It’s common knowledge that customers are more likely to make a purchase if the product comes highly recommended from a peer. This isn’t just true of reviews for goods sold online, this is also true of serviced based businesses like real estate agents. In this instance, savvy realtors use social proof to gain more prospective buyers. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.
When used effectively, social proof can increase conversion rates significantly. Studies show consumers overwhelmingly refer to product reviews when making purchases, and they are more likely to trust product reviews over brand product descriptions. This translates to the property sector too; prospective buyers would much rather have honest feedback from their peers and other unbiased buyers about your service rather than listen to your sales spiel. When making a big money life changing purchase like a house, buyers are actively seek the real life opinions of other buyers who can share their experience of buying with a particular realtor. Real estate agents should then work hard at building relationships with their buyers, both at the pre and post sale stage and encourage them to contribute to case studies that you can then use on your website and marketing materials. Case studies are a fantastic example of social proof and there are plenty of practical ways you can make them stand out to entice new buyers:
Invite new buyers to give prospective buyers a virtual tour of their homes by shooting a personal home movie and showcasing the features of their new property. This is a fantastic opportunity for prospective buyers to get an intimate insight into a new home once its newly decorated.New homeowners can even be interviewed and share their personal reasons for buying that particular home e.g. it may have a large nursery as they consider starting a family, these little touches are likely to really resonate with your prospective buyers who will buy into the lifestyle. Ultimately you want the new buyers to stress how much they enjoyed the experience of working with your company and why they would recommend you to their peers. To make things easier for the buyers, you could ask them to simply shoot a short video on their phone as that adds a homely authenticity that a glossy corporate video can’t quite capture.
Help your case studies really come alive with a lively photo gallery taken and annotated by your satisfied buyers. Whilst your website may already have several stunning glossy images of gorgeously styled properties, inviting buyers to share their own un-staged images of their new home gives prospects a more unique and unbiased insight into their property. Popular travel websites like Tripadvisor regularly showcase glossy images of five star hotels but its the travelers images and feedback that often persuades others whether or not the hotel is best suited for them. Try to apply this same principle to your website and marketing materials and think carefully about how new buyers are consuming your content and imagery; they will need more than just some glossy photos to convince them to buy.
This is the quickest and easiest way to condense and summarize a case study to display across your website. Simply ask all your recent buyers to submit a few sentences and use that to write up a paragraph based on their recommendation. You only have a few lines to really persuade prospective buyers so ensure you use emotive copy that will resonate with them. Ideally you want buyers to summarize the challenges they faced buying, how your realtor business helped them and their delight at finally finding the property of their dreams. Ensure you use a smiling picture of the buyers, ideally in front of their new property and make sure you get their permission before publishing on any marketing materials. As a final touch you may want to add a persuasive call to action or pop up saying ‘join over 1500 happy clients who have bought their home with our business, sign up today!’, again this is social proof at its best as it convinces prospective buyers that your are a credible business with several happy customers and naturally they’ll be more likely to sign up.
With so many ways to make your case studies stand out, realtors have a variety of content options at their disposal to engage prospective buyers. Social proof means that well produced case studies should help persuade and convince new buyers to trust the opinions of current buyers and ultimately drive more sales.