Imagine this: one of your old college friends has a conversation with someone looking to sell their home and buy in a new neighborhood. Your friend remembers that you’re a real estate agent and tells them about you. Great, right?! Your referral network is working! But then that friend of your friend Googles you. They find a page on your broker’s site with your information, but not much else. At the same time, they are being served ads for other real estate agents. They click through and see several links and profiles for another agent – all with 5-star raving reviews! Which agent do you think they are going to contact?
You may have a good head start because of the personal referral, but without social proof and a strong online presence complete with reviews, the odds may shift to your competition.
Online reviews can absolutely be the difference between winning and losing business. Still not convinced? Here are 3 ways that testimonials can help grow your real estate business and tips for how to get them.
1. Client testimonials establish credibility and social proof
These days, we really have two worlds we need to navigate: the one we live in (IRL) and our digital doppelganger. When we meet someone in person, we can immediately form a connection and establish trust with a number of verbal and non-verbal cues. But that doesn’t happen online.
Having a strong showing in search results when a lead or referral Googles your name will extend that IRL credibility into the online space. Your website and social profiles show that you are who you say you are, and client reviews take it to the next level.
Real people telling real stories about working with you on their real estate transactions provides that extra layer of social proof that makes a warm lead feel more comfortable contacting you or a cold lead find you in the first place.
2. Asking for testimonials will help you reconnect with former clients
Happy clients love to have a tangible way to support you, so don’t be afraid to ask for a review or testimonial to use in your marketing. Past clients are one of your most important sources of referrals, and it’s critical to stay in touch after closing.
Asking for reviews is another point of contact and gives you a reason to touch base. If it’s been a while since you interacted, the ask can refresh your connection and move you back to top of mind which may lead to more referrals!
3. Testimonials improve your marketing
Once you receive a testimonial and get permission from your client to use it in your marketing, the possibilities are endless! First, it will be posted on your preferred review site, but it can be repurposed and used in other ways. Add it to your website, post it on your social media, include it in your monthly newsletter, or add it to your printed materials.
So now that you’re convinced of the importance of online reviews, what’s the best way to go about getting them?
Start by asking!
After you’ve successfully completed a transaction with a client, send them a message or ask them in person if they would be willing to share their experience of working with you in either a written or video testimonial.
Make it easy
Be specific and make it easy for them by sending them a link to your preferred review site or online profiles. You can also include some guidance on the format or provide prompts to get them started.
People get busy and might forget to leave you the review, even if they want to! Don’t be afraid to follow up a week or so later with a gentle reminder!
Be sure to sincerely thank your clients for their business and for taking the time to leave a review.
Ask for permission to share
Once your client has written the review, ask them if it’s ok to feature their testimonial in your marketing.
Testimonials and reviews can be a powerful tool for building both your online and offline reputation as a reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable real estate professional. And that is the foundation of a successful, thriving business!