Social proof, i.e. the tendency to see an action as more desirable when others are doing it, is an incredibly powerful influencer that drives consumer activity in just about every industry. As a real estate professional, you can use client testimonials and rave reviews to attract more business. Here’s how agents like you can get more testimonials, along with some actionable tips on what to do with the recommendations you have.
Reach out to past clients. Happy former clients are an ideal source for compelling testimonials. Don’t worry if you haven’t already reached out to this group. In the real estate business, clients typically remember the ins-and-outs of a transaction months after it has passed. To engage past clients for testimonials, start by sending out a separate newsletter to buyers and sellers. Create a survey in Google Forms or Survey Monkey featuring a few long-form questions that will give clients enough space to give personal insight into your services and add a link to the survey in your newsletter. You should also engage clients via social media, asking them to take a few moments to fill out your survey. Be sure to ask for permission to include these answers on your website and/or print promotional materials.
Leverage online rating sites. Apps and websites such as Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook all provide prolific, easy-to-use platforms for collecting testimonials. If you haven’t already, add your business profile, including photos, videos and as much information as possible. Bear in mind that you will receive a few reviews you wish you could remove. Always try your best to answer these concerns genuinely and professionally, and never allow emotions to draw you into a heated exchange. By acknowledging negative reviews with patience and professionalism, you will demonstrate that you listen and care.
Drop a few hints. While working with a client, be sure to talk periodically about the importance of online reviews. Remind them that you get a substantial percentage of new clients from your positive online reviews and explain that many of your current clients have found you in this way. Try to avoid sounding desperate and keep things natural. One easy way to bring it up in conversation is to ask your clients if they found you through a review site. If the answer is no, express your surprise, explaining that much of your business comes from your positive online reviews.
Make it easy for clients. Many clients don’t know they can leave reviews on their own. You can nudge them in the right direction by sending an email after closing. Instead of jumping straight into a request for a review, ask how they are settling in and if they enjoy their new location. Include some advice for new homeowners, including an assortment of helpful maintenance tips. At the end of your email, invite them to contact you with any questions and then provide links to online rating sites where they can leave a review about your services.
Ask for video testimonials. Online video testimonials have become one of the most powerful modern marketing tools because they come off as personal and sincere. Unfortunately, not every client will be game to let you record one. That said, if you have had some special clients who really loved your work, broach the possibility of creating a video testimonial. Seeing real people talk about their real estate experiences is powerful. If you shared a good rapport with specific clients, don’t hesitate to ask them to sit down for a short video recording.