[Case Study] How a Las Vegas Brokerage Generates Free Leads Worth $27,000 in GCI Every Month Using Online Reviews
In today's technology driven world, you need high-quality reviews and a lot of them to stand out and win the business of your potential clients. Get Instant Access to Our Course about systematically getting real estate reviews and learn how you can immediately start using reviews to gain more business.
With lead costs from the big providers like Zillow seemingly on a constant rise, every agent I know is looking for tricks to decrease lead costs.
What if I told you that your most powerful source of leads could be completely free?
What if I told you that you likely already have most of the tools you need right now to start generating these leads?
And finally… what if I told you, that not only can you generate the highest quality leads you’ll find for free, but that the same process will also help you drastically increase your conversion rate on every lead you generate period (whether from this method or any other method you use)?
Would you be interested in knowing how you can do that?
I’m sure you are, and I’m going to tell you exactly how one of my clients does this every month to generate free leads on autopilot using online reviews.
I’m going to give you the exact step-by-step plan so you can steal this strategy and plug it into your business immediately. So please, read through to the end to add this strategy to your business.
Here’s the simple idea:
Online reviews produce the best leads for free on autopilot.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… sure, online reviews are obviously beneficial to business. Especially such a heavily relationship based business like real estate.
But reviews are so hard to come by right?
I used to think the same thing.
I would advise my clients on the power of reviews and encourage them to get more.
But every client ran into the same problem… getting reviews was hard.
I tried everything I could think of to get them better results:
- Email scripts to make it easier to ask
- SMS scripts to give another way to ask
- Phone scripts to make asking directly easy
No matter what I tried, my clients kept saying the same thing… getting reviews from clients is like pulling teeth – necessary but a painful process.
And further, they were discouraged from continuing to try because of their mediocre results.
I knew I needed to crack the code… and little did I know that I was already on the right track.
The answer was a combination of everything I was trying, only put together in a particular sequence with a few additional tools to make it all come together.
Then the Clouds Parted
When I was searching for answers to unlock the secret of generating a ton of online reviews on autopilot, I stumbled on the answer when I found the software that powers the RealReviews.xyz platform.
The creators of that software had training that connected the dots between what I was trying and what I was still missing.
They had the exact steps to make getting online reviews in real estate effortless and powerful.
I took that process and implemented it with my clients, modifying a few key ideas for the real estate market.
We Were Amazed.
Both myself and my clients were amazed by the results.
Suddenly… reviews started coming in effortlessly.
Practically overnight, one of my clients in Las Vegas started getting more than 10x the number of reviews they had been getting. Shooting them to the top of their market in Zillow.
Being number 1 on Zillow came with even more rewards.
Free leads started coming in every month on autopilot.
And these were some of the best leads either of us had ever seen.
You see, these leads would call and be immediately ready to sign up.
The close rate on these review leads has been nearly 100% because they are so pre-sold on my client.
And not only are leads coming in direct from consumers but out of town agents are finding my client and sending warm referrals as well – exclusively because of the commanding presence he has on these online review sites.
This source of leads alone is responsible for $27,000 every month in GCI for this Las Vegas brokerage!
Encountered Another Roadblock… But We Solved That Too
Unfortunately, every rose has its thorn. And while we were getting great results and generating tons of reviews, the process was time intensive even when implemented well.
Don’t worry though; we solved that.
We figured out how to leverage this system to not only generate a ton of reviews but how to do it very simply with almost no extra time spent.
And I’m going to show you the tool that makes that all possible – keep reading to the end to see how this tool makes all the difference.
But back to the main point. The process that makes it all possible.
This process is called the DIGMORE+ system, and it will take you step by step through generating tons of reviews from your clients from start to finish, how to deal with negative reviews, and how to leverage reviews to get more clients on autopilot.
Let’s dive in!
The DIGMORE+ System
DIGMORE+ is an acronym that stands for:
Following this process will take you from start to finish. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be able to immediately start generating a flood of online reviews for your real estate business.
The foundation of this system is to acknowledge that generating reviews won’t happen unless you do a damn good job with your clients.
Your first step is to create amazing real estate experiences for your clients.
Seth Godin, a famous marketer/author, has an excellent book called “Purple Cow.”
This book talks about how to make a business remarkable.
If you ever saw a purple cow in a field of ordinary cows, chances are you would tell people about it right? Because that is “remarkable.”
To truly delight your clients, you need to find ways to stand out and be remarkable.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be super difficult.
Read Your Clients’ Minds (Seriously)
You can have a crystal ball into the mind of your future client by reading reviews that already exist.
