In a recent blog entitled, “How to Get Customer Reviews and Testimonials”, we showed you how to encourage a seller to leave a review or testimonial after you close on their house. Reviews are a core element in your online marketing success, as they build trust & credibility in your local market, plus help you gauge how your business is performing. 

How to Manage Seller Reviews on Your REI Site

In a recent blog entitled, “How to Get Customer Reviews and Testimonials”, we showed you how to encourage a seller to leave a review or testimonial after you close on their house. Reviews are a core element in your online marketing success, as they build trust & credibility in your local market, plus help you gauge how your business is performing. 

But gathering reviews is only part of your strategy. Once a seller leaves a rating, review, or testimonial, you have the opportunity to capitalize on the feedback and leverage it to attract more motivated seller leads. Like word-of-mouth, reviews are powerful because they are a form of peer-to-peer marketing.

It’s one of the main reasons we developed an entire branch of our marketing strategy around reputation management, which we discuss below.

What Is Seller Review Management?

When it comes to seller feedback, you need to go beyond just gathering reviews. You also need to have a process in place for managing customer reviews.

But just what is review management?

Review management involves three main steps.

Step 1: Monitor Your Reviews

The first step is to set up a process where you get notifications about new reviews as they come in. At the very least, you need to look at your online listings such as your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) or social media pages regularly to see if any reviews come in. If you partner with a digital marketing company, they may help to monitor feedback and alert you when new reviews and ratings come in.

Step 2: Respond to Your Reviews

The best way to maintain a positive relationship with your audience - especially potential motivated seller leads - is to respond to your reviews. To clarify, responding to both positive and negative reviews is important. An appropriate response lets people know that you are listening to their feedback and that you care about the sellers you help.

Step 3: Publish Your Reviews

Once you reply to the review, it’s time to promote it. Have a website? Have landing pages? What about your social media channels? Publish the review in as many places as you can. As motivated sellers are browsing online looking for a solution to their problem, your reviews will help to build their confidence that YOU are the one to help them. By publishing your reviews, you elevate your REI brand over the majority of investors who don’t have a review management process in place.

4 Powerful Strategies for Managing Reviews

Regardless of what type of real estate investment business you have, building a healthy relationship with cash buyers, sellers, and other real estate professionals is the cornerstone of your business success. That relationship is self-evident in seller reviews. Like any relationship, it dies if it becomes sided - meaning, you get customer feedback, but you never respond and address your audience’s comments.

Those who you work with want to be heard because they are stakeholders in your business. So, how do you nurture the relationship?

  • Listen to their feedback.
  • Respond accordingly.
  • Adjust your business practices based on feedback.
  • Continue providing opportunities for audience engagement.

The process is known as seller review management. Let’s go a little deeper to discover how to manage good customer reviews. Learn to master these strategies:

1. Use Seller Reviews As Social Proof

The best and most powerful example of social proof is seller reviews. Perhaps the clearest definition of social proof comes from HubSpot writer Sophia Bernazzani:

How does social proof apply to customer reviews? Customers choose your brand or competitors’ brands based on reputation & credibility.

According to a 2022 Online Customer Review Report from Review Trackers, 94% of consumers say a negative review has convinced them to avoid a business. The same report also revealed that review interaction has skyrocketed by 50% since the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are now:

  • Searching for more reviews.
  • Filtering more reviews.
  • Clicking to expand reviews.
  • Reading entire reviews.
The bottom line: Using customer reviews as social proof can be a major game-changer in the market’s perception of your brand.

2. Post Online Customer Reviews Everywhere!

Look for opportunities to post customer reviews in traditional and digital marketing formats. More importantly, pursue marketing platforms that best align with the services you offer and your target audience:

  • Your website
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media sites
  • Brochures
  • Customer review sites
  • Landing pages
  • Flyers
  • Google Business Profile

Remember: Customer reviews often pop up with or without your permission on sites you never knew existed. Explore reviews on customer review sites regularly—especially those related to your industry. Some sites where customers may review your business include

  • Foursquare
  • Citysearch
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yahoo! Local Listings
  • Yelp
  • TrustRadius

3. Place a Review Tab or Widget on Your Website

The review widget displays reviews on your business website to build consumer trust, drive conversions and impact SEO. Widgets can look like this:

Widgets allow you to display relevant, glanceable customer reviews, immediately grabbing the reader’s attention. Your digital marketing team can place widgets anywhere on your website and design them to fit in with the site’s layout and accurately reflect your brand. 

