Referencing a blog post I wrote on Active Rain earlier this year, I continually see Realtors trying to manipulate their Yelp reviews. Enough real estate agents know about me and my company, Agent Reputation, that I am continually getting questions about how to get Yelp reviews to stick. Or maybe they think there is some kind of conspiracy that requires buying advertising from Yelp in order to get non-recommended reviews published or bad reviews removed.
- No conspiracy. There were some overzealous Yelp sales reps back in the day that may have inferred a relationship between reviews and ads but that was firmly dealt with. Anybody that claims different is misinformed.
- Yelp does not want you asking for reviews. They want “active” Yelpers to be motivated by the service you provide to leave organic reviews. As a real estate agent, you can have a Yelp presence on your website or reputation marketing program and the Yelpers who feel motivated will know what to do.
- DO NOT send out an e mail blast asking everyone you know to leave you a Yelp review. Yelp has an algorithm that tracks the review. If you send out a blast, Yelp will see red flags because too many reviews came in at once which is an indicator you sent out a blast asking for reviews. Secondly they track new Yelp users. They know when somebody signs up just to leave a review and depending on their future Yelp activity, this review will wind up under the line as a non-recommended review. This can also protect you because it will also push some of your bad reviews under the line. So basically if you went to the effort to ask a bunch of non-Yelpers to leave you a review, you just wasted their time when they could have been leaving you a review on Google, Facebook or Zillow.
- What is a Yelper? A Yelper signs up to participate in the online review community. They are interested in the reviews of other Yelpers and are motivated to leave their own reviews. Yelpers have a profile photo. They have downloaded the Yelp App to their phone. They check in from businesses they are visiting via the app. They write reviews from these businesses they have checked in from. They have Yelp friends and at the end of the day if these active Yelpers leave you a review, it will be above the line and credible.
Yelp should be embraced. I have real estate agent clients that have over 50 positive reviews with very few under the line. And in fact once these clients get their reviews up they are buying Yelp ads and are killing it.
CJ Hays – Follow me on Twitter