Have you ever wondered how some of the top producers are so bad at Twitter yet so good at converting online leads? How some still use their 2008 Blackberry, yet have an easy time of getting people online to pay attention to them and (gasp) trust them? Why are they outproducing the average agent by three times from online agent reviews?
A new study by T3 Experts surveyed nearly 900 real estate professionals to answer all of the questions above, and it appears that there is a shift in consumers’ emphasis on agent reviews that isn’t gradual – it’s rapid, and it’s not just your reputation at stake, it’s your income.
T3 Experts CEO, Jack Miller tells Realuoso, “Consumers are rewarding agents that focus on generating online reviews more significantly than we originally thought when we started the study. There is a small group of agents generating 10x the volume of leads from reviews than everybody else – and we discovered they are also making more income than others. One-third of top lead generators from reviews are selling 50 or more homes a year.”
According to T3 Experts, below are the main points from the report:
- Performance Gap – A strong majority of those surveyed believe leads from Agent Reviews are (1) important (72% said they are), and (2) easy to convert (70% believe they are) – and yet only 35% have received at least one lead from Agent Reviews in the past 12 months. Agents need help implementing and better executing strategies relating to Agent Reviews.
- Social Surprises – Two of the top five most frequently named sources of leads from Agent Reviews are social (Facebook at #2 and LinkedIn at #5). For some, investment in social sites pays dividends.
- Winning Big – Those getting the most leads from Agent Reviews are getting them in large quantities (with 6% receiving 51 or more during the last 12 months). Payoffs can be substantial for those who make leads from Agent Reviews an intentional, integral part of their online strategy.
- Portal Power – The table below shows how the role of the portals grew as we moved up the success curve, from “Total Survey Results” to “Top Producers” (those with 51+ sales during the last 12 months) to “Top Lead Generators” (those with 51+ leads from Agent Reviews during the last 12 months). The greater the level of success in generating leads from Agent Reviews, the greater the role of the portals in the process.
- Leads Monetize – Comparing transaction sides closed during the last 12 months, Top Lead Generators (1) sold 20+ homes more often (69% vs. 48% for Total Survey Results), sold 30+ homes a lot more often (54% vs. 29%) and sold 51+ homes more than twice as often (31% vs. 13%). As the volume of transaction sides increases, the advantage of the Top Lead Generator widens.
It is uncomfortable for many industry professionals to ask for feedback after a transaction, but it is no longer optional. Whether’s it on a real estate portal or through a formal process like RatedAgent.com, asking for ratings means feedback.
One survey participant echoes what we’ve heard increasingly in recent months. “Even when personally referred, they [consumers] still read the reviews! When they find the reviews, they go to our website to see what’s there, then they contact us.” Another noted that only in this last year have people been referring to their online reviews when contacting them. Bingo.
Ratings and reviews are part of the vetting process for agents as consumers seek to have their decision to hire you affirmed, be it through Yelp reviews, Zillow star ratings, or deep feedback on your site. They want unbiased ratings and reviews, and they want to know they’re hiring the best person for their needs. And understanding that process is leading to big bucks for agents and brokers tapping into the trend, regardless of what smartphone they use or how awesome they are at Twitter.
Note from the Editor: Realuoso has no affiliation with T3 Experts.