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How to make sure a client actually reviews you online

(MARKETING) Actionable customer feedback is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly difficult to obtain ratings and reviews.

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Actionable customer feedback is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly difficult to obtain, as angry customers rarely leave coherent reviews and satisfied customers often avoid them entirely. Here are a few ways to achieve positive feedback without breaking the bank.

Before embarking on a crusade to pester your customers for their time, take a second to identify pain points in your services.

Are your negotiating superb, or do they end up a bit lackluster from time to time? Does your customer interfacing garner largely positive results, or do you get the feeling that you’re putting people off? Knowing what to look for when asking for feedback and reviews will help you narrow the number of choices your customers have, making an answer significantly more likely.

Once you have a general idea of what you want to address, it is ideal to implement a universal online reviews strategy that all clients are asked for, and you never cherry pick for marketing purposes, rather publish all of the ratings for an accurate picture, given that consumers want real transparency. For example, RatedAgent.

But maybe you’re a solo agent with a broker that doesn’t invest in anything (especially not a ratings and reviews strategy) and you’re on your own.

In that case, start putting together a form with specific questions targeting your established weak spots – naturally, the fewer the better, but don’t lead people – transparency is good. In most cases, you’ll want to stick to three main topics and a general suggestion area; anything more than that, and you risk intimidating your prospective critics.

Following up directly via email is a good way to catch a customer’s attention, but it’s also a good way to end up in your customers’ spam folders, and it can get expensive quite quickly. If you decide to run an email campaign, make sure your intent is in the subject line.

You might even want to pair your email with a promotion, such as a free annual fire inspection or something similar, but be careful not to skew your potential feedback.

An alternative to mass-emailing your client list is installing a pop-up box on your website. After seeing the same box multiple times, some of your clients are bound to cave eventually; as long as you keep the box clean, concise, and easy to exit, you shouldn’t receive negative feedback inspired by annoyed web-goers. You can also add your message to a modal box or a similarly less-intrusive graphic in order to account for the ad-blocker crowd if you don’t see enough feedback within a month or so.

Acting on customer reviews is perhaps the clearest way to improving your customer-facing image — as long as the feedback itself is clear. Knowing what to look for and implementing a pleasant campaign to obtain will get you one step closer to raking in the critiques.

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

Real Estate Marketing

Facebook, Instagram launch features to showcase local businesses

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) New features on Facebook and Instagram allow a small business to be promoted within 1 – 500 miles if users visit their Business Nearby section.

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There is no doubt that Small business owners (estimated at 30.2 million in the United States) have been hit hard by COVID-19. They’ve had to close their doors abruptly, shift to online and contactless offerings, and some had to furlough their employees.

We don’t exactly know yet how many will not be able to re-open their doors but for those that have made quick shifts to their businesses, here are some great ways that we can support them (some for little effort and no cost to us via Facebook and Instagram, of course assuming they are on these two platforms).

No matter your feelings on Facebook or Instagram, it’s nice to see them make strides as a large tech company to push out these products and resources considering what a large amount of small businesses there are, and how everyone is hurting. This may not be the overall solution, but it can be a great step in the right direction.

TechCrunch outlines the way Facebook and Instagram launched new products so that consumers can show support for their local and small business.

What consumers can do:

  1. When logged in to your Facebook, check out their new Businesses Nearby section (it will let you set it between 1-500 miles from you). Peruse the businesses for updates, and see if there is one that you would be comfortable supporting.
  2. You can add the Support Small Business sticker on Instagram, or use the #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag on Facebook
  3. If you are a Creator on Facebook, you will also be able to easily tag small businesses

By doing these simple things, it will create additional exposure for them, and even be included in Instagram stories that will be shared via localized content. It may not feel significant, but with that many, this might be an easy thing to do at low cost and minimal effort for many of us.

What Small Business Owners can utilize?

  1. Facebook has created a specific Business section in Messenger in hopes to make it easier for them to respond to customers.
  2. Facebook has pulled together resources specifically for COVID-19, and owners can access this through their Facebook shortcuts or within their Instagram Business profile.
  3. They set up a $100 million grant program for small businesses.
  4. They added the ability to add temporary service changes.