Want to see what will really make a difference to your clients?
Go to review sites and start reading.
See what things consumers point out when they’re giving a 5-star review – what got them excited enough to review?
Want to see what to avoid? Start reading 1-star reviews and see what they hated and avoid it at all costs!
The National Association of REALTORS also has amazing research on this exact topic in their Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report to give you a starting point as well. See the chart below:
Focus your business on the key competencies that consumers care about, and you’ll start creating winning experiences.
Creating Amazing Experiences
You can take it a step further and look to some of the titans of customer service to find ways to make your clients experience even more amazing.
One great resource for this kind of idea is Tyler Smith .
That guy is a rockstar when it comes to an amazing client experience, and he has a ton of great tips for implementing these ideas in your business.
But again, no matter what, the key to generating customer reviews at the foundation is going to be delighting your clients with an amazing experience.
Start slowly and implement a new idea every week or month to add to the experience your business provides and in no time you’ll have a remarkable customer experience.
Now that your clients have amazing experiences working with you, the rest of the process honestly gets much easier.
To boil “Invite” down to its fundamental idea – simply look for opportunities where your clients express their delight and then invite them to review you.
DON’T Miss these opportunities
Now, when I say this, most agents miss some MAJOR opportunities to pick up reviews they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Most agents only think to collect reviews at the close of a transaction (and don’t get me wrong, this is a perfect time to collect reviews).
But think of all the opportunities that come up where someone expresses delight in working with you, even if they haven’t (or maybe even won’t) close with you.
Say you’re out showing homes to a potential buyer and they note “Wow, these are much better options than our old agent ever showed us, great job finding these!” This is the perfect time to collect a review about that specific part of the process.
Or maybe a seller ultimately decides to keep their home instead of selling, but they tell you that it was not your fault and that your marketing and communication were great – take that as an amazing signal to invite them to review you!
And finally, when they close, this is always a perfect time to collect the review because now all the hard work has paid off.
What To Say
Here’s an example email script you can use to collect a review (FYI, this works best when you combine it with the landing page concept we mention below).
Hi [First Name],
I’m so excited about the close of your new home [Address]. I’d like to invite you to share your experience working with us.
Your feedback not only helps us, but it also helps other potential clients as well. It takes only a moment and would mean the world to us.
Click Here to Review Us Now
Thank you for your business and support!
[Your Brokerage/Team Name]
Say it Again
Another key recommendation is to be ready to ask multiple times. Many people need soft reminders on this stuff, so don’t be afraid to ask a few times if they haven’t completed the review yet.
We all get busy, and sometimes a gentle reminder can get help to get the gears going again.
After delighting your clients, staying aware of opportunities to simply invite them to review you can drastically increase your online review rate.
So far, we’ve laid the foundation to good reviews by giving our clients an amazing experience. This leads to plenty of opportunities to invite them to review us. Now we need to make that experience smooth and straightforward for them.
Let’s be honest, your customer loves you, but leaving a review doesn’t do anything for them.
This means that any obstacles they face will likely be enough to shut them down in the process of leaving a review.
To secure online reviews, we need to pave a path for the client that removes all the obstacles and makes it really clear exactly how they can quickly leave you a review.
Here’s how we do that.
Keep It Simple
One of the biggest enemies of an online review funnel is distractions.
Too often… I see agents sending their clients to pages on their site that have way too much going on.
When you’re building a review funnel, you want to have a dedicated landing page free of distractions.
This means the only thing they can do on the page is either:
- Leave you a review
- Leave the site
Here’s why: Every link, picture, or word that isn’t dedicated toward the final goal of getting a review is a possible EXIT from the review process.
Think about all the stuff you have on your standard website:
- Information About You
- Seller information
- A blog with lots of good info
All great things.
But none of them get you a review.
So when you send a client to a page that allows them to leave the review process, it’s like trying to roll the boulder uphill because of all the distraction.
A good review funnel page will be simple.
It should only include a basic call to action, your logo, and the opportunity to leave you a review. (Keep reading to see how we further guide them to make this process even easier!)
NINJA TIP: Stop Negative Reviews In Their Tracks
Let me get real with you.
No matter how good of a job you do as a company, you will always encounter people who just weren’t satisfied.
It could be that someone had a bad day on your team and slipped, or it could be that the client is just hell bent on your destruction for no good reason.
Regardless, you will have customers occasionally have a bad experience even if you’re doing a fantastic job.
Now, would you be interested to know how you could get a second chance to fix these bad experiences before they end up on a review site? Then keep reading!
