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{social media} How Much Do Reviews Matter to Millennials?

by Leslie Fowle | Dec 28, 2016
Let’s just get this out of the way: most millennials won’t buy a pair of underwear without reading the reviews first. And we know we can’t “fully trust” the reviews on the vendor site, so we better check at least a few other third-party sites—just to be sure.
Before you let that keep you from ever putting yourself out there on the internet again, consider this story: My boyfriend and I were recently looking for a Realtor® to help us find an apartment in Boston. We narrowed down a list of three names of people in the specific neighborhood we were interested in, and decided to use reviews to choose from the group. We searched Yelp; One Realtor® had no presence and another had a handful of good reviews. The final name had a ton of reviews—mostly good but with a few complaints mixed in—to which the Realtor® had responded thoughtfully. The
last person was the one we chose.

Why? Because this Realtor® had demonstrated a healthy number of transactions, while giving due diligence to legitimate complaints and questions. Most of these not-so-great reviews turned out to be misunderstandings that were worked out in the comments. This was the type of agent we wanted to work with—one that was available, thoughtful, and willing to work together.

So that’s the type of leverage reviews can give you, especially when working with millennials. However, your efforts will reach a wide breadth of people: the percentage of home buyers who are using internet searches to find their home has increased to 95% in 2016, according to the latest NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers.

But where should you direct your efforts? There are a bevy of review, recommendation, and rating platforms. For many millennials, reviews are synonymous with Yelp. Other millennials might not go much farther than a cursory Google search to gather a few names, so Google reviews can be important as well. As comprehensive as the rating system and search might be, most millennials as firsttime buyers aren’t going to be familiar with it—and if they’re not familiar with it, they might not trust
it. That’s why it’s important to diversify your online review portfolio.

Managing all of these review accounts might seem like a headache for you and your clients. There’s usually not much more you can do than establish good relationships to get good reviews. Make sure to claim your business on Google, Yelp, etc. if you haven’t already, and consider placing a badge on your website to direct reviewers. To that end, there is a neat new tool from the site RealSatisfied called “Encourage Reviews” that syndicates reviews across platform and guides your clients to the sites like Yelp and Google that don’t allow for syndication to ensure you have all
your bases covered. That way, you can spend your time building your reputation in the real world so it can be reflected online.