Referrals play a very important role in the real estate industry. Why? Because people only want to do business with people they can trust. The best way to build trust and credibility in the online world is through testimonials – valuable testimonials that can be used on your website and other marketing materials.
When considering how to generate testimonials, there are two sources to consider:
- Review websites such as Yelp, Angie’s list, Trulia and Realtor.com
- Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Both of these sources are extremely valuable and the added benefit of social media platforms is that it will generate traffic through SEO.
Strategy and Framework
Generating valuable real estate testimonials from your current or future clients is quite simple as long as you are providing excellent service. People are more likely to be responsive to your request if they are satisfied with the quality of service they have received from you.
When planning on reaching out to previous clients; keep the following in mind:
- Explain to your client how you plan to use the information you’re requesting for by showing them examples of other real estate agents online
- If you’re asking your client to leave a review for you on a particular website such as Yelp etc, have the website open on your laptop and walk them through the entire process from account creation to writing the testimonial.
Note – Never ask for testimonials from any client that is not pleased with your service; they may decline your request but go behind your back to leave a nasty review and refuse to take it down. Don’t do it.
Outlined below is a framework for a testimonial generating system:
- Make a list of your most satisfied clients within the past weeks and reach out to them.
- Set up a meeting with them to discuss their experience with your service; make sure you get an affirmative verbal schedule arranged
- Choose a time and place for the meeting that is most convenient to your client. Remember, even though the testimonial is about you; your client is the most important person in this meeting.
- Take along your laptop and make sure you choose a place that has free wireless connection.
- If you don’t already know, find out what your clients love to drink (such as wine, whiskey, scotch, etc) and bring it along for them to enjoy at the meeting.
- Don’t start the meeting by jumping right into the testimonial. First of all get your client relaxed and laid back, asking about their new home (if you helped them buy one) or just about their family etc.
- Don’t waste your client’s time. Don’t mistake getting them relaxed and laid to spending hours chatting about life and getting drunk; they probably have something better to do so get to the point, just don’t be too aggressive about it.
Once you’ve established why you’re having the meeting and what you’re hoping to gain; have your client answer the following question:
- Would you recommend me as a real estate agent to your friends and family? (If the answer is yes, ask them why? Make them be as explicit and detailed as possible)
- In what areas did I excel as your real estate agent?
- In what areas could I improve for future business? What are your recommendations?
Note – Once the meeting has been concluded, send them a Thank You email and a link to the testimonial so they can view it and probably share with their friends (might as well add a CTA urging them to do so). If you want to be more personal, consider sending them a wine and a thank you letter. This will leave a lasting impression and will make them more likely to recommend you to others.
Don’t neglect older clients you’ve dealt with in the past. As long as you know they were very happy with your services then, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. Send them a friendly email to ask how they are doing and if they would be willing to take a few moments of their time to write a testimonial for you
Testimonials are a very important part of building trust online. Coupled with a strategic content marketing plan, you can generate leads that can be quickly converted to deals for you.
What tactics do you use to get testimonials? How has testimonials helped you get more business? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.