- increase the effectiveness of your real estate marketing,
- make listing presentations easier and, ultimately,
- increase your income.
So if you’ve “bound and gagged” your past clients and don’t have a strategy to use testimonials to increase your listings, let me convince you why you should.
How Your Best Clients Can Help Your Earn More
What someone else says about you is at least 10x more powerful than anything you say about yourself.
For example, if I told you that Downright Brilliant’s real estate newsletter service is “worth its weight in gold” you’d probably raise your eyebrows and think, “Oh yeah? Really? Says who?”
However, if Peter & Michele Scott of RE/MAX Leaders told you:
The Downright Brilliant Newsletter is worth it’s weight in gold. It has created new listing opportunities for us. It helps us to stay in touch and top of mind so when people are thinking of selling, we’re the first person they call…”
…then that’s a powerful recommendation. You’re much more likely to take notice of what Peter and Michele say than anything we say about ourselves.
Likewise, what your past clients say about your real estate services is more convincing than anything you say about yourself.
Why “Social Proof” Is So Effective
Social proof is when people look to the actions of others to validate their own behaviour.
When potential vendors are faced with the all-important decision, “Who is the best agent to sell my home?” they want to be convinced they’ve made the right choice and that many others have successfully done likewise.
So when you use testimonials, you help potential vendors validate their decision to list with you, not your competitor.
What Does a Good Real Estate Testimonial Look Like?
A good testimonial is specific. It says what somebody likes about your service, highlights benefits or problems solved or states how a fear or doubt was eliminated.
I highly suggest the Downright Brilliant newsletter. It’s b***** awesome, I’ve used it a lot and it’s been responsible for several of my listings.” Tim Webb, Barfoot & Thompson
In this testimonial, my client specifically states a benefit of subscribing to the Downright Brilliant newsletter service: “It’s been responsible for several of my listings.”
This is much more effective than a general statement like, “It’s very good.”
How To Collect Effective Real Estate Testimonials
Ask both buyer and seller for a testimonial after every sale. Do this in person by giving them a hard copy form to complete, or online by email. Offer a small gift as a token of thanks.
Use these four questions to get really effective testimonials:
- What are the three things you most liked about using my real estate services?
- What are three benefits you received or problems you solved using my services?
- What are three reasons you would recommend my services to other people?
- Can I please have permission to use your comments in my marketing? Yes/No
Include suggested answers for each question to guide people towards the type of comments you want.
4 Ways To Increase Your Listings With Testimonials
1. Overwhelm Potential Vendors With Social Proof
Every type of personal promotion marketing material should include at least one testimonial: DLE cards, flyers, newsletters, appraisal letters, website, social media. Everything. Dozens of testimonials are even better.
Instead of trying harder yourself, let your past clients convince potential vendors to list with you. Overwhelm them with social proof.
2. Create a Testimonial Book
At the completion of each sale, take your client’s photo (next to your sold sign if possible) and ask for a testimonial.
Collate these into a special folder with an interesting title like, Why Sue’s Clients Rave About Her Real Estate Services.
Show this to potential vendors at an appraisal or listing presentation; consider having multiple copies professionally printed to include in your listing presentation kit.
3. Part of a Drip Marketing Campaign
A drip marketing campaign is a carefully planned sequence of communications used to stay in touch with people who have shown an interest in selling but haven’t yet done so.
Over a 6-12 month period following the first contact, “drips” could include a mix of especially written letters, your regular monthly newsletter and phone calls.
One of these could be a letter along the lines of:
When it’s time to sell, you need to be certain you’ve chosen the best real estate sales professional to sell your home.
“I’d like to invite you to join 129 homeowners who have already chosen me and been successful.
“Instead of trying to convince you myself, here’s some positive comments from some of these past clients. I’ll let them do the talking…”
Include two pages of positive testimonials.
4. In Your Monthly Newsletter
A monthly newsletter is the best way to stay in touch with your past buyers, sellers, appraisals and people who have the potential to refer you.
To position yourself as the local area expert, include testimonials as evidence of your on-going success. This assures your readers they are part of a larger community of people who know, like, trust and do business with you.
This provides social proof that many people have chosen your real estate services and been successful.