Why the time and effort of gathering and posting testimonials to your website is well worth it!
If faced with a decision between two similar products, one with tons of reviews and one with none, which do you choose? Most people opt for a product or service they can read reviews or testimonials about. When it comes to optimizing your luxury real estate websites and advertising efforts, testimonials are a key piece of the puzzle. Understanding the benefits of testimonials helps in implementing and strategizing around a testimonial collection and placement process.
1. Testimonials Build Credibility and Trust
The most obvious and most important reason to add testimonials to your website is that they build credibility. It’s far too easy to build a website these days, and sadly there are also far too many scams out there. Testimonials instantly signal to anyone visiting your site that you are a real person and that you do what you say you’re going to do.
They also back up any claims your marketing materials on your luxury realtor website make about the customer experience and your quality of service. Of course, anyone selling their services would say they deliver a great experience; it’s much more believable when we hear it from others who have seen it firsthand!
Your collection of testimonials is like an artist’s portfolio. Gathering true accounts from real clients and sharing relatable details and key points will paint a picture for potential clients about what it would be like to work with you.
Referrals will always be the most powerful source of clients, with 42% of sellers finding their real estate agent via referral, but testimonials act as an evergreen and always-available referral of sorts. Anyone moving states or changing areas drastically who’s looking for an agent is likely to head to the internet to find the closest thing to a referral: someone with plenty of glowing and authentic testimonials!
2. Establish an Emotional Draw Quickly
The best testimonials are the ones that tell a story and evoke a connection with the reader. Anyone looking at your website is likely trying to buy or sell their luxury property. Maybe they’re struggling in the market or they’ve had a tough time in real estate before. Seeing their experience and feelings reflected back to them in a testimonial, then reading about that satisfied client’s happy ending, allows the potential client to put themselves in the happy client’s shoes and imagine how well their real estate journey could end up if they partner with you!
Aside from giving potential clients the opportunity to hear from someone in a situation similar to theirs, testimonials are also a space for more informal, conversational language. Since they come directly from your satisfied clients, they don’t necessarily have to fit your brand voice or fit the criteria of polished, elevated marketing copy. While it’s important that anything coming from you stays true to your established style and tone, it will often be easier for readers to feel connected to the experience of the testimonial writer due to that shift to conversational language.
The more connected they feel to you, and the more clearly they can imagine themselves working with you, the closer you are to welcoming a new client!
3. People Like Being Featured!
Sometimes clients don’t know just how important they really are, and a good testimonials process is a good way to remind them of how much you value them. Not only are you asking for their honest opinion after your transaction is finished, but you’re also showing them how much their thoughts matter to you when you post them on your website.
Many of your clients will be thrilled to see their words or even photos go live on your website! While it may feel awkward to make the initial ask, most people feel special and valued when they see themselves in your marketing materials. If you establish a routine of snapping or requesting a few quick photos of your clients arriving at their new homes, you can develop a feel-good, highly shareable series. Of course, operate with caution about what you post, and be sure to check with your clients before publishing anything.
4. Requesting Testimonials Encourages Referrals
Having your happy clients write out what they appreciated about your service brings it to the front of their minds and will make it that much easier for them to bring you up when people compliment their gorgeous new home or when their friend mentions wanting to sell. They’ve already thought through your strengths and strung the words together, outlining your role in their happy ending.
Your request will also signal to clients that you are involved in and passionate about your marketing and that you are open to new business they can send your way.
5. Testimonials are Reusable, Free Marketing
One testimonial can go a long way! These quick snippets of text are incredibly powerful, and it doesn’t matter how old they are. Having a bank of strong testimonials boosts marketing efforts beyond simply having a well filled out website.
Once you’ve gathered a good starting collection of testimonials, you can choose one to include in a designated section of each newsletter or bulletin, feature them in listing flyers and open house materials, or include them on the front page of your website. They make great bases for social media posts and even blogs.
With the client’s permission, you can tell their story and recount the challenges you helped them overcome and the joy they experienced when they bought the home of their dreams or came away from a sale with financial freedom. End the post by sharing the words directly from your clients, and you’ll have a highly shareable and compelling blog to share throughout your network again and again.
6. The Process Will Help You Grow
Gathering testimonials creates a space and time for your clients to give you feedback. Your first step when asking for a testimonial will be to check in about the satisfaction of your clients. Opening the door to this conversation might not always result in a noteworthy conversation, but sometimes clients are itching to share praise and constructive criticism.
Because buying or selling a home is so emotionally-charged, it’s important to recognize that you shouldn’t necessarily take every piece of criticism to heart. As a luxury real estate agent, you toe a fine line as you take into account your clients’ tastes and preferences as well as your personal industry knowledge and expertise. Sometimes the two collide, and you may share unpleasant facts with your buyers. Sometimes your sellers’ pricing hopes simply aren’t compatible with the reality of the market.
Not everyone will be prepared to give a beautiful testimonial, but the opportunity to hear your clients’ reflections and sift through them for actionable and helpful criticisms is a gift and a helpful tool in itself.
7. Testimonials Can Boost SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is an extremely important element of marketing. Effective SEO for realtors can mean the difference between a steady flow of hot leads and a frustrating and unrewarding game of constant cat and mouse. If someone sits down to do online research about the best local realtor, chances are they’ll start with a search engine since 93% of all online experiences do! Adding testimonials to your website can help ensure it’s one of the first to appear.
Besides the fact that testimonials can serve as fodder for high-quality content marketing like blogs and articles, they also include language that’s a bit different from the rest of your site. Your clients will phrase things differently and bring up a variety of aspects and details relevant to your service. All of those details and qualities they mention may be keywords and phrases that don’t come up much elsewhere on your site but that people are searching for. Testimonials can help you be found by the right clients!
If you’ve never requested a testimonial, it’s not too late to start! Start building your testimonial library by reaching out to clients you’ve worked with in the last few months since they’re most likely to have the experience fresh in their minds. Going forward, establish a process for collecting feedback and a testimonial from each and every client you serve.
In general, it’s best to wait a couple of weeks after closing to give your client time to settle into their new home before you reach out with a request. That way, when you do get in touch, you can also touch base with them on how their move went and remind them that you’re there to help them if they should need anything.
It can help to have a template handy so that you’re not recreating the wheel every time you’re ready to request a testimonial from a client. When you send your first batch, be sure to save the text of your email to a file you can easily access. Leave space for personalization, where you can bring up specific details you had connected with them about, then go into your ask once you’ve done some friendly checking in.
Above all, testimonials should feel authentic and true to the client, so allow them to interpret your request however they see fit. Make sure they’re okay with you posting their words (and anything else you plan to use, like photos from closing or images of their new home) on your website and social media. From there, share away and enjoy the added trust and positivity that comes your way!