Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Filter by Custom Post Type
{ "homeurl": "", "resultstype": "vertical", "resultsposition": "hover", "itemscount": 4, "imagewidth": 70, "imageheight": 70, "resultitemheight": "auto", "showauthor": 0, "showdate": 0, "showdescription": 1, "charcount": 3, "noresultstext": "No results!", "didyoumeantext": "Did you mean:", "defaultImage": "", "highlight": 0, "highlightwholewords": 1, "openToBlank": 0, "scrollToResults": 0, "resultareaclickable": 1, "autocomplete": { "enabled": 1, "googleOnly": 1, "lang": "en", "mobile": 1 }, "triggerontype": 1, "triggeronclick": 1, "triggeronreturn": 1, "triggerOnFacetChange": 1, "trigger": { "delay": 300, "autocomplete_delay": 310 }, "overridewpdefault": 0, "override_method": "post", "redirectonclick": 0, "redirectClickTo": "results_page", "redirect_on_enter": 0, "redirectEnterTo": "results_page", "redirect_url": "?s={phrase}", "settingsimagepos": "left", "settingsVisible": 0, "hresulthidedesc": "0", "prescontainerheight": "400px", "pshowsubtitle": "0", "pshowdesc": "1", "closeOnDocClick": 1, "iifNoImage": "description", "iiRows": 2, "iiGutter": 5, "iitemsWidth": 200, "iitemsHeight": 200, "iishowOverlay": 1, "iiblurOverlay": 1, "iihideContent": 1, "loaderLocation": "auto", "analytics": 0, "analyticsString": "", "show_more": { "url": "?s={phrase}", "action": "ajax" }, "mobile": { "trigger_on_type": 1, "trigger_on_click": 1, "hide_keyboard": 0 }, "compact": { "enabled": 1, "width": "200px", "closeOnMagnifier": 1, "closeOnDocument": 0, "position": "fixed", "overlay": 0 }, "animations": { "pc": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "fadeInDown" }, "mob": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "voidanim" } }, "autop": { "state": "disabled", "phrase": "", "count": 10 } }
Select Page

RISMEDIA, April 2, 2011—Today’s consumers are seeking two things. The first is social proof—in other words, that you are who you say you are and you do what you say you’ll do. The second is social ranking. Forget about how many awards you’ve won or your latest sales figures; tell me instead how the public rates you.

In today’s economic climate, the consumer rules, and consumer ratings will have a greater and greater influence on the decisions people make, including which real estate agent they choose.

We’re well aware that 50 percent of our business should be coming from our spheres of influence, and we’re well versed in the traditional ways of making this happen. But in today’s technological climate, we need to start focusing on gathering more and more online endorsements as well. As Dawn Thomas of the Dawn Thomas Team in Altos, California, says, we need to create an “online synergy.”

One of the best tools to help build online capital is Yelp, billed as the site for “real people and real reviews.” Yelp is very strong in two key areas: it gives you the ability to provide consumer ratings of other businesses, and to receive positive ratings in return. Yelp enables us to make inroads and build relationships in the community that will ultimately help facilitate more home sales for us in the community.

When Yelp first came on the scene in 2005, there were no reviews. By the end of 2010 there were over 15 million reviews. Done the right way in the right manner, it is an excellent tool that can yield some huge benefits.

Here are some steps to get you started:

1. First and foremost, make a list of all those you know in business in your community. Then go on Yelp and see how many or how few of those businesses are already listed there, and how much information is included. Are there pictures? Are there a number of people leaving reviews? Are the directions clear and accurate? Is there enough information in the reviews to encourage you to go there for dinner, a donut, or to drop off your laundry?

2. Next, identify the top 10–20 businesses you frequent. Then, if they happen to exist on Yelp, go ahead and make some comments. Your starting point is to become a contributor. This opens the door for the businesses you’re reviewing to, in turn, make rave reviews about you. Be sure to write a lengthy or more specific review for maximum effect. Instead of just saying, “We highly recommend Joe’s Bistro,” say, “We highly recommend Joe’s Bistro and don’t miss out on the Bananas Foster and try to get a seat by the window because the sunset is magnificent.”

