What someone else says about you is at least 10x more powerful than anything you say about yourself.
It’s called social proof.
Social proof is a cultural phenomenon whereby people look for other people’s opinions to re-assure them that they are making the right choice. For a real estate agent, the most powerful way to harness this is by using testimonials from past vendors and buyers.
How Strong is Your Social Proof?
Everyone looks at online reviews these days before buying a product, right? If a business has only one review, it might be from that person’s best friend, partner or family member. Three or four reviews are underwhelming but if fifteen, twenty or thirty people rave about the business, then that’s a very powerful recommendation.
If you’re not using testimonials or reviews to convince potential vendors to list with you, or you don’t have very many, you’ve bound and gagged your very best salespeople.
Overwhelm Potential Vendors with Social Proof
Successful agents use social proof in all forms of real estate marketing to convince potential vendors they’re the best person for the job.
- Appraisal Letters
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Listing Presentation Material
- Print Advertisements
Any piece of marketing can and should contain one or more testimonials.
Imagine being at a listing presentation and handing the homeowner a booklet with dozens of photos and kind words from past vendors. When competition is tough and you overwhelm future clients with social proof it may be the one secret weapon that gets you over the line, ahead of your competitor.
How to Collect Effective Real Estate Testimonials
1. Design a Simple System
Ask both buyer and seller for a testimonial after every sale. Ask face to face with an old-fashioned paper-based form, or send a request by email with a list of questions, a link to a survey form, review site or app that takes a quick video.
Video testimonials are gold, and can also be transcribed for use in written form.
2. Spot the Best Time to Ask
The ideal time to ask for a testimonial is when your client thanks you for a job well done. Thank them in return and ask:
“Can you do me a favour? It’s really helpful for me to have written feedback from clients like you when talking to other homeowners about selling their home. Would you mind putting that in writing or allowing me to do a quick video?”
3. Offer an Incentive
If you’re not asking for the testimonial face to face you’ll get a higher return rate if you offer a small gift e.g. coffee vouchers as a token of thanks.
4. Ask Specific Questions
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. Use these four questions to get really effective testimonials.
What are the 2-3 things you most liked about having me sell your home?
What are 2-3 benefits you received or problems you solved having me sell your home?
What are 2-3 reasons you would recommend my services to other people?
Do you give permission for me to use your comments in marketing? Yes/No
Unleash Your Secret Weapon
Let your best salespeople – past buyers and sellers – shout it from the rooftops. Use their testimonials everywhere. Leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are, one hundred percent, hands-down, the absolute best person to sell their house for a great result.
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