Using Customer Feedback to Build Your Business
Don’t miss out on the most effective, and one of the cheapest, marketing resources in the real estate industry. Over 80% of consumers consider online reviews of local businesses and 90% say reviews and testimonials greatly affect their buying decisions. People trust customer reviews over 6 times more than traditional marketing. Word-of-mouth referrals are the best form of advertising. In this internet age with customer review sections on Yelp and Amazon, people are accustomed to considering the opinions of past customers.
Why Include Client Testimonials in Your Marketing Strategy?Real estate agents see great results when they leverage client testimonials; it’s easier to convert leads from reviews than other forms of marketing. Consumers can get the basic information about an agent from traditional online sources. Feedback from former clients gives them what matters most: first-hand impressions of people who’ve worked with you. They get reliable information about whether you really are trustworthy, reputable, professional, knowledgeable, personable, and accessible. This is information they can’t get anywhere else. The real estate agent-client relationship is one of trust. Clients are trusting you with their money and their home. Trust is earned, and an effective way of getting hired is showing why other people trusted you and were rewarded for it. If you can get someone to take the time to give honest, sincere impressions of your service, that’s like gold. And then you can use client testimonials on your web site, blogs, social media accounts, and email marketing.
Gathering TestimonialsThe first step is consistently providing excellent service. Give your clients something to rave about and extend extra effort or special services so there’s something unique to remember. Then, as soon as possible after closing, ask happy clients who seemed especially pleased with your service to give a testimonial. When trying to generate lots of quality reviews, remember to:
- Make sure your business profile is on Google+, which is huge for SEO
- Get a Yelp review: this number 1 customer review site also drives Apple directories and maps
- Use Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and LinkedIn
- Incorporate client testimonial generation into your marketing routines
What to AskAsk specific questions such as:
- Why did you decide to hire me? Experience, personality, qualifications, professionalism, specialties?
- What did you most enjoy/find most valuable about my service? Higher sales, great negotiation, going the extra mile? Specifics are important.
- Would you recommend me to your friends and family? Why?
Testimonial ToolsMake it as easy as possible for clients to provide testimonials. There are tools you can use to help clients conveniently review your services: SurveyMonkey: survey buyers, sellers, and agents, poll leads and current clients, and add your logo
- Typeform: written customized surveys
- Boast: video feedback form embedded on your web site
- Online review sites: Zillow, Trulia, and Yelp are the top sites for reviews
How to Use TestimonialsIf you’ve ever read an Amazon review, you know you can’t just dump the testimonials on your web site and call it a day. A little editing and shaping is needed. Remember the limited attention spans of your visitors. They’re not going to spend half an hour reading about how great you are. Include enough content to promote your business. Consumers will often skim over vague platitudes, but concrete details will catch their attention. If you get some good specific compliments, be sure to highlight them when using testimonials in your marketing. When incorporating testimonials into marketing materials, you want:
- Easily digestible and accessible sentences
- Eye-catching format and fonts
- Engaging stories
- Scannable and succinct paragraphs
- Different formats: Q&A, brief essays, video clips, bullet points, photos and multimedia
- Testimonial page on your web site with client quotes and house photos
- Blog post summarizing the comments of happy clients
- Scheduled social media posts touting client raves on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter
- Ask satisfied clients to review you on social media, which can boost your search results
- Email campaign with client spotlights featuring glowing testimonials, photos, and calls to action