In our May episode of Monday Market Minute, Carrie McCormick from @properties and Christies International talks about testimonials and reviews. Carrie reminds us that you can ask all the parties involved in a transaction for a review, not only your client. Next, discusses platforms for reviews to live in and how to post them in your social media accounts. Carrie and D.J. also discuss how how to deal with negative reviews. Last, Carrie and D.J. emphasize the importance of asking for reviews from your clients and all the other parties involved in your transaction.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
You should assume that every client is going to Google you and read your reviews. So let’s help you get more reviews. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and now on to our show.
Welcome to Real the largest podcast for real estate agents and buy real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show and today on the show is our annual ARPs our annual our monthly series called The Monday market minute with Carrie McCormick it’s a lot of EMS from the Kerry McCormick Real Estate Group with at properties. Carrie is a top top top 1% producer in Chicago with over 20 years of experience helping buyers sellers and investors in Cary is always not in the top 1% or even 1/10 of 1% but probably 1/10 of 1/10 of 1%. So out of 46,000 Realtors in Chicago, she’s like in the top 10 to 15 Out of all of them literally so she is a true superstar. She’s an expert in everything from first time homebuyers, veteran investors and luxury properties. She also works with a lot of developers and is often chosen to represent their high end developments. And she has a reputation here in Chicago as being very sought after as a speaker. So if you ever need anyone to speak at events, she is also a great resource. We are just excited to have her on our show every single month for the past five years. Please visit her at her website, Carrie McCormick r e.com. But more importantly, follow her on Instagram. She has an incredible Instagram or social media presence. And she does it all herself. So you can find her at Carey McCormick real estate on Instagram links to those in the show notes. Carrie, welcome back to the show.
Carrie McCormick 3:01
Well, thank you. Thank you. That’s quite the intro and I appreciate you and everything you do.
D.J. Paris 3:06
I appreciate you because you were one of the very first people to come on my little show at the time. And you have been such a loyal member of our of our staff I guess I’d say and it is a real honor i i will say for all of our listeners Karis name comes up a lot when I’m I work on some committees at the Chicago Association at the local level. And whenever we need speakers heard, your name is always always suggested and so I’m like I’m so lucky to be able to get to talk to her every month. So our listeners are lucky as well. So what do we got going on this week? This month?
Carrie McCormick 3:46
Yeah, so I wanted to talk about testimonials and reviews. Because you know, as we’re busy and we’re doing our thing you know it’s sometimes we forget about how important reviews and testimonials are and it just dawned on me actually, I forget what I was looking for but well it was a product I was buying actually and you know I went to go look at the reviews that everyone had written about this particular product and really kind of got you know, in depth of reading through the reviews and made a decision to buy something based on the reviews and you know, it is important in our business and I do think with people being online and making decisions that having a roof or testimonials we need to focus on them. So you know I’m it’s always this is always a reminder to myself, you know, I’ve got a lot of reviews online and there’s there’s months that go by that I’m like, oh shoot, you know, I forgot to do that. I forgot to ask that person for review. So implementing a system that right after your transaction is completed to make sure that you reach out to that home buyer or home seller and get a review for yourself and then I started thinking is, you know, in, in every transaction, there’s a few different parties involved, right? You’ve got the attorneys, you’ve got the lenders, you’ve got the inspectors. So why don’t you ask those people for a review as well, because they were part of action with you, as it Yeah. And, you know, I started doing that with the attorney. And you know, like, the attorney would send me an email and say, you know, it was so nice working with you, you know, you’re a true pro blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, well, thank you. And so are you. You know, would you mind I love that you did that. Would you mind? Here’s a link, you know, would you mind writing a little review for me, right, because I think it’s important not only from our consumers, our, you know, our buyers and sellers to give us a review, but everyone else in that transaction. And so you know, that’s another way to get more reviews. The other I noticed a problem. But the other challenge that we have is that there’s so many different places to put a review, right? You can do Yelp, you can do Google business, realtor.com, Zillow, your own company’s website, right? You’ve got all these different platforms that people can put reviews on, right. And so I work for at properties Christie’s international here in Chicago, and our company, after a transaction is complete at properties, Christie’s will send out an email directly to the consumer, to write a review for me, which is then housed on our website. Well, that’s fantastic. And that’s great. But not a lot of people go to the app properties website, to look at my reviews. Right? Right. So you know, I use a lot of Google business profiles. So I want the the review to be on there. And then again, you’ve got Yelp. So anyways, my point is, is that pick the platform that best works for you, and concentrate on that or find a way that you can cross? Do your reviews on cross different on different platforms? Sure. So I think that is, is great. And then once you do get those great reviews, what do you do from there? So one, obviously social media, right, so let’s exploit that great review. So whether you’re going to put it on your LinkedIn account, your Facebook account, your Instagram account, use that review and share it on social media. Some clients don’t like photos of them. So obviously, make sure that if you’re either posting their house or a picture of them, you ask them permission to do that, because a lot of people are private, and they don’t want other people to know that they bought a house or sold a house or where they’re living. So just you know, a word of caution, make sure that you ask for permission before you put a client’s name, of course name but you know, their picture and or their house up there.
