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How to Manage Online Mortgage Reviews

Any mortgage loan officer’s top priority is giving clients the best experience possible. However, during the loan process, they often neglect to help their clients share that experience online.

What people say about you online is a crucial part of the customer experience. In today’s hyper-digital world, your online reputation can impact how and if people find your business. So it’s important to understand how to manage your mortgage reviews so they work better for you.

How to Manage Online Mortgage Reviews

Why Online Reviews Matter

Online reviews matter for many reasons, but here are two of the most important.

First impressions: These days, searching online is likely the first thing someone does when they get a recommendation to get a loan through you. Your business’s online impression and presence are crucial to establishing enough trust and confidence for someone to reach out.

In fact, 92% of people are more likely to buy after seeing a positive review online. This means that seeking out and building positive reviews on search platforms such as Google My Business is a must.

Brand exposure: Good reviews also boost your brand’s exposure online. Reviews improve your business’s search engine optimization (SEO). Additionally, positive reviews give you updated content, which is what you want and need for SEO.

Additionally, social proof is important. Social proof is the presence and reputation you’ve built across social media platforms. Customer feedback on social media can be just as important as customer feedback on search platforms; do yourself a favor and focus on both.

Know the Important Review Sites

When it comes to online reviews, we talk about the “big three,” which are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Zillow is also incredibly important in our industry, so we’re including it here.

Google: Google reviews pop up first when someone uses Google to search your name. In fact, Google uses a snippet to display your reviews right at the top of the search results page. These reviews tend to carry the most clout with potential customers. Be sure to claim your Google My Business page to manage your reviews.

Yelp: Yelp reviews also show up frequently in search engine results. Again, make sure to claim your business’s profile to manage your reviews.

Facebook: Facebook reviews carry a lot of weight because they are attached to your social media presence. Facebook reviews are fast approaching Yelp and Google in importance.

Zillow: This is the top dog in the mortgage and real estate industries, and if you’re like many loan officers, you probably have some reviews here. This is also one of the most highly searched-for sites in our industry. Some people even start with Zillow when searching for a real estate or mortgage professional, so don’t overlook it!

Do an Audit of Last Year’s Customer Reviews

If you’re focused on building a robust online footprint for your mortgage business, here’s an exercise you should do: Research yourself. Make sure you know what others will see when they search your name or your branch.

What do they find on Google or Facebook? Evaluate what you find and ensure that it’s accurate. 

If you have not yet responded to your reviews, it’s time to start. Make sure you let people know you are grateful for their kind words and for sharing their feedback. If there is a negative review, it’s always better to address it than ignore it (we’ll talk more about this in a moment).

The bottom line is that you need to know what people are saying about you to address any issues and make changes. If you haven’t yet, then plan to address and correct any issues regarding customer experience in 2024.

Ensure that you’re not giving people a reason to leave you a bad review. Share what’s going well with the team so everyone can keep providing awesome customer service.

Create a Process to Manage Your Mortgage Reviews

The next step is to create a process for managing your mortgage reviews. First, you should create a way to alert yourself when someone mentions you online. Both Talkwalker and Google Alerts are good, free options.

There are online review monitors that will alert you whenever a new review comes in. Platforms like Google and Facebook will also notify you when you get a new review (check your settings).

You may also decide to purchase a service that displays your reviews on your website. This can be helpful if you have reviews across several different platforms. At APM, we leverage Birdeye for our review collection and management.

Responding to reviews

One key aspect of reputation management for loan officers is responding to all reviews—not just the good ones. But remember, the way you respond can take a negative experience and make it worse or turn a negative into a positive—that part is up to you.

For negative reviews: Many aspects of the home loan process are out of your control (the appraisal, underwriting requesting additional documentation, delays, and so on). Unfortunately, the loan officer often takes the heat for it all, even if they have no control over it.

If you do have a negative review, consider leaving a thoughtful reply that encourages the customer to contact you to discuss their experience. A simple apology can go a long way in the eyes of a customer and the person reading the review. Whatever you do, don’t combat a negative review with a negative response—everyone can see that.

For positive reviews: Build brand loyalty and more engagement by responding to positive reviews. Thank the customer for the time they took to leave a review, acknowledge any feedback, and mention something slightly personal that makes it clear that you’re not just copying and pasting. The reviewer will feel seen and heard, continuing to cement the relationship you’ve worked hard to develop throughout the transaction.

Curate More Positive Mortgage Reviews

Now we get to the fun part: curating more positive reviews. This is especially important if you don’t yet have any reviews.

If you’re not using a tool like Birdeye or Experience.com, other alternatives exist for collecting reviews (and even if you are, you may want to try this).

Consider emailing past clients who have had a positive experience with you to ask for a review. When you do this, it’s important to make leaving a review as easy as possible. Include links in the email to all your review sites, and allow people to choose the platform they want to use. As a bonus, this is another interaction with your clients, and that’s always a good thing.

In the future, you may want to consider sending this email at different touchpoints after positive encounters during the mortgage process. This is when you have the client’s attention, so don’t hesitate to ask for the review before the transaction closes if you’ve earned it. You can also send a request after the transaction closes if you feel inclined to wait.

There are review management systems that can help automate this process and make it easier for customers to leave reviews. Keep in mind that even with an automated system generating the requests, it may take your follow-up to get the customers to engage and actually leave a review. Sometimes that extra step is all you need to raise your review count.

Focus Time on Reputation Management

Let’s be honest: Mortgage companies offer very similar services, closing costs, and mortgage rates, and there are probably a dozen or so in your community. Where you have the opportunity to stand out is in your customer service and experience.

We live in a world where people research, read reviews, and then select a product or service. And selecting a mortgage lender is no different. Your future customers will research and read your reviews before they commit.

Because of this, we recommend that loan officers dedicate time every week to focus on their online presence and reputation management.

How APM Can Help

At APM, helping you build credibility and stand out in your local market is a top priority.

First, we provide platforms like Birdeye to help you efficiently and effectively monitor and manage your reviews. Additionally, our team will help you set up and manage your Google Business Listing so you can ensure maximum exposure in your market. 

At APM, we also provide ongoing training, tips, and resources for our loan officers to help them build a robust online digital footprint. To learn more about how we help our loan officers thrive at APM, click here.


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