Ratings, reviews, and testimonials are among the most powerful tools an agent or real estate professional has at his or her disposal. Think of it this way: almost all of us go online to get a sense of dining options, film scores, and product reviews. When it comes to real estate pros, people what the same measure of comfort and advice from those who have already experienced your services. The bottom line is this: testimonials create a relatable emotional appeal to others, while giving potential clients some first-hand insight into your ability to deliver.
With all that in mind, consider the valuable rationale behind testimonials and word-of-mouth attention: how to harness it, and what it can do for you and your business.
If you aren’t displaying positive testimonials and reviews on your social media outlets and website, then you’re missing out on a key opportunity. Those exploring your pages are likely seeking real estate representation, and reviews and testimonials serve as a first-hand glimpse into who you are and what you can do. If you can, try to tie reviews and testimonials to specific names or social media handles, as you’ll be highlighting the interpersonal component at play. Think of it this way: potential clients are more likely to trust the experiences of past clients than to place blind faith in your pitch, which is crafted to create a sale. Most customers would rather look to the experience of fellow consumers before taking your word for it, sight unseen. Well-place testimonials and personal reviews can bridge the gap when it comes to your brand and the prospective client.
Good agents are a dime a dozen, but top agents stand apart from the pack for a variety of reasons. Chief among those reasons is the ability to differentiate themselves from the norm by highlighting their personalities, their track records, their values. Testimonials and word-of-mouth buzz don’t just focus on whether an experience was good or bad. It dives into the details of personality and consumer relationships. While the qualifications of many agents might be similar, you can stand out by showcasing stellar reviews and testimonials that shine upon your character and delivery. When pitched by two agents with similar experience and credentials, but only one has the testimonials featuring positive experiences and lasting relationships—wouldn’t you be more inclined to work with the agent who has a proven track record of success?
At the close of a transaction, consider providing a comment card with room for clients to write a few reflections, or create an e-mail ready online form that makes submitting feedback a breeze. You can also touch base via e-mail and ask politely for a review of their experience with you. Referred or repeat clients are excellent candidates for testimonials, as they will already know your business well, or will likely be happy to contribute their perspective. If asking for testimonials makes you cringe, you can always incentivize this process in minor ways. For example, you could offer a fun, cost-effective gift certificate in exchange for a testimonial.
Whichever way you gather testimonials that speak to your positive performance, there is no question that these documented first-hand experiences are priceless when it comes to drawing and retaining clients. If you want to inspire interest and build a living brand, there is no better method than by having clients vouch for your working style.