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You’ve seen them in ads online, in print and on TV— regular people attesting to the success they’ve had with shampoo, or pain cream, or whitening toothpaste. These are “Client Testimonials,” social proof of a product’s positive impact, and they are hugely important to getting key messages across and driving sales. Can real estate professionals use client testimonials to promote their service to the general public? You bet! In this blog post, I’ll go over why client testimonials are important, the best times to ask for one, where to put your client testimonials so would-be leads can access them, and how to start the conversation about getting a referral.
Why Are Client Testimonials Important?
Most people would rather put their faith in the words of regular people as opposed to catch-phrases from a faceless company. “Mary Smith from Arlington, VA loves using this pain relief cream on her joints and it’s really helped her,” a potential consumer might think. “Wow, I should try it too!”
Here is an real-estate example: “John not only did a great job helping us find and purchase our first home, but he took the time to educate us about the entire transaction process and made sure this nervous first-time homebuyer was calm before and during the close of the sale. We highly recommend John to anyone looking to rent, purchase, or sell a home!” – Joe & Mary D., Malvern, PA.
I know of many agents who’ve built testimonials into their advertising. I’ve also personally used testimonials when I was an agent, and have had clients tell me that one of the reasons they contacted me was the testimonials they read on my agent website. In short, testimonials work.
When is the Right Time to Ask for a Client Testimonial?
Shortly after you’ve worked hard to find your client their dream home, and their rental or purchase transaction is completed, approach your client and ask for a client testimonial. Understand that you’ve earned the right; most, if not all clients, will be glad to do so.
Here are three approaches to consider:
- Call your client a week after your client has settled into their new home and ask if
they would be willing to provide you with a testimonial based on their experience in working with you as their agent.
- Suggest that they put the testimonial “in their own words.” Tell them that it doesn’t need to be long, several sentences at the most, and that they can email to you at their convenience.
- You can also offer to take a verbal testimonial from them over the phone, type it up, and email it to them for approval. This approach can be a time saver for your client and also ensures they won’t forget to send one to you!
Tip: Most real estate clients prefer not to use their clients’ last names for privacy reasons. Mention that only their last initial will be used in case they are concerned about privacy.
Where to Put Your Testimonials?
Add them to your own agent website or, if you don’t have one yet, use the agent section of your broker’s website. Social media pages— LinkedIn, Facebook business— is another great place to post them. Or, create a PDF, flyer or brochure and include it on your first contact with any new lead. The point is that you need to get these testimonials in front of as many real estate consumers as possible.
P.S: It’s Also a Good Time to Ask for a Reference!!
When your client is willing to provide a testimonial, it is also a good time to ask if they would be willing to be a reference for you. Once you’ve received permission from at least 3 clients to use as references, you can also put a one-line statement below the testimonials for additional confidence to potential clients such as “References Readily Available Upon Request.” The goal is to have no less than three references before you do decide to add a reference line in case one of the references are unavailable. The more references the better!
Testimonials are great lead generators and marketing tools. Don’t be afraid to ask for one! If you’ve done your due diligence for your client and they are happy with their real estate transaction, go for it. People relate to other people in their same situation and will pay special attention to their words. Testimonials are a great way to let the world know that you are an agent who works hard and provides results for their clients!
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