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5 No-Pain Strategies for Getting Testimonials and Online Reviews

October 16 2014

laptopYears ago if you'd wanted to find a new service provider, say a dentist or dog groomer, you'd probably have asked a friend for a referral. Times have changed. These days, nearly everyone is going online to not only find nearby businesses but to research and evaluate them.

Online reviews and testimonials are the best way for any business to demonstrate a track record of happy, successful clients. But asking past clients for testimonials can seem awkward. After all, it's our job to help them, and now suddenly we're asking them to help us! I liken it to exercise. We know it's good for us, but for some reason rarely make it a priority.

It's not enough to just be in business anymore. In the past you'd hear, "Hey my uncle's in real estate, you should give him a call." Now you need to be proactively managing your reputation—online and off. They are going online to find an agent, but they also want to know why they should hire you. Given that 92 percent of consumers use the Internet at some point during their home searches, agents must take control of their online reviews and reputationstake control of their online reviews and reputations or risk losing many of their prospects' business.

There's nothing like testimonials and online reviews to help you enhance your professional credibility with the online reader. In fact, a recent articlerecent article published at Search Engine Land revealed 88 percent of consumers have read online reviews in order to determine the quality of a local business.

Quick aside: To boost consumer trust in agents found on Trulia, we recently added a new, improved, and far more robust agent ratings and review sectionnew, improved, and far more robust agent ratings and review section to our free agent profiles. These new ratings and reviews are your chance to get free endorsements from your past clients and offer the social proof needed to generate even more business from your Trulia Agent ProfileTrulia Agent Profile.

 

So, given all of this, we know why we need success stories to share, but how do we get them? If you need to bolster your reviews and testimonial portfolio, here are 5 strategies that work!

1. Time it Right!

People are happy on closing day! One of the easiest ways to get feedback is with a simple survey to complete at closing. "I hope you won't mind taking a few minutes to fill out this client satisfaction survey." Hand it to them, smile and wait while they fill it out. Easy!

2. Tailor Your Request to the Client's Personality

A Type A client is not going to want to take the time to log in, create an account, and fill out a survey. She will be more likely to respond to a brief email request for a testimonial. The warmer and fuzzier types will want to have their review published online—proof how much they loved working with you!

Think about which response method your client is more likely to relate to, the "one type fits all" request is not nearly as effective as a request that is tailored to the type of client you are requesting a review from.

3. Don't Make It All About You

Yes, you're asking your client to say (hopefully nice) things about you and your business, but what if you ask them to think about it from a different perspective? For example: "Mr. Buyer, would you be willing to share your experience of working with me and my team? You know, anything you think might be important for someone who is thinking of hiring us to know." Now they're helping someone else, not just you!

4. Share Past Reviews

Not everyone is comfortable writing. Even online reviews ask for a blurb and, let's face it, the blurb is the best part, but some people really struggle expressing their thoughts. Share a few examples of what past clients have written about your real estate services to break the ice and give them an idea what you're looking for.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Follow Up

A few years I bought a car and had a good experience with the salesperson. A few days later I received an online review request from the dealership. I'd intended to fill it out but got busy and deleted it. A few weeks later I got a nice message asking if I'd received the first email and letting me know another request would be coming soon and how much he would appreciate if I could complete it. Not only was I relieved to have a second chance, I appreciated the heads up to be looking for it!

Third-party reviews bring far more credibility than information posted on the "About Me" page of your website and believe me, they're a lot more fun to read. Follow these simple tips and you'll be able to leverage the success of your past transactions to meet even more clients!

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This article was originally published on the Trulia Pro blog. You find it, and other articles for real estate agents, herehere.