Plus, you can add animation to widgets. For instance, you can add a scrolling widget that rotates multiple customer reviews. You can also program widgets to pull reviews from other sites and update them to your website in real-time.

4. Address Negative and Fake Reviews—Don’t Ignore Them

Negative reviews are a hard pill to swallow. They can knock the wind out of your sails. They can be infuriating—especially the fake reviews or those that are little more than a rant. However, whether you like it or not, your business needs negative reviews. Here’s why:

  • Customers can gauge worst-case scenarios associated with your business.
  • Too many positive reviews can appear to be fake or manipulated.
  • Negative reviews allow you to show that you care about your customers.
  • Negative reviews give you a chance to professionally reply and address the potential issue.
  • You gain insights into your target audience’s limitations.

Most of all:

  • If your company never gets negative reviews, your company will never grow. Dissatisfied customers force you to take a hard, honest look at your organization, brand, and services, processes, relevance, customer service and position in the market.

How to Tackle Negative Customer Reviews

Here are some quick tips on addressing negative customer reviews:

  • Address all negative reviews quickly—don’t hesitate!
  • Sincerely thank the person for their feedback.
  • Attack the issue, not the person.
  • Apologize, empathize and sympathize.
  • Remain professional at all times.
  • Always strive to find a win-win solution.
Remember: Contrary to popular opinion, the customer is not always right. Many times they are wrong and unfair. However, on a public platform, your goal should be to maintain integrity and help the customer solve the issue so that you win ten more customers.

How Freedom Leads Reputation Management System Works for You

When you partner with Freedom Leads, you can take advantage of our reputation management system specifically designed for real estate investors. Our digital marketing team helps you gather and manage customer reviews, improve your online presence and solidify your relationship with potential motivated seller leads.

We help you in the following six ways:

1. We Monitor Seller Feedback

You never have to worry about missing a customer review or rating from Google or any other platform. We integrate your Google Business Profile with our Spark Follow-Up REI Toolkit, so you have everything in one easy-to-use dashboard. Get instant notifications whenever you get reviews.

2. We Publish on Online Directories

Using our Spark Follow-Up REI Toolkit, we can expand your website presence by publishing your business information on nearly 60 web directories. Sellers can leave ratings on reviews on directories, giving you the feedback you need to fine-tune your business.

3. We Setup Your Google Business Profile

One of the online platforms where sellers leave reviews the most is the Google Business Profile. We set up your business profile and manage your GBP listing. We can help you interact with sellers when they leave reviews and other feedback.

4. You Can Access Automated Features

Once you close a real estate deal, our automated system sends a text message and email to the seller with a link to your Google Business Profile, asking them to leave a review. We make it easy for sellers to leave reviews by eliminating unnecessary steps. Once they leave a review, you automatically get a notification.

5. We Add Seller Reviews to Your Website

Our team instantly adds reviews to your website as they come in. Our web developer posts authentic reviews from actual home sellers with whom you have closed a sale. The more reviews we add, your website and business are more credible. Reviews are a great tool for converting more of your website traffic into “warmed up” motivated seller leads.

6. We Post Video Testimonials

Video testimonials are a powerful marketing tool on your website because it’s real people talking to real people. The seller has a chance to go into detail about the real estate transaction and their experience with your company. Freedom Leads can guide you through the process of how to create a powerful video testimonial by asking the right questions.

Buy One to Three More Houses Every Month With Our Motivated Sellers Marketing Program

Freedom Leads can help you get more qualified, motivated seller leads through various paid and organic online marketing strategies. Learn more about how we can help you implement the Motivated Sellers Marketing Program in your area.

To check the availability of your market, fill out our application form or contact us at 877-399-2259, and we will walk you through the process. We only work with a limited number of investors per area, so claim your market today!