Realtor reviews not only give your IDX website visitors (also known as potential — and hopefully future — leads) an idea of how you operate your real estate business and work with your clients, they also act as outstanding nurturing resources for existing prospects in your CRM database.
Think of it this way: When looking to make a high-priced purchase online, you don’t instantly click “Order” from the first vendor that pops up in Google or an ecommerce website. Consumers take some time to analyze the social proof of brand(s) they’re interested in and the products and services they offer before making the ultimate buying decision.
It’s this kind of careful and thoughtful approach that modern buyers and sellers take as well (there’s plenty of data to back that claim up) — and you’re the brand they investigate carefully. What are they looking for mostly? What your past clients have to say about your work and their satisfaction with your agency in general — feedback you can learn how to leverage for your real estate marketing below.
Check out our in-depth advice on how to use real estate reviews to generate new leads online and turn current prospects into new business opportunities. Then, be sure to download our new ebook, “Generating and Nurturing Leads with Social Proof,” to take your review marketing strategy to the next level!
Step #1: Send a thoughtful, personalized email to past clients to ask for detailed feedback about your work.
The best Realtor reviews are the ones that feature lots of love from one’s clients. Some agents think the best way to earn this adoration from past clients is to be as forward as possible — and, when done right, this isn’t the worst approach … but it’s far from the best.
Ideally, you want to ease into your ask. In other words, being blunt with clients and requesting they write a couple pages’ worth of commendation for your brand before they’ve even signed closing papers will (likely) scare them off. Instead, you should be patient.
Here’s one scenario in which you can reach out to older clients — ones with whom you haven’t spoken with in some time — and maintain high odds they’ll offer the kind of written applause you desperately seek:
- Craft a highly personalized email that draws on your experience representing them and, presumably, helping them achieve one of their life’s goals: buying their dream home or selling their residence for top dollar.
- Then, with great care, get to the ultimate point of your email. Something like: “I know it’s been a while since closing, but I’d love if you could take 10 minutes to share your thoughts on my business and the work I completed for you. Real estate is all about being human, and getting kind words from clients like you will really help when it comes to getting more people interested in working with me.”
- Note that there’s no rush on this request, but that you’d greatly appreciate it if they could set aside some time in the near future. Should they fail to follow up with you, simply set a reminder for a few weeks or months down the road to ask them again. Chances are, if they don’t respond to that email, they’ll never provide a real estate review, so you can cross them off your list of clients to contact moving forward.
Then, there are those clients you currently represent or have just closed deals for. This same process works the same for them. The only modifications you need to make, though, are to make your request in person, if possible. Your clients will find it a lot harder to turn down your request when you’re smiling right in front of them and, as noted, helping them accomplish a life’s goal.
Step #2: Transform the short- and long-form real estate reviews you receive into new IDX website content.
So let’s assume you’ve been able to obtain some stellar Realtor reviews from at least some members of your client base. As with your real estate website lead conversion, getting even a small percentage to lend a helping hand for your social proof strategy is a win.
Now, you can turn your attention to organizing all of that collateral into a dedicated page on your agency website and crafting several unique review and testimonial posts for said page so both new and returning visitors alike can read up about your business relationships with Barbara Buyer and Sammy Seller (that would just be plain ironic if you had clients by those names … but we digress).
The first task at hand is simple: Reformat the feedback sent over from your clients into a readable — and even scannable — structure. Chances are your clients’ responses won’t be entirely correct in the grammatical sense (and there may be a misspelling — or 10). So, comb over their replies and reorganize them in a manner that makes them easier to consume.
Once this is set, you can determine which type of real estate social proof you’re working with.
- If Client ‘A’ sent over just 100 words or so of praise for your business, you can repurpose their quote as an on-page testimonial.
- If Client ‘B’ waxed poetic about you and your brand for 1,000+ words, you’ve got a full-fledged review — one you can transform into a multi-section post that, as mentioned, can make it easier for your website audience to quickly scan.
With the former type of social proof, simply adding a headshot or family photo of the buyer(s) or seller(s) in question atop the testimonial post is likely all the visual content you’ll need to accompany their actual assessment. For reviews, though, you may want to pepper in a few more images, or — if you have the bandwidth — create a video or graphic that can also be featured on the page.
For example, if a given client listed five specific reasons why they loved working with you, develop a mini-infographic called “5 Reasons Why Buyers/Sellers Love Working with [Your Name or Agency Name].” It’s this type of asset that can be used on this real estate agent review page, as well as several other digital channels — including and especially email and social media.
Step #3: Develop spin-off social proof collateral you can use for your marketing in the form of graphics and videos.
