Testimonials increase REALTORS®' credibility

By Kim Shindle | Aug. 24, 2010 | 2 min. read

Joeann Fossland

Testimonials build credibility in the real estate market; the difference is how to use them in today’s market.

“It’s a well-known fact that third-party endorsements raise your credibility,” said Joeann Fossland, a national speaker and coach based in Arizona.

“Stop thinking of testimonials as pull-out quotes. Consumers are shopping for homes online, so you need to think of new ways to make those testimonials work on websites and in social media,” Fossland said. “People using social media are asking their friends to recommend everything from restaurants, recipes and other information.”

Take a Flip video camera to closings is one way to record recommendations. “Clients are never happier than they are at closing,” she said. “Record your clients’ answers to: ‘How did the closing go?’ ‘How did I make the process easier?’ ‘Would you recommend me in the future?’ Then post different clips on LinkedIn, Facebook and your website.”

Only 14 percent of consumers trust advertising, while 86 percent trust recommendations from friends, Fossland noted from a recent survey.

To improve business, Fossland suggested six tips:

Listen for the testimonial. When a client says something great about you, don’t hesitate to ask if you can use it in your marketing.

Post video testimonials on YouTube.

Create a page on your website with the videos or comments from clients. Include a photo of the client with a quote.

Post testimonials throughout your website. Use a testimonial at the top of each page.

Provide a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn. Then ask them to do the same for you. Eighty-five percent of Fortune 500 companies research other companies on LinkedIn.

Touch base with past clients. Contact your past clients and ask them for a testimonial. Make it a goal to collect five testimonials a week from previous clients.

Relationships account for 54 percent of a seller’s choice of an agent and 64 percent of a buyer’s choice, according to 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

“It’s tough out there today,” Fossland added. “You have past clients who love and respect you. Their testimonials provide the personal recommendation new clients are looking for.”

Editor’s note: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued new regulations regarding testimonials last year. It’s a good idea to review these regulations prior to publishing testimonials.

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