Testimonials are a great way to lend credibility to your real estate business, and in many cases boost sales. Why? Because testimonials play one of the most important roles in any business, they reduce customer anxiety and build trust.
Imagine the last time you bought something, be it a house, a car, or even a television, there is always a moment of doubt; is this the one I really want? Should I take more time to consider? Am I making the right decision? These moments of doubt are simply human nature. It’s important for us (as buyers) to question decisions we make to ensure they are the best options for us, which is precisely why it’s equally important for companies (or sellers) to provide the necessary reassurance that the decisions at hand are right.
That’s where testimonials come in; far more than flattery; good testimonials that say the right thing, in the right place, at the right time are powerful tools in a buyers’ decision making process, especially (given the size of the purchase)when it comes to property.
“Good testimonials reassure a prospective customer in their exact moment of need”
Some websites opt to have a page purely dedicated to testimonials, but I much prefer to read testimonials where I feel they are relevant and answer real time questions where they naturally occur.
Therefore the best place, in my opinion, for a testimonial to be placed, is at any stage a prospective customer is likely to wobble, or falter. These falter points are different for various businesses of course, but they generally tend to be where a customer can naturally question one of the following:
- Quality of the product or service
- Reliability of the product or service
- Payment security
For real estate websites this could be a quote from a satisfied customer placed on the listing page for properties in the same neighborhood or surrounding area, so that when a prospective buyer doubts your local knowledge, for example, they are instantly reassured.
Another important factor to note is not just where testimonials are placed on your website, but what they say. A good testimonial identifies a problem, provides a solution and highlights a track record of positive and honest results.
“New customers want to relate to those who have already experienced your services, so they can visualize themselves working with you and know if you are trustworthy”
In order to relate to new clients, it’s important to recognize that different types of customers will need different types of reassurance; therefore your website should showcase at least one testimonial for each type of customer. If your business is an estate agency for example, your customers are likely to be both buyers and sellers, perhaps local, and/or overseas. In order to appeal to all target audiences, think about what groups together or sets your various customers apart, and make sure you cover all bases.
In the Ebook, Youtility for Real Estate: Why Smart Real Estate Professionals are Helping Not Selling, Jay Baer and Erica Campbell say, “Trust is the prism through which all real estate success must pass. Without trust, nothing else matters. Not listings. Not track record. Not technology.”
But the methods of gaining trust have changed, that’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure your online representation appears as trustworthy as you are in the flesh. Why? Because prospects increasingly turn to your website and social pages long before they pick up the phone, meaning if you don’t get it right there you might not get a chance to get it right in person.
Furthermore as technology grows and face to face interaction becomes less about a physical presence and more about mobile technology, you may find you hardly spend any actual face to face time with clients at all.That’s why taking small measures such as understanding where your customers might need reassurance and giving it to them before they even have the chance to ask is so important going forward, and will undoubtedly put you streets ahead of the competition (pardon the pun).