How To Get Better Testimonials(And actually get them in your hands!)

Dog with microphoneDid you know that testimonials are one of most under-used sales tools in real estate? The power of your current customers to sell your value to others is far greater than your own power to sell yourself. And unlike most forms of real estate advertising, testimonials are free!

Unfortunately, most agents spend years generating happy clients without a written word to show for it. Others collect testimonials that lack power. Here are some tips on gettting testimonials that hit home with prospects.

1. Tell a Story with Specific Results

Think of some “Client Success Stories” that you remember from other websites. (They don’t necessarily have to be real estate related – just ones that caused you to stick around, and maybe to purchase a product.) Often, the most vivid memories you’ll have are of testimonials that tell a story, beginning with a problem and finishing with successful results.

Here’s an example:

“As first-time home buyers, we were full of questions and had many concerns about making a good investment. Dave took the time to educate us about the market, explained the entire process step by step, and found us a wonderful home in less than 3 weeks.”

Anytime we hear something like this, we automatically compare ourselves to the people telling the story. We are now involved.

The mention of specific, desirable results , especially when there is anxiety involved in a process, triggers a natural “light at the end of the tunnel” response in the reader or listener that makes them think, “I want that”.

2. Use Numbers to Back Up Your Statements

We are conditioned from a very early age to have confidence in numbers. From school textbooks to the nightly news, facts are presented to us with figures to back them up, and we automatically associate them with a sense of legitimacy.

You can use this principle to create powerful testimonials. Here’s an example:

Version 1:

“Jennifer has helped us with multiple transactions, and did a wonderful job helping several of our friends during that time also. We have always been delighted with her service.”

Not bad, but consider the next one:

Version 2:

“Jennifer has helped us buy and sell 3 homes in 5 years, and did a wonderful job helping 4 of our friends during that time also. We have always been 100% delighted in her service.”

While both testimonials are good, the numbers in Version 2 allow people to actually “see” what is being said. It carries much greater authority on a subconscious level.

3. Write It Yourself (And Then Get It Approved)

Sounds bold, you say?

Here’s the thing. Most people, even your biggest fans, don’t really want to write a testimonial – even if they think, or say, they want to. The reason is simply that it puts them under pressure.

Most of them will try to write something that sounds absolutely perfect, and will put so much thought into it (or put it off for so long, rather than have to think about it) that their half-finished testimonial dies a quiet death on their computer hard drive.

Rather than put yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to ask them about it, it’s much easier on everyone if you just have a conversation, so that they can tell you what they liked about working with you. Afterwards it’s the easiest thing in the world to say:

“Would it be alright with you if I wrote up some of your comments to use in a testimonial? I’ll email it to you first so you can make sure you’re OK with everything.”

You can almost hear the sighs of relief. You’ve put them in a position to do something nice, without having to put forth any effort! (And now you can incorporate their remarks into a results-based, number-referencing testimonial.)

The main thing to remember is, get testimonials, and use them! Even when they’re not perfect, or it seems inconvenient. Testimonials are incredibly powerful tools that will turn real estate prospects into clients faster than any other type of marketing.

(From the 6/13/07 issue of Agent Straight Talk)

Irene Nash

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