In real estate we know “location, location, location” is the linchpin for starting your property search. Similarly, in business, the best individual marketing tool that produces quality results is word of mouth referrals. This a very well-known fact, but often investors fail to utilize word of mouth referrals consistently and effectively.
Most investors, when they speak of marketing in the real estate investing arena, often reference direct mail, pay per click campaigns, and bandit signs. These are great tools to generate leads and drum up business. I am an advocate of those tools when used correctly and consistently. However, I am astonished at the minimal use of testimonials in their marketing.
Using testimonials is the holy grail of marketing.
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3 Great Reasons to Use Testimonials
1. They Build Credibility
Psychologically, customers are more receptive when conducting business with someone they were referred to use beforehand. Referrals offer instant credibility of your services, and they diminish the customer’s level of skepticism.
For example, if you’re looking for a good plumber via the web, normally after reading about the company, the next step is to read the customer comments about their service. This is done to evaluate the service and to determine their level of credibility. By incorporating testimonials, it provides a level of comfortability that you would not have without being a direct customer.
2. They Create Positive Affirmation
A great testimonial informs potential customers that your service is better than your competitors because you welcome customer feedback. You may think this is very minute, but it is very significant when building clientele. The positive affirmation that clients give your service immediately affirms that you are not just focused on your profit and loss statement, but your quality of service.
3. They Strengthen Your Brand
Branding is essential in delineating the core differences between you and the competition. This is highly important when you are a small entrepreneur competing against a large conglomerate. Some customers like the mom/pop approach because it incorporates a personal touch approach. However, most customers will use the big brand that comes to mind first. That is usually those with the huge marketing budget.
Although it is difficult to compete with the big boys, your personal brand can be significantly strengthened by utilizing testimonials that emphasis your business’s core competencies. Customers will use the services of a local entity if there is a strong brand in a local market.
How to Use Testimonials Most Effectively
- Whenever you have a wonderful business experience with a customer, make sure you get a testimonial. You can ask them to give their opinion about your service, they can rate your service on a number scale, or you can ask them what the likelihood is of them telling someone else about the services you provide.
- I am a strong advocate for video, but written testimonials are great as well. However, using both in conjunction with one another can instantly boost your credibility with prospective clients. Using both resources on your website, Facebook page, and other social media platforms is critical.
- In my experience capturing the monumental moment of closing is powerful. I try and capture the moments of excitement while at the title company or immediately afterwards. This is the time when the seller is most enthusiastic and relieved that we were able to buy their house. Spontaneity is great, so try and catch those moments as much as possible. I want to catch the real life reactions, which increases authenticity with the readers/viewers.
- Reference your testimonial. If you find a buyer who is undecided if they should use your services, this is a great time to send them a link of a testimonial. This should only be used if they are on the fence and you’ve had a lengthy dialogue with them. You will not do this with tirekickers.
- If you have an awesome relationship with a previous seller, ask them if you could possibly use them as a reference. People love to share positive experiences; I’ve even had my escrow officer provide a reference!
Using testimonials is essential to the success of your business. Strategically positioning your resources can help build the brand of your company. Remember, you have to utilize every tool you have in order to gain a strong presence in your market.
Are you utilizing the power of testimonials? Why or why not? Do you have any creative ways to capture testimonials?
I would love to hear your thoughts, so remember to comment below!