D.J. Paris 8:00
So yeah, I have a bunch of thoughts. This is such great advice. And we don’t talk about reviews enough. And I’ll tell you what we did at our brokerage, similar to what app properties does, is, and this is something that anyone can really implement for themselves. And I actually built the system for our company. And obviously, somebody built it for your company as well. And it really wasn’t that hard to build. And so what we do is, every time one of our agents has a closing, it’s kind of a manual job, because we have to go through and pull the email address of the client, which I wish was in a central location where we could copy and paste, but a lot of times, it’s paper apps or whatever, and you anyway, you have to find the client’s information. But obviously, as the agent, you would already have that. So what I would do is I would let the client know, well, going all the way back to the beginning of the relationship, I would let them know say, hey, you know, once we get through this transaction, I’m going to be sending you a you know, an evaluation of me if you don’t mind sharing the good, the bad, the ugly, share everything. You know what the experience was like, that would really help me out. And then once that transaction closes within a couple of days, ideally maybe even while I don’t know if same day is the right the right time, you might have a better gauge on when to send I think we send it about a week after approximately is kind of when we do it. Just kind of let the dust settle on everything. And then the the way that we do it is kind of cute. We have I have a picture of a kitten. I would bring it up here on the video thing, but most of our audience wouldn’t see it anyway. But it’s like a kitten begging. So it looks like a kitten. It’s like the cutest picture ever. And it says would you please leave our broker a review and then it says if you know whether you had a good or, you know, whatever experience you had, we’d love to hear about it. And then we direct everyone specifically to either Zillow or Google for you know and like you said for our company stuff, which is not really the broker wants obviously that testimonial to live where they want it to live as well. So yes, the company that you work for might get this themselves might be sending these kinds of emails out. And you also want to reach out to the client. And then you want to, like you said, you want to ask permission to continue to use that. Testimonial, maybe say, Hey, you wrote, wow, thank you so much for writing this incredible review, would it be okay, if I use this in this this quote, maybe a line from it? Or, you know, in a social media post, or maybe an advertisement, is it would you be okay, if I, you know, would it be okay, if I used a picture of you? If so, can you send me one, if not, I can just put your name, if not, we can just put your first name. And like, whatever the level of comfort is, the person has, you can, you can then use that, like, Carrie, I know you’re a big fan of Canva. So you can then drop all that into Canva, make some cool posts, which you can actually post the testimonial on Google My Business, which is the you know, local sort of, you know, not you can actually post content there. So you can post it there, you can post it on all your social media channels. And I think it’s, the reality of it is is the first thing I do when I buy something on Amazon as an example. I go straight to the reviews before I purchase. So I think even in the best possible scenario where somebody’s referred a business deal over to you, maybe it’s a previous client, oh, you got to work with Carrie, she is the very, very best, I suspect. Of course, those are amazing, but I still think people probably look you up on top of that.
Carrie McCormick 11:35
I do I do. And another thing is, think about negative reviews. You know, it’s it’s kind of scary that well, when you ask someone for review, especially with a great, you know, transaction, you know that they’re gonna give you a good review. Today, you know, Zillow? Gosh, I don’t know how I don’t remember how they did their reviews. Or if you asked for more, that system automatically sent it out. But it was a star system, right. So it was like, it was so easy to rank someone, you know, one through five stars five being the best, of course. And someone gave me a four star review, which in the real world, it’s not that bad, right. But what it did is if I had 50 reviews of five stars, and one four star review, it took the whole average down pretty significantly. Yeah. And it was like, I was no longer a five star agent. I was like a 4.8 star agent, which was just like, No, you know, and it’s like you couldn’t remove that review. And it was like, you know, so it’s like, if you have, that’s not a bad review, but if you have a negative review or anything like that, we know what do you do? And obviously you you have to respond to the review. And obviously be gracious. And you know, the public will watch your review, or I’m sorry, watch your response and see how you respond to them. And I did I remember asking the person, you know, you know, I appreciate you I had a great experience with you. And you know, I appreciate the review. But I’m just had a curiosity, you know, why did I not, you know, get a five star versus a four star? And then the person said, Oh, I clicked on it wrong.
