Google best broker in Geelong and Sarah Thomson’s business is the first that pops up. That’s because she’s harnessed the power of her clients to be her most vocal advocates. The Loan Market broker has 82 five-star Google reviews and she only registered her business on the platform last year.
Google is the first place most of us go when we need information, so it seems self-explanatory why brokers should list their businesses with the largest search engine in the world. But if Wealthify’s Broker Digital Pulse survey results from last year are any indication, brokers aren’t the savviest bunch when it comes to leveraging their online footprint. That survey found that one in five brokers don’t have a website.
Thomson said she’s seen a direct uplift in leads as a result of listing her business on Google MyBusiness, which is free and simple to set up.
“We don’t pay referral fees to anybody; we just really look at our existing clients as our referral base. If we do an amazing job for them, they will be our main advocates and this is where the Google reviews have been great for us,” she told MPA at the Loan Market Leading Ladies summit last week.
For some brokers, the awkward part might be outright asking a client to write a review. This is how Thomson does it.
“When I first meet with clients I explain to them how brokers work, that we don’t cost any money and we look after you all the way through, and the only thing I’ll ask you for is an amazing Google review after I’ve done a great job for you,” she said.
Once the loan gets approved, the client is invited back to go through the documents. That’s when Thomson reminds them about the review and asks if they’d be able to write one for her. Once the loan documents are all set, her settlements officer will send a confirmation email to the clients and will include a link to the Google review.
Thomson pays her settlements officer a small tip for every review that gets posted.
“A lot of the time we ask people where they found us and they say Google. We track where our leads come from and now it’s pretty much existing clients referring, return clients, but the majority now would be Google clients,” she said.
What would you do about a negative review?
While Thomson hasn’t received a bad review yet, she says it’s probably inevitable that one day it will happen.
“You can’t please everybody. ...There’s not one bad one on there yet, but when it does, it will hopefully be diluted by the good ones.”
“Deal with it with honesty and wear it. That’s life.”
Fear of a bad public review shouldn’t keep brokers from signing up, however.
“When a customer is searching online for a broker it is essential that they can find information about the business,” says Loan Market’s chief marketing officer Lisa Phillips.
“While no broker wants a negative review, transparency in customer experience is critical and the power of Google far outweighs a negative experience.”
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