Feature article

Building trust with testimonials

In the age of digital word of mouth.

Personal recommendations are a key part of the decision-making process when prospective sellers are looking for an agent. Testimonials have the power to make or break a deal. They are the authentic reassurance that goes the extra mile in affirming everything you say and promise to a vendor. 

If you're not utilising the praise your clients have for your business, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Research indicates that 60% of New Zealanders rely on online reviews most, or all of the time when making a purchase decision*. 

When’s the right time to get a testimonial? 

You get the best of both worlds in property sales – a happy vendor and a happy buyer. So make the most of the moment. 

They’re likely to detail their experience when it’s fresh in their mind, so you need to strike while the iron’s hot. An ideal time to drop in a request for a testimonial is either when or straight after you drop off a congratulations note or gift. 

Here are some great ways to capture and share your testimonials with prospective sellers: 

1. Video testimonials 

Video has become one of the most effective ways to engage people. One of the most convincing uses of video in real estate can be found in client testimonials. They can be invaluable, influencing prospective clients to pick up the phone and contact you. 

Some dos and don’ts when it comes to video testimonials: 

  • Let your customer know about the questions you want them to cover in advance so that they feel more prepared. 
  • Use questions that will help your client refer to specific benefits you’d like to promote. For example, “tell me how important negotiating the deal on your terms was to you, and how you feel I helped you with this.” 
  • Keep the testimonials short. Aim for 30–60 seconds and make sure that the start captures the viewers attention. Gain their permission to share video content and ensure they’re happy with the finished product before it goes live. 

  • Capture important sentences and use them in other online and offline marketing materials such as vendor presentations and your agent profile on Trade Me. 

2. SurveyMonkey 

SurveyMonkey is a simple piece of software that helps you to create your own personalised survey to send to clients you’ve worked with. 

It's important to ask the right questions in the right way. Ask open-ended questions to find out what your clients really think rather than multiple choice. Keeping your survey short is key if you want your clients to provide meaningful feedback. 

Promote the content via social media, your website and on your agent profile on Trade Me. 

3. Share across a number of channels 

Facebook: Simply ask satisfied clients to review your services on your Facebook page. This is an easy and effective way of generating feedback. Clients give you a star rating from 1–5 and have the option of providing a comment about the service you provided. Make sure you engage with them by either ‘liking’ it or posting a comment to say thanks. 

LinkedIn: LinkedIn helps you to gather recommendations as part of your professional profile. A recommendation is a comment written by a LinkedIn member to recognise your work or skills. Viewers of your profile often view the recommendations you’ve received to see what others have to say about your work. 

Trade Me Agent Directory: If you haven't already created your agent profile on Trade Me, it's well worth doing. You will be easily found by potential vendors and can upload testimonials and recently sold properties to add authentic reassurance to those who are looking to engage with an agent. By adding testimonials to your profile, you’re providing viewers of your listings and profile the social proof they need to reassure them that you have what it takes to do the deal. 


* Stuff.co.nz, June 2019