D.J. Paris 13:18
Carrie McCormick 13:20
It was just like, you know, well, I appreciate the response. You know, and you know, I’m so glad you know. So there was a conversation that went into that. And I remember calling Zillow and I’m like, you know, here’s their response, can you change it because I want my five stars back and they could, or it was it was, it was out there. But you know, if you do get a negative response or a negative review, it’s so important to obviously respond to to that and be gracious and be professional, avoid blaming or any accusations, of course, and just remain professional.
D.J. Paris 13:56
In those comments live forever. So I what we’ve learned is it it’s funny too, because the four out of five star is actually harder to respond to than the one star, because the one star review, which which we get those two, those are actually easier to respond to because they’re usually the people writing them are usually a little goofy, right? For lack of a better word. I mean, unless you really screwed up and did a bad job as an agent. But usually the person is a little goofy. So they’re going to out themselves in their comments most likely about their goofiness and then your response to a one star review is actually you know, like all you have to do is own it and apologize and say I’ll do whatever I can to make this right. Because again, it’s going to live forever. And all that other people want to see is that you took ownership of it. You didn’t like you said you didn’t blame you didn’t judge. You didn’t say well, you did this and you’d write you know you did that and you just said I accept responsibility. I will do what I can to fix this. Thank you for your feedback. And I’m sorry for your experience. And that in that fixes it, it really does. And even if, you know it brings you from a 5.0 to a 4.6. When people dive into it, they’ll go, oh, there was one wacky person, and every single business has wacky reviews, it’s just part of the deal. So it’s all it’s not so much to me about the actual number, like, I would love to be a five oh, for everything to, but it’s not going to happen. So because it’s not going to happen, it’s all about the response for me,
Carrie McCormick 15:32
right. And I start doing that with businesses that I’ve encountered or services, you know, if they ask for a review, I’ve been giving them you know, reviews, because it’s, it’s how we build our business, too. So it’s important to me to get reviews from my clients, I want to be able to pay that forward to other businesses and service providers out there. Write good reviews, because of course, some businesses, you just see all the negative, you know, people do the reviews only when they have a negative experience. But I think it’s important to, to point out the good stuff as well.
D.J. Paris 16:05
Well, yeah. And also, it’s important to ask, we was funny, in our brokerage, we did not used to ask for reviews, and we had mostly negative reviews as a result. I mean, we still I shouldn’t say mostly negative, that’s not true. But we had a lot more negative reviews, when we left it up to chance, when we just said, Hey, because typically when people write reviews, they’re more likely to be unhappy than happy if they haven’t been prompted. If they’re doing it on their own volition. They’re probably upset, or they had the very best experience of their life. And people are more likely to do it when they had a bad experience and a good experience. So you do have to ask, and when you do ask, we went from having like 50 reviews, where we had never asked, we had about 50 reviews, and some of them were five stars, some of them are one star. And then we said, we’re just going to start asking everybody, even if they had a bad experience, we’re going to ask everybody, and we’ve gone from 50 to about 500 Google reviews within a couple of years, simply by asking, and almost all five stars now, like it’s incredible, by actually opening it up to everyone and asking for it, we get them. And we but again, but like you said, giving a review, especially to a small business in your local area is huge. We all all of us small businesses, every agents a small business to, we know when we get a review, because we see it and we get an alert. And it is a very important thing for struggling small businesses and all small business struggle, all small businesses struggle. So this is a way you like you said you can pay it forward. And you can also, you know, do a review swap. If you want to, you could say hey, I’m gonna leave you a five star review and hope that the person feels obligated to maybe even return the favor. That’s a
Carrie McCormick 17:48
great idea. And a lender did that to me once they said, you know, if you write a review for me, I’ll write a review back and it was you know, I don’t know if they wrote me a review back. But I thought that was nice, you know, it was a nice, you know, back and forth between the two. So I think that’s, that’s a great way to approach it, especially with a vendor or a partner. Well, that
D.J. Paris 18:11
was the other part that you said that was so brilliant, which was don’t just let the client chime in, because the client was probably going to have a good experience. But who knows, maybe sometimes deals go bad. And then you know, and then but there’s a lot of other people associated with the deal. The attorney, the lender, the processor for the lender. I mean, there’s a lot of people that can chime in. And also probably a good opportunity if anyone listening is a lender and wants to sort of gain favor with other realtors. Write your own reviews for people you’ve worked with and close deals with because they will appreciate it and they’ll probably more likely to want to work with you again too.