As many businesses (begrudgingly or not) utilize social media to promote their products and services, hopefully these developments will help them continue to reach consumers and stay in business. It’s impossible to look at just these two social media channels individually without looking at their entire marketing and operations plans, but hopefully these create positive impacts since they have quite a large presence in how we connect, socialize, and share our experiences.

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Real Estate Marketing

Quick and easy pop up builder helps you convert more sales

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Adoric makes it easy to build pop-ups, because shoppers are suckers for a cute click! They have resources galore to help you grow your business.

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Just in case this point was not made clear circa 1999 Microsoft Windows: website pop-ups are STILL neck-slappingly annoying. So Adoric is here to make them easier to build!

Apparently the internet-using world has not effectively boycotted the tyranny of the pop-up because not only do they still exist, but also they apparently are an excellent tool for gaining inbound leads and converting sales. So when a designer and a marketer make sweet, sweet business love, Adoric is the resultant baby.

The free platform allows users to “create a personalized customer journey using web messages such as Banners, In-pages, Sliders, Pop-ups, Top bars, and much more,” the Product Hunt post by CEO Tal Revivo reads.

The platform is akin to Canva, where a simple user interface enables an easy drag-and-drop design experience. It comes complete with over 500 templates and an extensive library of cutesy stock images and gifs.

The platform is compatible with WordPress, Shopify, and Woocommerce, among others. It can also be integrated with popular CRMs and email services like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Mailchimp. It’s even mobile friendly.

Not only does the builder allow you to create a beautiful professional-looking graphic, but it also allows you to choose what a user sees based on their behavior on your website. For example, you can create a welcome message that a user will only see when they first visit your website, and then a recommendation pop-up for a return buyer. Adoric also has a “magic” function that will adapt a new design to match your brand style.

If the builder tool isn’t straight-forward, they’ve got you covered. In addition to the pop-up builder, Adoric offers extremely simple tutorial pages to walk users through each of its features. Articles explain how to start an email campaign, how to run an A/B test on your design, and how to use and read campaign analytics.

The Israel-based startup boasts some impressive clients including Procter & Gamble, Wix, Groupon, Toyota, and Nautica. Though the roster is impressive, the usability of the product is even more so. Making a tool that is accessible to both the Davids and the Goliaths of sales may be what set this product apart from competitors.

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Real Estate Marketing

Zillow gets more seemingly pointless patents, why?

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Patents are like the cheap spaces in monopoly to Zillow, they get every one they can get their hands on, why do they need so many?

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Zillow is scooping up two more patents. Are we surprised? Does a bear…? (You get the idea). Earlier this year, we covered Zillow’s takeover of 3 patents created by IBM. The latest claims are 1.) allocating electronic advertising opportunities and 2.) presenting image transition sequences between viewing locations.

Over the past several years, the online real estate search giant has not only applied for but has been granted so many patents that motive is called into question. Is the company destined to become the next patent troll and possibly impeding technological innovation and basic real estate search functions particularly for other real estate companies? Or is this a smart move by Zillow to protect their tech investments and solidify their brand?

We’ve written about the dangers of patent trolling, where companies file for patents for the intention of suing potential “infringements”. In terms of boosting the American workforce and economy, patent trolling does neither of these and can instead damage technological growth.

So what is Zillow after this time?

The first patent outlines a facility for presenting advertising messages for multiple advertisers. “The facility determines allocations that each specify a share for an advertiser, the specified shares all being different. The facility causes advertising messages to be presented on behalf of the advertisers in accordance with the shares specified by their allocations.”

The second patent focuses on transitions between two images taken at two viewing locations, “generating and presenting an image transition sequence that simulates viewer movement between the viewing locations, such as without using information about relative distance between the viewing locations and other depth information to objects in an environment around the viewing locations.”

Time will tell how these new patent additions affect smaller real estate startups or if this is simply good business on Zillow’s part. The U.S. Trademark office continues to make it easy for these larger companies to take over.

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