I’m sure you’ve encountered a notification like this one while using your phone:
These notifications are genius!
They start with a very simple to engage with a question like the 5 star model above or the simple “Are you enjoying using this app?” and then when they get a positive response they ask you to take it further and leave a review in the app store.
Alternatively, if you don’t answer positively, they take you somewhere to give them feedback to improve their experience.
You can take this exact concept and steal it for your business.
Put together a review landing page that first asks them to give a basic rating of working with you. (We now have a solution that makes this very easy as well)
If they enjoyed it, send them to the actual public review site to leave you a review (but guide them on how – more on that in a sec).
If they didn’t enjoy working with you, give them a form to send you feedback!
Now, any negative experiences allow you to deal with them directly instead of having them end up on the public facing review sites, which gives you the chance to address the issue directly.
Do you see the power of this? If you missed it, you might want to go back and re-read this section.
Give Easy Directions
Regardless of if you implement the negative review diversion tactic, one thing you NEED to do is to provide clear instructions on where and how to leave you a review.
Unfortunately, you’re faced with a problem. Too many options and most clients will decide to do nothing at all. Too few options and you may be missing opportunities.
Here’s how you can solve that.
First Level Guidance
Pick 1-4 sites that you’d like reviews on.
Chances are, these sites have varying degrees of requirements when leaving a review.
- Zillow allows you to log in with Facebook or a Google Account
- Realtor.com requires no login to leave a recommendation
- Google requires a Google account
- Yelp allows you to signup with Facebook but is very picky on which reviews they let show up
Now, when you display these options, just show the logo of the site (and maybe pick one site to emphasize if you want reviews there) but also quickly show if they can log in with Facebook or if they don’t need an account to review.
This way, your client can pick a site that feels natural for them.
You get the benefit of showing them a variety of options and let them choose the option that works best for them.
Second Level Guidance
Now that the client has picked the site don’t just send them there immediately.
Before you send them to the review site, quickly and simply walk them through the review process with step by step instructions and pictures, so they know what to expect.
This way, when they get to the site, they will not be left searching the site to find how to review you. Instead, they’ll immediately know what to do.
At the bottom of this information, link to the review site so they can go through and complete the process and give you that glorious review!
YELP PRO TIP
On the instructions for Yelp, make it very clear that people should only review on Yelp if they’re already active on the site.
The reason is that if they leave you a review on Yelp and it’s their first review, it VERY LIKELY won’t show up.
Yelp very aggressively filters reviews in attempts to make sure all the reviews on their site are as legitimate as possible (they’re not very good at this, but it’s what they’re trying to do).
To help your client not waste their time, advising them to pick another site is an easy way to save them the effort if they’re not already active on Yelp.
Now we’re cooking with gas.
Your clients are getting an amazing experience; you’re inviting them to review you, and guiding them through the process to make it easy. By now you should be receiving an enormous amount of reviews!
But we’re not done yet.
Just like a lighthouse warns ships of rocky shores – in a solid review funnel, you need a system to monitor your reviews for any problems or opportunities.
This section will be relatively straightforward, but important.
Make sure you have a systematic way of knowing when new reviews come in so you can respond quickly and efficiently.
Further, knowing when reviews come in will let you know if you can stop asking a particular client to leave you a review.
This can be confusing with multiple sites because of the various ways they notify you of reviews. If you’d like to see how we’ve simplified this, you can check out the software tool we use to monitor reviews below.
Monitoring goes hand in hand with the next step of Responding, so keep reading to see how to respond to both Positive (where most agents miss opportunities) and Negative reviews.
Before we move on, it should be noted; we’ve entered dangerous territory.
If this section were on an ancient map, it would say “Here Be Dragons” here.
Not only do many agents make big mistakes when responding to negative reviews, but most are missing incredible opportunities when responding to positive reviews as well.
Don’t worry though. With the information I’m about to share, you’ll be able to navigate these waters safely and efficiently.
The Missed Opportunity on Positive Reviews
When you start receiving reviews, inevitably you’ll run into reviews that, while positive, are very uninformative.
- “They were great!”
- “Excellent service!”
- “Fantastic team!”
All good things. All equally useless!
When you get reviews like this (or even reviews that are more informative), you can take the opportunity to respond and ADD CONTEXT.
Tell the story that your client isn’t telling (get their permission first if needed of course).
Explain the journey, overcoming struggles, and how you ultimately helped them either sell their home or get their dream home.
These responses can paint a picture for everyone else reading but still have the benefit of feeling like a third party endorsement because of the original review.
