Your real estate agency no doubt has an established system for gathering testimonials from happy customers. But are you making the most of all that positive feedback, or are you letting it go to waste?
Real estate agent reviews are incredibly powerful tools for providing social proof that you’re the agent of choice for your area. It’s best practice for every successful real estate agent to ask clients for their feedback using written testimonials, but what’s really important is leveraging these real estate reviews once you have them.
Many agencies post customer reviews on their websites – a good place to start. However, these days there is no guarantee that a vendor will even visit your website whilst in the process of selecting an agent. Therefore, all that wonderful customer feedback could go to waste!
Here are our top three recommendations for increasing the reach of your real estate agent reviews:
- Across social media.
- Within Google’s search results.
- Using the power of video.
Having recommendations on LinkedIn is a powerful way to demonstrate your reputation.
This social media platforms strongest user base is 30 to 64 years of age and includes a high proportion of professionals, with a steady income and a tertiary education. Promoting your profile on this platform means you’re reaching a higher percentage of the home owning population compared to most of the other social media outlets.
Instead of asking happy clients to provide you with a testimonial by email, connect with them on LinkedIn and request a two- or three-sentence recommendation. This is where professionals typically request recommendations from their own clients and peers, so it will be familiar to them. Make sure you personalise your request so that your clients feel honoured that you’ve requested their support. Simply ask them to highlight which of your skills they found the most helpful.
[LinkedIn recommendations] should speak to your specific qualifications
– Business Insider
Keep the rest of your LinkedIn profile up to date with a great picture, a polished summary, and regular content updates (such as monthly market reports and informative blog articles). Your real estate testimonials will add weight to your profile and help qualify you as an agent worth engaging. Plus, this powerful professional network is free.
Google My Business reviews
The first place people turn when they’re looking for almost anything nowadays is Google.
Search for a business by name and you’ll notice that quite often, Google displays a breakout box on the right-hand side of the search results page – a business listing. This box includes practical details such as your real estate business address and your phone number. It also displays recent customer reviews, similar to those you see on Tripadvisor or Yelp. This free business listing is easy to set up yourself, simply visit Google My Business. (Tip: Add as much info as possible, including photos, location, and opening hours.)
These kinds of reviews have the power to influence a decision in a split second. So make sure that yours are plentiful and positive, and that they position you above your local real estate competition.
A 2014 study by Search Engine Land found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
The other bonus of Google reviews is that Google itself uses them as a way to measure your popularity. The more reviews you have, the more likely your website is to surface highly in search results.
Ask your clients to leave you a Google review by sending them a personalised email. Provide step-by-step instructions so that they won’t get confused and give up. You can even suggest that they cut and paste the same review across a couple of your social profiles.
The written word is powerful, but video is proven to be an even more effective way to connect with your client base. Using video to showcase your real estate agent reviews creates more credibility – new customers can see that your reviews are 100% authentic.
Some quick stats about video from digital marketing authority HubSpot:
- Including video in an email leads to a 200 to 300% increase in your click-through rate.
- 90% of users say that videos are helpful in the decision-making process.
- It’s estimated that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words!
As with Google My Business reviews, using video testimonials that you upload to YouTube and include on your website and within your social media channels gives you that extra level of credibility and visibility with the search engine (which just so happens to own YouTube!).
Grabbing a spontaneous video testimonial on your iPhone from an elated vendor who’s just achieved a record sale price or even a relieved and ecstatic buyer is a fantastic way to create content to share on your website, your profile page, your social platforms, and even via your email marketing.
You can keep your videos rough-and-ready or edit them together to create a slick profile clip that sits nicely within your brand.
Example: Gavin Rubinstein – Testimonial video
A final and highly effective way of using your real estate agent reviews is to hand over the details of your last three clients (with their permission, of course). When you’re pitching to a new vendor, provide past client phone numbers and suggest to your potential vendor that they contact your previous clients to hear first-hand what it’s like having you on their side.
Need some help putting these referral procedures in place? Get in touch with me for some practical advice and support.