How to Gather Social Proof to Attract New Clients
When it comes to being an estate agent, there's an intrinsic sense of community among all people from all walks of life and that's by dint of the fact that we all have a need or requirement for housing at some stage in our lives.
As the expression goes, ‘birds of a feather, flock together' and that's mirrored in human behaviour in that people want to know they're not alone in liking or using a particular agent's services. People also tend to place emphasis on the opinions of complete strangers to help them find out more about locations and areas for their property search.
Here are five techniques to gather social proof in the real estate sector that are effective in driving new business:
#1 Buyer or Seller Reviews and Testimonials
According to research from Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Client reviews and testimonials are the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing and present strong opportunities to garner social proof. By providing testament to the quality of your services and circulating evidence of such through various digital channels, estate agents can very effectively garner social proof that results in new business.
#2 Be Visible on Social Media
A recent report on the influence of social media in real estate revealed that more than 84% of real estate professionals use social media channels for lead generation. As social networks are one of the most direct routes to your audience, it's crucial to use the opportunity to raise awareness of your brand with the right kind of content on these platforms to gather social proof. This is also a good exercise in terms of reputation management and affords you the opportunity to engage with existing and prospective clients in a relaxed and informal setting.
#4 Be Visually Creative with Content
It's often easier for people to grasp information that's visually presented with images and video as well as text and it also grabs audience's attention much faster. By showing your listings or sharing local news with diagrams, images and video, it's possible to boost your profile and successfully build stronger trust-based relationship with existing and prospective clients.
It's even possible to use streaming tools on Facebook to host live Q&A sessions which provide a platform to answer homebuyers' questions and showcase your authority in the real estate sector. This approach improves transparency and trust as well as garnering social proof as it indicates a valuable and welcoming open-door policy.
#5 Create Practical Client-Centric Content
Printable factsheets and checklists go a long way to helping current and potential clients make the right home buying or selling decisions. If this kind of educational and practical content is distributed frequently, it accumulates to become a valuable go-to resource for a wide audience and establishes authority as well as social proof.
Social proof has become something of a psychological phenomenon of recent times due to the surge of social networks and people's reliance on the actions of others and their opinions to determine their next move. Although social influence extends to all facets of life, buying or selling a home is very much affected by the experiences, opinions and treatment received by clients and how they are reported on social media.
In many senses this is not a new phenomenon but more a reinvention of the wheel as people have been expressing their opinions via word-of-mouth since language was invented. Even providing evidence of social acceptance with testimonials is a retrospective take on one of the earliest forms of advertising. Ultimately, the best way estate agents can gather social proof is by regularly communicating and engaging with audiences in their ‘natural habitat' as it were, which for many people is logged on to social media.