to ‘voiced opinions’ in case they wind up not being true. Not to mention – from a client’s perspective – how would you know if the written testimonial (good or bad) is actually true?

        Now that our ratings are integrated with Facebook, clients can post the agent’s profile to their Facebook stream after they select the categories in which their real estate agent was proficient. This let’s all their friends, family and peers know that their agent did a great job and that they would recommend them. In our opinion, verified, viral referrals win against written referrals in the online world.

  • Nice article posted Alex. Zillow is the website that really helps to derive out the best. And the points that you have mentioned are also good to go for.

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