Online reviews branded a broker 'weapon'

by Caroline Dann06 Sep 2012

Loan Market is urging all brokers to embrace independent consumer review sites, claiming they're "word of mouth on steroids" and can generate huge digital leads.

Executive chairman Sam White made the assertions at its broker conference in Melbourne yesterday.

He claimed Australia should look to the US, where review sites such as yelp.com generated more leads for brokers than any other means.

"The reality is, for a good business, this is a huge lead generator. Take the already good experiences that you're giving your clients and start to promote them more aggressively," he said.

"People go on these sites and rank their experience. You have no control over what your clients say...it's happening whether we like it or not," he said.

White claimed Loan Market brokers had rated highly on independent satisfaction reports.

"Looking at [these results] this is a weapon we should be using."

He revealed the brokerage would focus on "embracing" these sites over the next three to five years.

COMMENTS

  • by Jeff Royle 6/09/2012 10:35:35 AM

    Totally agree and as I have more reviews than any other Broker in New Zealand I know it all works.
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=316793798

  • by Chris Thomas 6/09/2012 12:41:39 PM

    We are finding brokerage clients are in 'Gold Rush' mode in becoming trusted advisers in these online communities. If you have access to a product like radian6 you can quickly identify spikes in conversation, real time, multiple times a day resulting in leads and increases brand awareness.

  • by James Markwick 6/09/2012 12:57:27 PM

    I agree with the intention however I thought it quite funny at the end of the article where Sam White says "the brokerage will be embracing these sites in the next 3-5 years." Surely by the time this comes around, the market would have moved! The whole point is that it needs to be done now or forget it. Can you afford to ignore your brand buzz?

    I manage social media for a large online broker in Australia and the UK and know that reviews are big deal when it comes to the Social Feedback Cycle. As mentioned above, your clients are talking about your brand and you have to react to this by listening to what is being buzzed about. Online consumers are entering a 4 stage engagement process with brands being; consumption, curation, creation and finally collaboration, and you need to be attuned to what is being talked about. This process can either compliment your traditional branding strategy or completely destroy it (look at Qantas)!

    Re Yelp! Everyone needs to get on this now as it is going to be the preferred map provider for the new iPhone.