3. Take the next step with a page out of Beth McKinney’s book. The Realtor® from RE/MAX United in Cary, North Carolina, utilized Yelp to tell a story about one of her favorite businesses, the Southern Bread Company. She then printed out her review on Yelp, which included a picture of her standing in front of the shop and the Yelp logo, had it framed, and presented it to the business owners, who in turn, hung it on the wall behind their cash register. Now, every patron who comes to the store knows McKinney and everyone on the streets of Cary knows McKinney. She has created celebrity status for herself in some of these establishments.

This is what’s known as “Chamber 2.0.” If you become a local supporter of business, they will, in turn, do the same for you. As McKinney says, Yelp has allowed her to become an ambassador who trumpets the great things about her community. And now, people are talking about her because of her knowledge, sincerity and style. As the adage has long held, you reap what you sow.

George “Gee” Dunsten, president of Gee Dunsten Seminars, Inc., has been a real estate agent and broker/owner for almost 40 years. Dunsten has been a senior instructor with the Council of Residential Specialists for more than 20 years. To reach Gee, please e-mail, For an extended version of this article, please visit

Buying/Selling Consumer Luxury National Spotlights
Concept business illustration.
Industry Expert Dave Garland Joins NAR’s Second Century Ventures Investment Team

Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association...

Smiling young couple shaking hands with an insurance agent or investment adviser
Quicken Loans Ranks Highest in Study of Mortgage Servicing Client Satisfaction

Detroit-based Quicken Loans recently ranked highest in the country for client...

Have Your Cake (and Eat It, Too) at the Betty Crocker House

Fresh out of the (cake) box is the Betty Crocker House,...

Agent Broker Coaching Lead Gen Teams
Real estate agent and senior couple by For Sale sign in front of house
4 Ways to Generate More Seller Leads This Summer

Real estate professionals are in the business of selling and, because...

Cookies Can’t Redeem a Bad First Impression

Think about your favorite products—your favorite cereal, chips or toothpaste. Whatever...

Key to success
3 Keys to Success in 2016

Two years ago, we completed a comprehensive planning session at Real...

Agent Best Practices Branding Broker Niche
5 Ways to Grow Your Brand Awareness Using Promotional Merchandise

When competition is fierce and customers are continuously bombarded with products...

La Habra, United States - July 12, 2016: Macro closeup image of pokemon go game app icon among other icons on an iphone smartphone device. Pokemon Go is a popular virtual reality game for mobile devices.
Pokémon GO for Real Estate – Must or Bust?

If you’re anything like me, your social media newsfeeds look a...

Man inputing data on laptop and holding mobile phone in another hand.
Boost Your Online Presence with More .REALTOR Options

Website addresses that end in .REALTOR provide instant recognition as a...

Agent Apps/Gadgets Best Practices Broker Innovation
Silhouette of business people moving and joining pieces of jigsaw puzzle on a business and stock market  blue background, with charts, diagrams, world maps and data arranged on grid and tables. World maps showing continents and countries with economy data and growth diagrams. Light glowing from the center. Copy space on bottom.
PNC Offers Online Business Insights, Webinars and Tools for Agents

Looking for the latest real estate industry information, education and networking...

Woman holding tablet
Stay Connected to Your Business When You’re on the Go

As a busy real estate professional, you’re likely most productive when...

Why Snapchat Is Pure Gold for REALTORS®

There is a huge amount of attention being paid to Snapchat...

Business Insights Content Generation Marketing Trends
Webinar Recap: Build Your Brand with Next-Gen Social Media

If you’re working in the real estate industry, you already know...

Expanding Your Client Base through Social Media

Today’s buyer will search online at some point during the buying...

Facebook Live the Latest Trend to Infiltrate the Open House Scene

Drumming up interest in an open house may be about as...

Buying/Selling For Your Clients Home Improvement How-To Lifestyle
Comeback Kitchen: 3 Old-Is-New Trends

Kitchen design’s trending more behind the times than ahead of the...

5 Kitchen Island Styles to Fit Any Use

Regardless of the size of your kitchen remodel, adding an island to...

Luxury Wall Panels Take Home Décor to a Whole New Level

Looking to revamp your living space? Before you head out to...

RISMedia’s CEO Exchange

RISMedia’s 2016 Real Estate CEO Exchange September 13 & 14, 2016...

Capital Building, Washington
RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum at the NAR REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo...

RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner – Annual

RISMedia Power Broker Events 2016 Orlando, Fla. Friday, November 4, 2016...