The mortgage industry is driven by relationships – from building a rapport with a borrower to fostering referrals you’re given. While you may do most of your business through personal connections or referrals, it’s important to also nurture your online reputation. Whether you work for a small or large company, you have resources available to help you achieve a strong and positive reputation in the digital space.
Online customer reviews are a great way to foster relationships and grow your mortgage business. Not only can feedback be good for internal review and reflection, but it also offers other advantages. Sharing your reviews on your digital platforms like your website and social media pages can help to boost client confidence in your services, improve your search engine optimization (SEO) to produce even more leads, and give you the opportunity to work on areas for improvement.
Improve Consumer Confidence
On average, over 80% of consumers read reviews and ratings prior to making a financial decision (according to the Deloitte Consumer Review). Within the mortgage industry, a referral may override the importance of online reviews – but this percentage reflects the value that buyers place on user-generated content, which prospects consider to be more genuine and trustworthy.
The way most of the population makes decisions has changed over the last decade, with review sites like Yelp and Google My Business providing the opportunity for many to share their experiences directly and candidly.
By sharing reviews on your online platforms, you’re not only giving your audience a glimpse into what it would be like to work with you, but you’re also sharing your wins.
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. has developed a library of tools and resources to help our mortgage professionals improve their services and use customer feedback to make tangible changes. To date, we’ve gathered over 70,000 positive online reviews and have a 4.89 average star rating. It’s these numbers that give our brokers confidence when working with us.
Give Your Website an SEO Boost
The more you optimize your website content for search, the easier it will be for clients to find you when searching for home loans and mortgage options. A great way to give your website a boost is to add customer feedback.
According to Search Engine Watch, “Online reviews and SEO have been closely tied together for a long time.” One reason for this is due to keywords in the reviews themselves that search engines pick up on to rank your website higher. When reviews feature keywords that you want to associate with your business, including your name, business name, and services, you are getting a free SEO boost.
Another reason having reviews on your website is great for SEO is because, when linked properly, they are updated in real time when someone leaves you a review. With the increased traffic to your website, you will have more qualified leads that contact you or request more information.
Even Bad Reviews Can Be Good
The reality of asking for feedback from your clients is that you will likely get some negative reviews. While this may bring down your perfect 5-star rating, it’s a great learning experience and an opportunity to win back trust with that specific person.
When you get a negative review, don’t ignore it. It’s ideal to respond with empathy and set out to rectify the issue if at all possible. By reaching out and not ignoring the issue at hand, you’ll not only improve your brand image, but you can also turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Consider every negative review as an opportunity to identify and resolve a specific customer issue and improve your processes moving forward. If the issue is a pain point that has been mentioned more than a few times, it can show you what you need to improve on for future clients.
It’s easier than you think! Follow these tips to get started.
Take Stock of Where You Are
The first step to managing your online reputation is to find out how you’re appearing online. Perform a simple search of your company name on your search engine of choice and see not only what comes up, but also what people you’ve worked with in the past may be saying about you.
Do your business pages or social media platforms show up? Do reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, or Facebook come up? If you don’t see any of your content on the first few pages of a search, you may want to look into increasing your online efforts in the form of an updated website, building a schedule for more frequent social media posts, and establishing a review process for your customers.
Claim Your Business
If you own or manage a business, a great idea for online reputation management is to claim your business on various review sites like Yelp, Google, Zillow, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Not only will you be able to receive and share reviews for your business, but the number of people who will see your pages will also increase drastically.
In Q3 of 2020, Yelp had a reach of 32 million people via the app and 54 million unique mobile web users alone. Having a page with the BBB lends credibility to your business, as it is a well-respected source for company reputation information. Google is important for all businesses, and it even has its own review system to boost search results.
Establish Your Review Process
A great way to make sure you have positive reviews coming in is to ask your clients to post a review on your behalf on the platform(s) of your choice. Tools like Experience.com (formerly SocialSurvey) can provide an easy way for people to give you feedback and reviews. Experience.com gives businesses in the mortgage industry the opportunity to more effectively measure their customer experiences.
Whether you’re working with a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system or are looking to create a system from scratch, take the time to create a review form that’s easy to fill out. Questions to consider adding to your form include, “How likely are you to recommend us to friends and family?” and “How was your overall experience?”
These types of questions can help improve your average Net Promoter Score, which is the percentage of clients rating their likelihood to recommend a company, product, or service to a friend or colleague. Keep in mind that you will want to monitor all reviews that you receive and follow up on those that may be less than positive.
Many industries thrive on feedback, and the mortgage industry is no different. By asking for feedback, responding to reviews, reflecting on any negative feedback, and showcasing positive reviews on your website, you’re putting an emphasis on client satisfaction.
Managing your online reputation may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, system, and partners, it’s easier than you think – and it pays off! Contact us today to learn more about working with Caliber and get complimentary access to a variety of tools, including Experience.com.