Thus, taking a lackluster, though positive, review and turning it into a powerhouse!
DANGER AHEAD: Negative Reviews
This section may be one of the most important sections in this article.
No matter how good your service is, no matter how good your diversion tactics (like mentioned above), you will very likely encounter a negative review on a public facing site.
How you handle that can make or break your business.
The biggest thing you want to avoid is turning the internet into your personal screaming match with a past customer.
No one wins when this happens… especially not your business.
Read on to see how to handle it as efficiently as possible.
When you’re responding to a negative review – 99% of the reason why is for everyone else reading the review… 1% is for the person who left the review.
You want always to remain professional and courteous.
The people who read your reviews already know that even the best companies will have customers with bad experiences.
So, if you respond with empathy, you can actually make your company look better.
Here’s why – it shows that, while human, you will try to fix problems and make it right. This is way more important (and realistic) than being perfect. So your future customers will appreciate getting to see you in this light.
And you can systematically respond to negative reviews in a way that ensures you put your business in the best light possible. Keep reading to see how.
The Negative Review Response Formula
Responding to negative reviews is done in three simple parts:
- Offer Solution
Let’s take that one by one.
Thank them for the feedback and their business.
No matter what went down, this person was/is your customer.
And while they may not have had a great experience, they took their own time to give you some feedback.
Thank them, and be thankful, for the opportunity to improve and for the opportunity of their business.
No business and no person look good when they try to shirk responsibility.
Regardless of anything else, the buck needs to stop with you.
The quickest way to deflect and deflate anger is to accept responsibility for whatever failure produced the bad experience.
If you try to excuse or explain away the problem, it will only grow worse – so accept responsibility to take charge of the solution.
Offer a Solution (Off-Site)
With the first two steps done, now you can start to try and remedy things.
Make it clear that you want things to end on as good a note as possible and offer to fix the solution in whatever way you can.
The key here is to get them to take the conversation offline or off-site.
Offer a contact email or phone number where you can further assist them to help them resolve their problem.
The key reason for this is that this part of the discussion may still not go well. They may not even take you up on contacting you. But – it leaves your business looking like the solution-oriented one.
Another reason to take the conversation off-site is that your solution for one client may not be the same for another. Having these conversations directly, rather than in public view, helps to make sure you don’t open yourself up to trolls who will use negative reviews as a form of extortion.
Finally, having the conversation directly (especially on the phone) gives you much more ability to leverage tone of voice or even just more words to help find a solution and make it clear you want to fix the issue for them.
When you do resolve issues, if the client seems content with the solution, now would also be a good time to ask them to update the review to let people know that you proactively helped solved their problem.
Not every review can be turned around, but you owe it to yourself and your clients to try. And either way… even if it can’t be turned around, the proper response will show your business in the best light possible regardless.
Whew! We’ve covered a lot.
Your clients have amazing experiences that lead you to invite them to a simple guided system to leave you a review. You’re paying attention to reviews as they come in so you can respond as needed.
Where do we go from here?
Now, we take the reviews that you’re generating and leveraging them for more business!
Here’s a quick sampling of how you can leverage reviews to gain more business:
Find New Business
- Rank Highly on Review Sites – As you start to get more reviews, many review sites use reviews as ranking criteria. So more and more new clients will find you via these sites to call you up directly to work with you.
- Use Reviews on Your Site to Help it Rank Higher – Google loves to see new content on websites to show that they’re active. With a constant stream of reviews, you can add these to your site continually to have new content on your site all the time! This process will help you site to rank higher on its own, which can also lead to new business finding you. (To see how we automate this process and avoid getting “dinged” by Google for duplicate content, check out the software tool we use below).
Increase the Effectiveness of Your Marketing
- Add Reviews to Direct Mail – When people read your direct mail pieces, you can increase the believability by adding a contextually relevant review to the piece to show that you deliver on whatever promises you make in the direct mail piece.
- Use Reviews in Your Ads – You can use reviews themselves to create reliable awareness ads or use the review in a video ad to add credibility to your business.
- Include Reviews on Flyers – Make sure the review is relevant to the flyer itself. Adding reviews to a flyer can increase the perceived legitimacy on anything you’re offering.
- Add Star Ratings Business Cards – There’s not enough room on a business card to adequately fit a review, but you can add a graphic showing you’re 5-star rated on well-known review sites to help solidify your credibility to anyone you had a card to.
Increase Your Conversion Rates
- Add Reviews to Your Sales Presentations – Pick some of your best reviews (Tip: Best doesn’t mean most glowing, it’s more about a good story) and add them to your sales presentation to let potential clients know you’re qualified.