A graphic is just one of several pieces of spinoff real estate content you can create based on your reviews and testimonials.
Let’s say you’re lucky enough to get replies from a dozen or more of your clients of real estate past. In addition to creating unique posts featuring their insights about you and your company on a dedicated reviews/testimonials page, you can also catalog them in a single asset.
For instance, create a highly stylized, comprehensive case study ebook (and even print book, if you have the marketing spend) that acts as the ultimate social proof resource for your business. Each chapter can be a different client who tells a slightly different story about your brand, shares their original thoughts about your work ethic, and offers completely distinct viewpoints on your agency.
You can even gate this kind of content behind a lead capture form on your real estate website so you have a piece of content that could entice your visitors to convert and find out why so many people have enjoyed working with you. Or, if you don’t think many prospective clients would fill out a form, you can at least incorporate it in your email campaigns to existing leads to prove to them your successes as a real estate pro and the many buyers and/or sellers you’ve assisted over the years.
This is arguably the best spinoff asset you can produce based on existing Realtor reviews and testimonials, but it’s far from the only one. Here are some other derivative content ideas for your social proof:
- Interview-style video: Whether it’s a scripted, well-planned, one-on-one interview recording in which you do your best “60 Minutes” correspondent impression or a live-stream clip on Facebook or Periscope, leverage the power of video for your real estate marketing plan so you can show off the human, personable side of your brand.
- Buying and selling guides: Feature your clients’ tips and tricks for fellow buyers and sellers in customized guides you can share on a dedicated resources page on your website. On top of featuring their advice in these manuals-of-sorts, you can also plop in some of their glowing recommendations for your real estate business here and there too.
- Sign up for RealSatisfied: With RealSatisfied, you can send automated emails to your clients right after closing that requests they fill out a quick questionnaire tailored specifically for them (i.e. with buyer- and seller-oriented questions, not generic ones, like “Did you like me?”). You can sync your RealSatisfied account featuring these reviews on Facebook, Realtor.com, and other real estate portals.
In short, you want to maximize the value of your real estate reviews to broaden brand awareness and, eventually, improve your visitor-to-lead and lead-to-client conversion rates. So, brainstorm some ideas that would work well for your digital marketing (and are relatively easy to execute), and use that content to get your brand messaging in front of far more people online.
Step #4: Set up a promotion plan for this review content — specifically, through email, ads, and social media.
The options for expertly promoting your real estate agent reviews are essentially threefold:
- Include them in your email campaigns
- Link them to your online ads
- Add them to your social media accounts.
Let’s tackle each of these promotional avenues in order, shall we?
Email is the reigning champ of digital promotion for brands of any niche and in just about every sector. Why? Well, look at some of the statistics associated with the premier lead-nurturing tactic for real estate agents such as yourself:
- The average open rate for emails from real estate professionals is 20+%, per MailChimp.
- According to Constant Contact, the average click-through rate for agents’ emails is 6+%.
- The email open rate average for the top quartile of real estate pros is 40+%, IBM reports.
To put it simply, you’re kidding yourself if aren’t using email for your marketing plan — specifically, automated drip marketing campaigns that nurture your real estate leads. Thus, you’d be wise to share your reviews (and associated content) via campaigns today, tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future.
Advertising is another prime option for your social proof promotion as well. Just be sure you know what you’re doing when it comes to the ad platform(s) of which you choose to take advantage.
Here’s one example: You decide to allocate some of your ad spend toward Facebook for Business … which, by the way, is a very smart idea these days. The reasons why are pretty straightforward: The ROI on Facebook ads compared to other ad solutions is significant, ad campaigns are relatively simple to set up on Facebook, and you can quickly and easily track ad performance in real-time.
Like most professionals just getting started with Facebook advertising, chances are you’ll need to take some time to learn the ins and outs of the system to ensure you improve each subsequent ad campaign. You may even need to work with a company that provides help with Facebook advertising (and can even set up ads for you) so you get the most out of your marketing dollars.
And finally, there’s the organic side of social media for spreading word of your Realtor testimonials and reviews. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are your go-to social networks when it comes to posting all of your social proof collateral — just note the different types of shares you can publish on each outlet, given the image dimensions and characters allowed vary from platform to platform.
At the end of the day, each of these promotional possibilities can help you accomplish your central goal: making it clear you’re running a thriving business that has helped and continues to help buyers and/or sellers achieve their goals. As long as you experiment with each marketing approach, you’ll enhance your odds of resonating with your audience online and converting them into new clients — and future social proof opportunities.
How do you earn and leverage testimonials and reviews from your clientele? Share your marketing tips and tricks below!