When you want to learn more about a company, where do you turn? Chances are you go to your favorite search engine and type in their name. For businesses like title insurance companies, this means that your website will be accompanied on the page with your social media and probably a few reviews. The only problem is that in most cases, a title company that isn’t proactive in their online reputation management will only have poor reviews.
The reasoning is simple. People do not think to rate a title insurance agency like they do their favorite Zagat rated restaurant. And that’s a huge problem because in a transaction with so many parties involved, lots of confusing legal work and a several thousand square foot house on the line… things can go terribly wrong or amazingly right! When things do go wrong, however, the consumer is most likely fuming and looking for any outlet they can to distribute their message of frustration.
That’s why we recommend these simple steps to core online reputation management for title companies.
Step 1: Look at your reviews online.
Most companies I’ve spoken with are blissfully unaware that they’ve even been reviewed online in the first place. Before you can begin asking for good reviews, you have to be aware of where you’ve been reviewed in the past. Check popular review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google and Facebook. You may be surprised to see people have already taken the time to share their thoughts about your company.
On Yelp you have no control over any element of the site beyond your business profile. So make it count! Make sure that your Yelp profile is complete with any information you could provide including your most up-to-date contact information, business hours and any amenities your office may offer. Upload a couple of photographs of your office and the people in it to personalize the page and show you care. Exterior and interior branding, light rooms and happy people are sure to comfort those researching your company regardless of whether or not you already have a bad review.
Google’s review system is built into it’s Google My Business profile. Google reviews on your profile will display in search, in most cases along with links to various portions of your profile, so it’s important to make sure you look alive and well on this account. Start by branding your page with your company logo and a beautiful cover photo to indicate that this is the official page for your company. Next, just like on Yelp, make sure that all of the important information about your business is readily available. Unlike Yelp, however, Google gives you the opportunity to share a brief section about your company. Take this chance to write about your core values, mission, commitment to your customers and, of course, what you do.
With an industry wide push to be more active on social media, Facebook may very well be a part of your existing social media strategy. If so, make sure you stay active consistently. If not, establishing a Facebook profile will not only help you talk to your customers, but also establish yet another reviewing platform that is most accessible by socially active consumers and Realtors. Facebook has a wonderful wizard that walks you through page creation but, just like Google and Yelp, you’ll want to make sure you fill in any additional information about your company that wasn’t asked of you in your initial account setup.
Step 2: Request reviews from your previous clients.
Perhaps the best way to jump start your online reputation (or offset any negative reviews you may have found) is to shamelessly ask existing and past clients to give you their feedback through these online review sites. Asking for a review from a past customer can be perceived as bothersome by some professionals yet it’s important to remember that everyone loves to share their opinion. Furthermore it sends a great message to your past customers letting them know you care about their experience enough to ask them to share their feedback publicly.
Asking for reviews is easy. For many the best way to distribute the message to past and existing clients will be through email. Send a to-the-point email letting them know you value their opinion. Most importantly, however, give them quick and easy access to the sites you want them to review you on with a convenient link directly to your profile.
Step 3: Integrate reviews into your closing process.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see what your reviews look like online and jump start a new set of feedback, you can begin focusing on the long term strategy of sustaining a high rating. This is done through consistently integrating feedback into the closing process. Encourage your customers to share their feedback online through a small card at the end of the closing thanking them for letting you be a part of their purchase and politely asking them to tell you how you did. Again, give them quick and convenient access to the sites that matter most to you and direct them to your profiles.
It is important to consider online reviews in order to be compliant with ALTA’s Pillar 7 of their Best Practices and as part of good social media best practice. We covered this in our social media best practices series which you can read here and view our infographic here.
Managing your online reputation isn’t hard. While a single bad review can often make things look worse than they are, it’s easy to fix this problem in the short term and solve the issue with a long term strategy. Do you currently ask for reviews? What does your online presence look like? Tell us in the comments below and feel to ask any questions!