Building your real estate business is a full-time job. You can’t help clients buy and sell the property unless you’ve got those clients, to begin with, after all! That’s why successful real estate professionals spend so much time and energy on marketing themselves and building their brands along with real estate testimonials. Today, one of the most effective types of marketing for those in the real estate profession is over the internet.
Brand building on social media is a particular favorite, as it allows you to build rewarding relationships and provide individualized content to a wide range of prospects. Having past clients leaving online reviews on your social media profiles is especially beneficial, but how do you convince these clients to leave you real estate testimonials that you can use? Here’s how you can encourage this behavior.
Using real estate testimonials, whether in the real estate sector or any other business, isn’t a new marketing technique by any means. But why, exactly, are real estate testimonials so effective in broadening the reach of your own business? The answer is simple: a client testimonial is proof that you’ve satisfied a specific client. You can point to your real estate testimonials to demonstrate your effectiveness in providing the services that prospective clients are looking for, which in turn makes them more likely to choose you over a competitor with fewer or no testimonials.
There’s plenty of research that backs up this idea. The truth is that more than 7 out of every 10 consumers tend to trust testimonials are providing an accurate portrayal of what a company’s capabilities are. Plus, it’s not just a small percentage of people that read these reviews, either. An overwhelming majority of consumers – 92 percent in fact - read online reviews and testimonials before buying a product or service, showcasing that the average real estate testimonial has the potential to not just reach a high number of prospects but also to have a positive effect on them.
Now that we’ve established how powerful online reviews are, it’s time to discuss how to encourage past clients to leave you online feedback that you can then capitalize on. Let’s discuss some of the best strategies you can employ to elicit the response you want from past clients.
Sometimes, the simplest and most straightforward strategies are the best. Instead of taking an active role in seeking out past clients and convincing them to leave you positive online reviews, you can take a passive approach by ensuring that your online marketing platforms, such as your social media pages or your real estate website, has a place for individuals to leave unsolicited feedback.
A simple call-to-action in the form of a clickable button or link on your site does two things for you: it offers past clients an easy and convenient way to leave feedback about their experiences, and it also showcases that you welcome that feedback as well. It’s not as active a strategy for gathering testimonials as the others listed below, but it’s where you start the process.
Satisfied clients may take the initiative and leave you positive feedback without prompting, but that’s never a guarantee. That’s why, primarily, simply asking happy clients to leave a few words about their experiences working with you is always an innovative idea.
Asking doesn’t need to be a complicated process, either. You can speak to a client in person, over the phone, send them an email, or even post a request for testimonials on your social media page, and then simply wait for the praise to roll in. Remember: the happier you made your client, the more likely they are to take you up on your offer – and the more likely a prospect will see that online review in the future and decide to become a new client.
Sometimes past clients need a little motivation to leave a positive review. Instead of hounding them for a testimonial – a tactic that never works as well as you might think it would – you can instead choose to catch more flies with honey than you would with vinegar. In this case, you can entice past clients to leave online reviews by offering them incentives for doing so.
The key here is to offer people who leave reviews something in return. Incentives can take many forms, such as being entered in a raffle to win a free dinner for two at a local restaurant, a gift basket loaded with goodies or a pair of tickets to a movie or show. Just make sure that the prizes you’re offering are of a high-enough quality to make past clients feel like they got the better end of the deal!
Finally, as crucial and valuable as testimonials are for growing your brand, take care not to overdo it on the asking. The last thing that clients ever want to feel is pestered or annoyed, and constantly contacting past clients in an attempt to convince them to leave you an online review is unlikely to come out in your favor. In fact, pushing too hard can have the opposite effect of turning off these past clients. Now, not only will you not be getting any real estate testimonials from them, but you are also less likely to work with them again!
Some people just aren’t the type to leave feedback. In this case, it’s only common sense to avoid the hard sell. Make one or two general mentions of the benefit you’ll get from them leaving an online review, but don’t push it. You can’t afford to discard all the goodwill that you’ve worked so hard to develop over the course of the relationship with your client. The risks, in this case, are not worth the possible reward.
Building a portfolio of happy, satisfied clients is never a bad idea. In fact, having a dozen real estate testimonials posted online that prospective clients are encouraged to read is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal. Even just one or two testimonials can help establish you as a reliable and successful expert in your profession, which helps distinguish you from the competition and aids you in building your brand as a real estate professional.