It’s easy to dismiss testimonials as a little old school, but in reality, they’re powerful tools that can very quickly increase an agent’s credibility.
In this digital age, online testimonials and reviews are more important than ever, but many agents aren’t proactively chasing and using testimonials in their regular marketing activities.
What are the benefits of having testimonials?
Let’s be honest, we are all somewhat cynical and we certainly don’t believe everything we’re told, especially when it comes to advertising. But we do tend to believe other people’s recommendations.
A 2020 survey* revealed that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This is because a testimonial means that the person giving it is putting their reputation on the line. If they give a testimonial and an agent doesn’t live up to what they have to say, their own reputation can be damaged.
Agents with a good number of current testimonials from a diverse group of customers are much more likely to attract potential clients than one that doesn’t have any. So how do you go about growing and using your reviews to attract more prospects?
How to ask for testimonials
Many agents really struggle with asking for testimonials. There is almost a sense of embarrassment around asking for them, perhaps some concern that people will think their business is not doing so well. This is the first hurdle to overcome and the fastest way to grow your reviews is to ask for them.
One suggested script to use when reaching out to a past client is; “Mary I want to thank you for trusting me to get you a great result. I really appreciate it. I’m really committed to helping people have a great selling / buying experience, so can I ask you to write me a short testimonial? Just one or two lines would be great, and I’ve attached a couple of examples of past testimonials you can use for inspiration. Many thanks and I look forward to helping you again in the future.”
This approach is personal, engaging and makes the testimonial creation easy for your client.
How to minimise generic testimonials
One sure-fire way to get the best testimonials possible is to draft something for your client and ask them to review and edit. This way, you can highlight a specific skill or any outcomes you’d like included.
Alternatively, you could pose a few simple questions for them to consider when writing their own testimonial eg what did you like most about dealing with us? what would make you recommend us to your friends and family? or how would you sum up your experience of working with us?
Just remember, testimonials should be short and sharp. It is OK to have the occasional longer one, but if you can keep them short, you increase the number of marketing channels you can use to promote them.
How often should you review testimonials?
Consumers look long and hard at testimonials. They look at overall sentiment, a number of reviews and the age of reviews. If your testimonials are more than 6 months old, new prospects may assume you either haven’t had any recent clients or those recent clients didn’t have good experiences with you.
Where possible, you can avoid attaching dates to your testimonials (eg on your website), but that’s harder to control on third party sites like Facebook, Google My Business and Rate My Agent.
An added benefit of collecting testimonials on a regular basis is the feedback you can collect. There may be an opportunity to improve a service or answer a question that allows you to ensure your future clients are as happy as your past ones.
Using testimonials in your marketing
Once you have great testimonials, think about how you can wrap them into your marketing activity.
Consider using your testimonials on your website, in printed promotional material, in your proposals and in your social media.
Testimonials are powerful, essential and free marketing tools that have always been important, but in the competitive world of real estate, could make all the difference between a prospect calling you or your competition.
We live in a world of endless choice. Any agent with a legion of raving clients who are prepared to come out and not only share their experience but also recommend that others use this business has a huge competitive advantage.
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