One of the most difficult aspects of marketing is proving that you are who and what you say you are. As a real estate agent, you can spend all day talking about the service you provide, but it's just sound and fury until you back it up.
One of the best ways to build credibility and brand authority is with testimonials from satisfied clients. They give new leads and potential clients a real-world example of the kind of work you do and an understanding of what it's like to have you in charge of their real estate transaction.
For most real estate agents, testimonials and attagirls live almost exclusively on review sites and real estate portals. If you've optimized your Realtor.com or Zillow profiles, you'll know that one of the things you can do is reach out and ask for reviews. While that's a good home base for them to live online, there are a host of ways to use testimonials and reviews in other marketing materials. Here are just a few.
On your website or landing page
There are plenty of places to use testimonials and reviews on your website. You can have a single page that houses all of your reviews, use a different review at the bottom of each page of your website, or include a scrollable feed on your home page.
On your social media platforms
Testimonials are especially effective on social media, allowing you to share the good news about your clients' successes in their own words. Pair them with a photo from the closing to provide additional impact. (Don't forget to include a photo release form in your client representation agreement.)
On your YouTube channel
If your clients feel comfortable being on video, a video testimonial can be an even more effective way to communicate and promote your business. Embed it on your website, share it on social media, and include it prominently on your YouTube channel. Don't forget to get a transcript of the testimonial so you'll have a written version to share in other places.
In your email marketing
Whether it's in an email blast to your sphere of influence (SOI) or in drip campaigns designed for lead nurturing, testimonials can help to provide added impact and generate interest. Consider using a different review or testimonial in each email so that it doesn't become stale.
In your bio
Some words from a past client about your character, personality, expertise, or style can go a long way in making your bio more interesting and impactful. Use testimonials to add extra oomph to the good things you're saying about yourself.
In your listing presentation
Whether it's one element in a folder of documents that you present, a slide in a PowerPoint that you share, or part of a printed presentation, testimonials should be a key element. Make sure the reviews you choose are related to listings and that they provide a sense of the way you work as you market properties.
On your blog
When you're writing about your services or best practices for a real estate deal, you can use elements from your testimonials to illustrate your points. For example, if you're writing about financing, include a testimonial from a client who you helped with a lender referral or some money-saving advice.
As a case study
Turn a testimonial into a case study and include it in your blog or other marketing materials. Go step-by-step through the transaction and explain how the service you provided resulted in a successful sale or purchase for that client. Pull out quotes from the testimonial itself to back up the points you're making.
As a sharable graphic
Whether you work with a graphic designer or do it yourself with Canva, you can turn your testimonials into graphic elements that are perfect for sharing. Instead of a block of text, a custom graphic is more engaging and attention-getting and, ultimately, more convincing.
In paid advertising
Whether you create paid ads on your social media, with Google Ads, or the old-fashioned way in a newspaper, magazine, or the local high school's sports program, reviews and testimonials can make those ads feel more authentic and less sales-y.
Don't forget to ask for reviews and testimonials
Remember, you won't have great reviews to draw on unless you ask for them. Start out early in the transaction process letting clients know that you'll be reaching out to them for a review after the closing — and that your goal is a tremendous testimonial.
Decide how you'll gather reviews. Request them through your favorite real estate portal profile or ask for them through a personal email. Be sure to thank clients for their reviews and address any concerns or issues they might bring up during the process.
If you receive a negative review on Realtor.com or Zillow, make sure that you respond to it. Stay positive and professional and let the client know how you'll address their concerns. Respond to the good reviews, too — that will help to make the negative ones less prominent.
Remember, nobody's perfect. If you ask for reviews, you may occasionally get a negative one. However, by asking consistently, those negatives will be outweighed by the positives and, if you stay open-minded, they may provide you with valuable information that you can use to improve your business and the service you provide.