You know you need them. Just as you read online reviews before deciding on the purchase of everything from a book to a washing machine, savvy San Diego real estate buyers and sellers read testimonials and reviews before choosing a real estate agent.
At the same time, like many agents, you may be hesitant to ask, because it feels like you’re asking for a pat on the back or a compliment. Most of us are a bit uncomfortable with that.
So what can you do?
Step #1 should be setting up a long-term system for getting a review from every client immediately following their transaction.
You can do this with a simple follow-up questionnaire. Explain to your clients that in the interest of providing ever more valuable service to your clients, you’d like their feedback on how you did.
Questions can be simple:
- Was there anything I did that you particularly appreciated?
- Is there something you wish I’d done that I didn’t do?
- Do you have comments on my service?
Include a request for permission to use their comments as a part of the questionnaire, or wait for the feedback. Then ask as a part of your thank you note.
You can enter their comments on your own website and on your Active Rain profile, but since you can’t self-enter on some sites, go ahead and include a request for them to visit your profile on Zillow, Facebook, etc. and leave their comments.
What if you get negative comments? Welcome them – then use them to improve your service. In the meantime, follow up with the client, thank them for their honesty, and ask if there’s something you can do to ease the situation.
What about past clients?
Email each client individually and let them know that you would appreciate them taking time to give you a review. Let them know how you’ve been doing and tell them that since online reviews have become such an important part of marketing, you’d value their help.
Of course, make it easy by giving them links to your profile on Zillow, LinkedIn, or any other site you wish them to use.
When you write, send along something of value, such as updated market data for their neighborhood. If they were buyers and it’s been a year or more, send them data about houses that have sold in their neighborhood recently.
Make it Easy
Since some people don’t like to write, you can offer to send them some suggestions. Or, if they’ve given you verbal praise, you can suggest that they write what they said. If you’ve saved their emails and they said something complimentary, you can copy it for them and suggest that they use those words.
By the way, if you’re working on adding testimonials to your own site you can simply reference back to that email and ask if they’d mind if you posted their comments on your site. You don’t have to wait for the end of a transaction to do this – go ahead and ask as soon as you receive the compliment.
Turn getting reviews into a long-term project.
You don’t need to get all of your reviews at once. In fact, it’s better if they’re spaced out over time. Clients seeing 5 or 10 reviews all posted within a day or two can become suspicious – thinking you’ve asked friends or relatives to make up bogus reviews.
Don’t be hurt if they don’t respond with a review
Some people are shy about having their names displayed in public. Understand that, respect it, and go on to the next person on your list.