Carrie McCormick 18:49
Yeah, I mean, it gets your name out there right because you get to sign off on your reviews so your name gets out there so it’s not that a bad thing Yeah, it’s
D.J. Paris 18:57
it’s we live in in an environment or a society now where it’s so easy to be negative and ashamed to spew bad experiences so easily. Right? We have social media, we have just ways to talk about bad things. I had a very bad experience with a flatware company of all things like one of the worst possible buying experience I’ve ever had was buying silverware just recently. And this company, I won’t even mention their name, but they’re a big deal company and I’m an I think I’m a nice person. And they just went completely off the rails and I was like, I’m going to destroy this company. I can’t wait to review bomb them. And then I and I ultimately I didn’t because I don’t want to hurt another business but but like I was fired up to do it because they treated me poorly. So my point is is like if you know if you have other people in your corner that you can ask for reviews. Please ask don’t leave it up for just the angry people because the angry people are gonna write reviews. And, you know, with respect to people’s homes, things always can go can go sour out that aren’t even your fault that you can get blamed for. So stack some good reviews by asking a lot of other people associated with the deal. Ask the agent on the other side. That’s could be a review swap. Hey, I thought you did a really good job, Mr. And Mrs. buyer’s agent. I’m the listing agent. So I’m going to I just want to let you know I left your review, and then hope that they return the favor.
Carrie McCormick 20:20
That’s actually a good one too. What’s that? I’m sorry? Good collaboration?
D.J. Paris 20:28
Yeah, well, this is yeah, I am a big fan of reviews. And I use them a lot personally, in my own life to make decisions. So please ask your clients for reviews. I know. There’s always a thing about asking, asking for business, asking for reviews, asking for things. It’s hard, I get it. And I don’t know that you should always ask for everything. But asking for a review explaining why you want the review is important. Because if you explain it to your client, saying, hey, it’s really important, because people do look at my reviews. So I would appreciate it. If you could share your experience that would really help me, you know, in my own business, really that simple. I think that’s a great place to wrap up. Let’s keep this one short and sweet. Because I don’t think we can do better than that. That was amazing. So for oh, I want to tell everybody really quickly before you sign off, we have started clipping our episodes, it only took five years, I’m finally doing it. What does it mean? What does this mean? So I now have somebody who goes through these episodes and combs through them to find the very best like three to five moments per show that are these little small clips, usually 30 to 60 seconds, and we put captions to them and we make them look kind of pretty. And then we post them all over social media tick tock Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, everywhere. We are posting these and we post them every single weekday. So for example, for this episode, we’ll probably have to probably have three or four for this episode. So please, guys, don’t just wait for our episodes to come in. You can actually get bite sized information follow us on social we’re all over just Google us whatever social platform you’re using. Just search for keeping it real hit that subscribe button you’ll get a daily little dose of a little videos nugget of wisdom from people like Carrie and also please follow Carrie on face on sorry on Instagram and follow her on Facebook as well but follow her on Instagram particular she is like the queen of Instagram for realtors here in Chicago and Carrie McCormack real estate is the Instagram handle on you also follow her on her website which is Carrie McCormick ra if you are a realtor who has people moving to the Chicagoland area and you don’t practice here, Carrie would love the opportunity to talk with you she has a huge network of people that refer her clients to her because she is that sought after, especially in the high net worth luxury space, but she can help you with really all of your client’s needs. So if you have people moving to or from Chicago, she is a great resource for you. And Carrie, anything else we should be talking about? Yes,
Carrie McCormick 23:08
I have one more thing that I’m going to talk about or say to you is I am now speaking at Inman in Las
D.J. Paris 23:15
Carrie McCormick 23:17
hopefully we’ve got some listeners that will be at Inman and I’m excited to take the stage and I don’t know what about yet there but I will be in Las Vegas at Inman so if anyone’s going would love to meet you in person
D.J. Paris 23:31
I might have to attend as well just to come see you. That is amazing. Congratulations on that I love Inman and I actually saw the owner of your company speak at Inman, New York many years ago that one, and he was awesome. And I think we’re getting them on the show soon, which is very exciting, too. So congratulations, Carrie. If you got anyone who is near the Las Vegas area who’s going to Inman, that’s a session you want to see you want to talk to somebody? You want to hear what Carrie says because she is doing it every single day. 20 years and by the way, she doesn’t have a team. She is literally doing it all herself and she does over like 150 plus million in production a year. She’s absolutely incredible. So go see her in Las Vegas for Inman reached out to her if you have clients in the area. And if you’re a buyer or seller looking for an agent in Chicago, she is the very best so reach out to her. All right, Carrie, thank you. Thank you on to our audience. Thank you to Carrie. We will see everyone on the next episode. Thanks
Carrie McCormick 24:30