There was a time, you may recall, when a product or service with a review from an expert or celebrity was perceived by the public as better than those without these reviews.
While the latter still holds true (Oprah need only mention the name of a product to skyrocket its sales), the consumer has stolen the power from the experts. Which is amazing for real estate agents.
We don’t know for sure, but a lot of the credit for the popularity of crowdsourced reviews goes to Jeremy Stoppelman and the flu virus. The latter took Stoppelman online to search for reviews of local doctors. Not finding any, the former PayPal employee decided, with help from Russ Simmons (also formerly with PayPal), to create Yelp.
Today, many of us won’t eat in a restaurant or buy a tube of toothpaste without consulting Yelp or Amazon reviews.
Is it any wonder then that client testimonials are powerful indications of the level of skill, trustworthiness and customer service of the person one chooses to help sell such an enormous investment–a home?
When Stoppelman and Simmons were kicking around the idea that became Yelp, their goal became to “… create something online that could capture word-of-mouth.”
Word-of-mouth, especially if it comes from one’s sphere of influence (primarily friends and family), is amazingly powerful, according to a Nielson study. Eighty three percent of consumers surveyed in that study trust the opinions of friends and family about a product or service “… above all other forms of advertising.”
What about other consumers? The ones you aren’t related to? It turns out that two-thirds of them trust “consumer opinions posted online,” according to Nielson.
With statistics like that, why do so many real estate agents ignore the power of testimonials?
If you are still relying on presenting your testimonials in text version on a dedicated page on your website, quit it. Those text reviews belong front and center – the best on your home page and the rest sprinkled throughout your site.
But, don’t stop there.
Build even more trust with testimonial videos
Maybe I’m a little skeptical, but when I read a testimonial without a photo of the giver, my trust goes down. My trust is further eroded if the person who gave the testimonial isn’t fully named – “A. Smith” doesn’t exactly help create trust.
Sure, you can (and should) add your clients’ photos to their testimonials, with their permission of course. While you’re asking for permission, explain that you need to use their full name as well.
The best trust-builder, however, is for potential clients to actually see and hear the testimonial, via video.
While NAR studies show that homebuyers don’t find listing videos as helpful, other studies show that “When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, two-thirds of people (66%) said they’d prefer to watch a short video.”
You don’t need to spend a fortune on the production of these videos. Go big like agent Greg Guinto, make them laugh, like Albert Pavon, or go the budget route (just make it shorter please) like agent Chad Smith.
When creating your video testimonials, keep them short and “… do a gut check to make sure you’re using everyday language and everyday people,” cautions Ken Wheaton at ThinkWithGoogle.com.
Post your testimonial videos on your website, of course, but share them on social media and in emails as well.
Promote your success to your Sphere and the area you just sold a home by sending a Just Sold postcard.
There’s no better way to demonstrate your ability to succeed to future home sellers.
Need help targeting a specific niche of buyers or sellers? Use our Demographic Search Tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy). Or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
PLUS: When you have time…here are some helpful resources we’ve made available to support your success.
1. Become a Neighborhood Brand
Become branded in a specific neighborhood with a 12X15 marketing piece sent automatically each month to an exclusive carrier route. Watch this video to learn more or Click Here.
2. The Free Real Estate Mailing List Guide
The Real Estate Mailing List Guide outlines the top tools for generating targeted prospecting lists including Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters, Investors, Lifestyle Interests, High-Income Renters, Move-Up Markets, and more. The Guide also defines done-for-you marketing campaigns to match these markets. –Click Here
3. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan
The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here
4. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan
Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan. – Click Here
5. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook
Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here
6. The Free Online ROI Calculator
Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! –Click Here
7. The Free Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT”
The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted prospect list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here