- Add Reviews to Prelisting Packets – We’ve tested this one, and reviews are one of the most read pages in pre-listing packets my agent clients have sent out. People love to see how other people felt about working with you when making their own decision.
- Use Reviews in Follow-up Sequences – After a sales meeting or after confirming someone is actively in the market for a real estate transaction, add reviews into your follow up sequence and mention that other clients found them useful in making their decision.
- NINJA TIP: Retargeting Ads – We already mentioned using reviews in ads before, but when you combine review ads with Retargeting… magic happens. Retargeting will allow you to either market directly to a specific list of emails or people who have visited a specific page on your site. Use this information to get reviews in front of people and follow them around the internet reminding them that you’d be great to work with. This can be a very cheap way to get your name in front of the right people to help them decide to work with you.
How to Make the DIGMORE+ System Effortless.
So now you know how to generate a flood of online reviews to your business, respond effectively to them, and leverage the reviews to gain even more business.
Would you like to see how we’ve made this process work on autopilot and drastically improved our results?
You see, the DIGMORE+ system works great when you work it.
The problem is that it can be very involved to get all the pieces set up and working for you. To fully implement the DIGMORE+ system you’d need to:
- Get the landing page developed that is simple, effective, and diverts negative reviews
- Keep the instructions for each site continually updated as the sites change
- Continually monitor for reviews from a vast set of different notifications, constantly checking each site
- Manually select and add reviews to your site for the SEO benefit, and HTML tag them properly, so you don’t get dinged by Google for duplicate content
- Remember to send enough reminders for reviews AND remember to stop when they do leave a review
Luckily, we found a software platform that solves all of this.
RealReviews.xyz takes the DIGMORE+ system to the next level by making this all easily plug-and-play in your business.
Easy-Effective Landing Pages
The platform includes a landing page that keeps your client focused on the review.
Here’s an example:
It also comes built in with the negative review diversion tactic. Take a look at what happens when a client selects three stars or less compared to 4 stars or more.
If they select four stars or more they are given the opportunity to leave a review on the review sites. Three stars or less and they are directed to a feedback from that goes directly to you!
When the client selects the site they want to use, they’re quickly taken to your public review link to leave a review and know exactly how to do it.
Plus, each site has dedicated instructions that are always kept up to date! (This only shows a sampling of the review sites that are available, plus, if it’s missing one the team is always happy to update the options and keep the instructions up to date!)
Cross Site Review Monitoring
When you get setup, you can add all your review sites, and the system will begin monitoring for past and future reviews.
When the system discovers reviews, you are automatically notified from the same email address every time, so you always know what the email is about.
The review is also linked in the email making it possible to respond immediately to the reviews.
Automatic Review Wall For Site
As the monitoring system finds new reviews, these are added to a review stream in the backend manager.
These reviews are then automatically added to a review wall that you can embed on your site as well!
The system accounts for negative reviews by allowing you to filter any review that is less than four stars, so it doesn’t show up on your site.
Further, the embeddable review wall is already SEO optimized and coded so that Google knows where the content came from, thus keeping you safe from duplicate content errors.
Automated Review Request Follow-Up
Built into the system are easy to use follow-up sequences that automatically reach out to clients to request reviews.
All you do is put in their name and email, and it takes care of the rest.
Use the templates we’ve already tested for success or customize them to be more personal to you.
If your client clicks to review you, they’re automatically removed from the sequence, so you don’t needlessly pester them as well!
Wrapping It Up
Now you know how to generate and leverage reviews using the DIGMORE+ System.
- Delight your clients
- Invite them to review you (and don’t miss opportunities to do so!)
- Guide them to make reviewing easy
- Monitor for problems and opportunities
- Respond to both positive and negative reviews
- +Leverage your reviews to find new business and convert leads more effectively
If you’d like to make the process easy and immediately plug the DIGMORE+ system into your real estate business, be sure to check out the RealReviews.xyz reviews platform here.
Still, have questions or want to add to the discussion? Comment below!
Real Estate Growth Hackers Founder
Zach Hammer is the co-founder of Real Estate Growth Hackers. Over the last 36 months Zach and his team have managed ad budgets well over $100,000, generated over 25,000 real estate leads, and helped create over $50,000,0000 in business revenue for their clients. Zach is also a highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted some of the top Real Estate teams and brokerages across the country.
Wow! Amazingly actionable content in that article. I always find great stuff on here. Zillow and other lead gen places have had the monopoly for too long. Great to see alternatives for businesses.