The world of real estate and mortgage marketing has reached a point where consumers are in a position of greater power than ever due to online reviews and referrals. Most potential customers conduct thorough research before deciding to do or not do business with a mortgage professional. Along with scouring the web to find the best online reviews for mortgage and real estate professionals in their area, potential buyers are asking family members and friends for recommendations. According to a Nielsen poll, 82% of Americans seek recommendations from family members and friends when considering a purchase. Additionally, Podium conducted a study in which 93 percent of consumers said their purchases are influenced by online reviews.
One of the simplest ways to drive referrals is asking for them. Tell the customers with whom you’ve worked that the best compliment they can give you is a referral to a friend or family member. Then when someone sends you a referral, remember to recognize them. A simple phone call, email or note in the mail is a great way to express appreciation as well as encourage additional referrals.
The same tactic applies for soliciting online reviews. Ask past customers if they would mind leaving you an online review and send them the link to do so. Perhaps also offer an incentive such as a giveaway drawing for all customers who give a review in a specific month or quarter. Remember, when collecting online reviews, it is best to focus on a specific platform. With multiple platforms available for reviews, efforts are best-served when concentrated in one place.
At the end of the day, providing a positive experience is the best way to ensure your past customers and business partners speak positively about you to their peers. Word of mouth is dependent on loyalty, which must be earned. Be sure to go above and beyond for your customers and business partners by posting favorably about them on social media, citing them in your online blog content, and being a resource on whom they can count.