By Peter Ricci
Client testimonials, as any good agent knows, are the lifeblood of a successful real estate career, but in today’s technological age, they are shrouded in ambiguity.
Where should clients submit testimonials? How can you ensure that future clients read them? And before anything else, how can you ask for them?
Incentivizing Client Testimonials
First of all, the only way to ensure that you’ll receive positive client testimonials is by asking your clients to write them; though it may be, at first, an uncomfortable thing to do, it’s far more direct than providing great service and hoping that the client follows through with a recommendation.
So, once a home purchase is closed and the transaction complete, ask your client for a positive testimonial, and if necessary, offer incentives, but modestly. Send them a thank card, and include a gift card to the local hardware store; send them a certificate to a nearby restaurant that you know they’ll love; a small, endearing sentiment like that will go a long way towards inspiring a positive client testimonial.
Where to Post Client Testimonials
Once they are on board to write the testimonial, though, where should they write it? There are a number of options to consider:
1. Syndication Sites – Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com generate HUGE amounts of traffic, and your profile on those sites, therefore, is an ideal location for client testimonials. The ratings here operate on an Amazon.com style format, which makes sense, given the speed and fluidity that the sites operate on; so, in that format, have your clients keep it simple and straightforward. Chances are, on those sites, 100 positive reviews at 50 words a review will come off better than five extremely detailed reviews.
2. Testimonials Section – Your personal website is a similarly great place for client testimonials, though here, you can let your clients stretch out a bit and write in more detail about their experiences; in fact, consider devoting an entire page to testimonials. Too often, we see websites that bury testimonials near the bottom of the main page. Let your potential clients see how much people like you!
3. Testimonial Videos – Finally, the most underused element of client testimonials: video. True, it’s more work, and you may find that more clients are inclined to simply write their testimonials rather than say them on camera; that said, video can be an extremely powerful tool when used correctly, and a series of well-produced, straightforward videos, featuring clients speaking clearly and passionately about your services, could be quite convincing to potential clients of your merits as a real estate agent. Of course, these videos should be uploaded to your own personal YouTube channel, but see about incorporating them into the testimonial page on your website as well.
No one location is better than the other, but cumulatively, they can create a very positive impression upon potential clients; so, make sure you seek client testimonials in equal measure for all three formats.