Social proof, a concept popularised by Influence author Robert Cialdini, is a powerful thing.
In concept, it’s the idea that people are likely to follow the actions of the masses, driven by the belief that volume is in direct correlation with ‘right’ behaviour.
In action, it’s realised in a number of ways. This includes the timely dissemination of (and belief in) fake news, influencer popularity on channels like Instagram, and lab experiments conducted by psychologists—just to name a few.
How does social proof tie into your real estate business’ marketing strategy? Cue client reviews.
Your brand’s client reviews are the gateway into what someone can expect by working with you, through the eyes of those who can vouch for the experience first-hand.
Client reviews carry a lot of weight for a potential customer actively deciding between you and a subset of competitors in the area. Why simply take your word for it, when they can take the word of clients proclaiming of success found working with someone else?
Multiply the number of positive client reviews you have to work with and that’s where social proof begins to show a real return on behalf of your real estate business.
If you’re starting from nothing, here are a handful of ways to go about generating client reviews.
How to Solicit Positive Reviews from Clients
With the popularity of Google Reviews, Ratemyagent and Facebook Reviews, it’s easy to assume that client testimonials just happen on their own; that someone will walk away with a smile on their face and immediately hop online to rave about your services. But this is not always or often the case.
There are studies to show that customers are more likely to share reviews of bad experiences online over the good ones. With this in mind, leaving your reviews—good and bad—to chance probably won’t end up working in your favour.
Instead, consider the following ways in which you can go about soliciting positive reviews from clients:
- Make it easy. When and where relevant, place links to important review outlets on your website (i.e. “Leave Us A Google Review”). This gives people both an easy way to view previous feedback as well as leave some of their own.
- Ask them. Sometimes people don’t leave reviews not for a lack of wanting to, but because life got in the way. You’ve just helped them in selling or buying a new home for goodness sake—there’s a lot on their to-do lists above tasks such as “give a 5-star review to our real estate agent”. Once the dust has settled, consider sending a follow-up email that checks in and kindly suggests that they provide feedback from their experience. Rather than asking outright, you can mask your solicitation in the form of a question; something like, “What did I do best to help your home sale or search?”
- Respond to your reviewers. Online reviews are now a spectator sport. It’s much more enticing to leave a review for someone when you know they’re being read and appreciated. Whether good or bad, take the time to reciprocate and give thanks (or condolences) in a thoughtful, timely fashion.
5 Strategies to Promote Client Reviews for Your Brand or Business
With a foundation of positive reviews to pull from, you can begin to leverage them for generating awareness and new potential customers. The stories told by your clients will begin to shape your own narrative as a real estate agent. Use them to your advantage with the following strategies.
#1: Display Client Reviews on Your Website
Every real estate agent needs their own website. You know that. What you might not know is that every agent should try to dedicate some portion of that website’s real estate to promoting your positive client reviews.
Testimonial pages are the least visited page on any real estate website (just check your Google Analytics!). Consider scattering your reviews throughout your website, on every page, as a constant reminder to your website visitors.
#2: Feature Client Reviews in Your Email Signature
Whether you’ve exchanged emails with a potential client at an open house or through a referral, don’t underestimate the power of your email signature. Your email signature is often a prime location for incorporating elements of your business that you might not want to shout about in the body text, but still want to provide your sendee access to.
You can choose to quote a positive review underneath your name with a link to the review. Or you could even include a video that compiles multiple talking head testimonials.
#3: Develop Client Reviews Into Longer Form Testimonials
A short paragraph is one thing, but a minute-long video detailing one [or multiple] client’s experience with your real estate business is really the icing on the cake. Not only are videos more engaging by nature—seeing someone visibly speak about your business on camera further boosts the validity of their words.
These types of videos can then be used across a variety of channels to promote your business, from website landing pages to sponsored content on social media.
#4: Incorporate Client Testimonials Into Your Paid Social Strategy
Client reviews, especially when translated into video, are gold for distribution across custom audiences on channels like Facebook. They serve as the softer sell for those who may still be warming up to the idea of what your business has to offer in the first place.
The beautiful thing about utilising positive client reviews on social is that you can actually develop a full funnel ad campaign on Facebook using them as your focal point throughout. This eliminates having to recreate the wheel at every stage and gives your testimonials new life over and over, long after they’ve been given.
#5: Incorporate Client Testimonials Into an Email Newsletter
If you send out a weekly newsletter, purposefully fill space within it using featured client reviews. You might even choose to dedicate an entire email now and then to new feedback as it rolls in. Just make sure you’re remaining aware of what pertains to which segmented email list in maintaining a level of personalisation throughout your communications—existing clients don’t need to be sold further!
Final Thoughts: 5 Strategies to Promote Client Reviews for Your Brand or Business
Soliciting, then using, client testimonials is a process. The most important things you can do now is get started. Make a list of your best clients and get in touch. Once you have a solid list of customer reviews, put them to work for your business across a variety of mediums where you’re active.
Speaking of testimonials, have you taken a peek at our own success stories here at Stepps? If not, check out our portfolio of past work.