How to Score Recommendations and Activate Social Proof
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
The best way to generate new leads for your real estate business is through word of mouth. But here's the problem with that: You can't actually control referrals and endorsements. Or can you?
In this post, we'll explain how to get testimonials for your real estate business (even if you're just starting out and haven't made a sale yet). We'll also discuss where to place your testimonials for maximum impact.
Let’s dive right in. How do you gather testimonials?
While some people may offer a written testimonial with no prompting, the majority of your clients won't even think about it. It's on you to ask for it. Here’s how to get endorsements for your real estate business:
On every platform that you use, encourage clients to share feedback about you and your real estate services.
Ideally, you should ask for testimonials when your client is happiest with your service. The best time to ask is after closing, but don’t wait too long afterward. Ideally, you should ask while they’re still smiling and excited. While still in person, ask for a testimonial. Another option is to connect with your clients over social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and request reviews that way.
Ask over email. Send out a short email where you ask your client or colleague to review you and your services. In that email, you can send a series of open-ended questions that prompt the client to share a useful response. Or you could use a tool like SurveyMonkey or Typeform, instead. A survey tool makes it easy for you to collect and store answers in one place instead of having to hunt through your crowded email inbox for them.
You can also ask your clients to leave reviews on major real estate listing sites, like Zillow and Trulia. At the bottom of your emails, include a postscript that invites them to leave a review on those pages. For example, “Enjoyed working with me? Leave a comment about our time together on [name of real estate listing site here].”
No clients? No worries! You can still get recommendations for your real estate business.
Start with your professional network. Ask current or former colleagues to vouch for you. While they may not know you in your capacity as a real estate agent, they can still comment on your character. Peer recommendations that describe you as a professional, hard-working, tenacious go-getter will strike the right tone. Consider exchanging endorsements with your professional networks, starting with the colleagues you trust and respect the most. Used LinkedIn to give recommendations and also ask for them.
Not all testimonials need to be written. Some clients would actually prefer to share their testimonials over video instead of putting their thoughts into words. At closing, grab your smartphone and take a quick video of your client. Prompt your client with open-ended questions so you can get a meaty endorsement instead of yes/no responses.
Video testimonials can be uploaded to your website and your social media pages, including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
Boast is a great tool for collecting video testimonials from your clients when they're not face to face. Using Boast, you can email your clients a link to a page where they're prompted to record a short video of themselves.
Once you film a testimonial video, you have options on where to post, such as:
Now that you’ve asked everyone and their grandmother for a testimonial, what do you do with all this love?
Create a dedicated testimonial page on your website.
Sure. But don't stop there. While you should definitely create a page to display testimonials on your website, that's just the beginning. There are many other places to display your testimonials. The goal is to get maximum exposure for your testimonials by sharing them on every channel that you can.
Do you have an email list of prospective clients? I can guarantee you that if they're interested in using your services, they want to read your testimonials first. But don't wait for them to take the initiative to visit to your website and peruse your testimonials page. What if that doesn't happen? And don't just send them a link to your testimonials page in your email. What if they never click on that link?
Instead, devote at least one email every three months to an impressive testimonial. Share the quote and a photo of the client if you have one. Give a quick overview of how you helped the client accomplish their goal.
To maximize your testimonials over email, be sure to segment. Don't just send all your testimonials to everyone on your list. If you represent buyers and sellers, segment your list of potential clients into these two groups. Then, send buyer testimonials to prospective buyers and seller testimonials to prospective sellers. This makes the testimonial much more relevant to your subscribers.
Another way to use testimonials in email is to add them to your email signature. You can either quote a specific testimonial within your signature or link to your testimonials page. Because it's one of the most viewed elements on your email, your signature is prime real estate. Use it as another opportunity to sell yourself.
Social media is a great place for posting your testimonials. Social proof belongs on social media. Include testimonials in your monthly post lineup.
When posting your testimonials on social media, keep the following in mind:
Include an image An image is easier and quicker to process than a block of text. It's also more attractive to the eye. When on social media, most people are on "scroll mode." In other words, they scroll down the page until they find something that draws their attention. Attach an image of your referring client or endorser to the testimonial. If that's not available, find a high-quality stock image to visually represent the testimonial's sentiment.
Time your testimonial’s post for the perfect right time You shouldn't post anything on social media on a whim. Because platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are crowded with users, your post will likely get drowned out by all of the noise. Instead, post your testimonials when the majority of your followers are online and most likely to see them.
To learn more about how to master social media, check out these posts:
Last, but certainly not least, include your testimonials on your website. Here's how:
Make a testimonial page on your website Create a page to house your most important testimonials. Try not to include generic testimonials that don't echo your vision or brand message. While reviews like "she's a great agent" or "I'm happy with my services" may be an ego boost for you, it won't impress your prospective client. They're looking for endorsements that reflect their own desired outcome, such as "she helped me sell my home for twice the amount that I paid."
Share testimonials in your blog posts Sell your services by inserting an endorsement within the body of your blog post. For example, if you've written a post about negotiation techniques, you can then slide in a testimonial from a client that highlights your savvy negotiation skills.
Another option is to highlight former clients in your blog. For each client testimonial you've received, create a short blog post on how you helped them with their real estate needs.
Testimonials are a core component to building trust with your prospective clients. They’ll help your clients decide whether you’re the right person for the job. Use the above tips to get quality testimonials and share them with your prospective clients.
Check out these related posts before you go: