Effective Real Estate Testimonials: A Guide to Building Trust and Landing New Clients

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According to a studyCustomer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective content marketing tactics”. In short, in a crowded market like today, great testimonials, formatted the right way, can boost your leads and deals. They help add credibility in an untrusting world.

Additionally, as those values go vertical, a lot of aspiring wholesalers start flipping houses, making for increasingly saturated online spaces.

But before panic sets in, breathe. It’s not as bad as it sounds… well, it is, but it’s also an opportunity. It’s a chance to flex your real estate muscles, to stand head and shoulders above that semi-debilitating clutter, to be the solution rather than contribute to the problem.

Whether you’re an investor, buyer, seller, or plumber, what I’m going to teach you will apply.

I’m going to teach you how to build credibility by leveraging testimonials that shine.


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What’s a Real Estate Testimonial?

A real estate testimonial is relaying a story from a current client to a potential client. The shorter, the better (unless you sacrifice quality). You don’t want an hour-long testimonial.

When a client has a great experience, let them share it. Potential clients experience shopping anxiety — you know, that feeling you get, before buying something, that says, “It costs too much. It’s not good enough. How do you know it’s what you want?” — and testimonials are one way of shooting down this discouraging devil.

The testimonial combats with, “Other people have worked with this company, and they had a good experience. I probably will too.”

You’re Doing It Wrong…

Most people have testimonials useful for taking up website canvas, but little else.

To avoid spitting lousy devil killers, I’m going to walk you through the four levels of a quality testimonial. Unfortunately, most people are stuck in levels one and two.

 

The first level is your most basic testimonial:

“Hey, Mark was great to work with. – J.K.”

If a level one testimonial is on your website, it’s best to take it down. It’s not helping. There’s no specifics. It doesn’t say what Mark did for you that was so great. It doesn’t say how Mark did it.

As if this lack of context isn’t enough, it doesn’t end there. The signature just says, “J.K.,” the client’s initials. Regardless of the fact that the testimonial is made a joke by the initials J.K. (if someone has these initials, don’t even get their testimonial…), initials, even without such inconvenient letters, are impersonal and will potentially create distrust in the viewer.

A testimonial doesn’t always help your reputation. Level one testimonials, particularly, can damage it.


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Be Specific

Level two is better, but still in the sad zone:

“Mark did what he said he’d do, closed on time, and I refer him to friends. – John Kennedy”

It says that Mark is reliable, timely, and good enough to gain a referral. Clearly, level two is getting more specific.

Notice, also, that the testimonial used the person’s name, John Kennedy, not his initials. However, even with a real name and an honest, mildly-specific testimonial, skeptics abound. The more specific, the better… and the fewer critics.

But specificity isn’t all that counts toward your level. Even if your testimonial is true — which I hope it is — you still have to convince people it’s true. It’s all thanks to that crowded real estate space where there’s no shortage of lies and deceit.

Be Real

Unfortunately, in our world of “alternative facts” and reality television, being authentic isn’t enough. You have to convince people you’re authentic.

How?

Well, level three and level four testimonials seem more believable simply because they include a visual and they’re a bit more specific:

“I inherited a house and couldn’t sell it, but found Mark online. I was skeptical, but their offer was fair, we closed on time, and I’d work with him again. – John Kennedy – Tampa Seller”

 

Viewers will look at an image or video and, immediately, the dud of a testimonial becomes impactful.

The image could be a picture of you and the prospect at the closing table or a picture of their face. It could be you shaking their hand or a short video of them talking through the process.

Your only goal is to make it real, to make it believable. Don’t forget to include a short bio for the testimonial giver; tell the viewer who’s recommending you. Even something as short as, “John Kennedy, Tampa seller.”

Here is an example of a good testimonial with an image of the client and the investor:

“Thank you for all your help and walking me through the mess I got stuck with. You explained everything and went over the contract step by step; never once did your answers change. You gave us all the information we needed and we could see you were serious about what you do. If someone asks if I know who could help them, I would not hesitate to name you as a reference as you are an honest person. Once again, thank you so much.”  – Louise R. Friel


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Use Video

If you want to climb to the testimonial pinnacle, make a video: a video of the whole process, of your client, recommending you, emotions and all.

 

step 4 in creating a effective real estate testimonial

Video captures something that text cannot: the human ability to communicate nonverbally. And that’s a powerful prospect.

Here is an example of a good “real” video testimonial:

Let me end with one final tip…


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Ask Good Questions

Don’t forget to set yourself up for success at the gate. When pursuing a testimonial, ask good prompting questions.

Here are some ideas:

  • What wowed you about working with us?
  • What was your favorite part of the whole process?
  • What problem did you need solved and did we solve it like you expected?

Elements of an Effective Real Estate Testimonial

To recap, these are the elements necessary for a killer testimonial. Check these off your list before posting.

  • Be specific
  • Be authentic
  • Be thorough
  • Emphasize benefit
  • Include picture of face (optional: video)
  • Short bio
  • Ask good questions

Remember that threatening clutter?

Not so threatening.

Now that you have the tools to create share-worthy and clutter-killing testimonials, you’ll stand a few feet taller than the competition. Be thorough, be real, show pictures of properties and people, and your testimonials will crush it.

Go implement these principles on your own referrals, and let me know the results.

Don’t forget to check out our other Carrot whiteboard strategy sketches on our YouTube channel and our CarrotCast Podcast, which is our weekly podcast, as well.


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9 Responses to “Effective Real Estate Testimonials: A Guide to Building Trust and Landing New Clients”

  1. Gary Parker Gary Parker

    I really liked the end where you discussed what questions to ask sellers. That will for sure improve my videos going forward. GaryBuysHouses.com

    Reply
    • Trevor Mauch Trevor Mauch

      Gary! Excellent!!! Man this is soooo huge right now… building credibility in all of our marketing… that’ll help you stand apart credibility wise from your competitors.

      Go get ’em!

      Reply
  2. Eric Schmoll

    Trevor- Great video, I have used a few different sources to post reviews before, and thought I already knew enough. But your video definately ran true, that we can always learn more. Thanks for the great recommendations. I look forward to making some video reviews/testimonials.

    Reply
    • Trevor Mauch Trevor Mauch

      Eric! Awesome, glad it helped to make your testimonials better!!!

      Hit me w/ a link to one of yours here and I’ll take a look at it and pass over some feedback. Thanks Eric!

      Reply
  3. Candace

    Hi Trevor,

    This was very helpful, thank you. I’m brand new, and haven’t closed a deal yet. Do you have advice for testimonials (or alternative) in this case? Would it make sense to get a general testimonial about my character, ethics etc. or just leave testimonials alone altogether until I have a happy customer (seller) that I’ve done a deal with?

    Reply
    • Trevor Mauch Trevor Mauch

      Candace! Awesome! Glad you liked it.

      YES YES YES. Great question… and it’s one that every business in the world has to face… because everyone has to start somewhere.

      The whole key is taking your prospects on a journey… from Problem Aware, to Solution Aware (they know their options to buy or sell), and to the Decision… but between being solution aware and making a decision they have to do something to vet and verify their options to choose the one they trust the most, they believe the most, they connect the most, and that’ll help them the most.

      As long as you’re connecting w/ them, showing you have the expertise to solve their problem (which is likely more of a mental roadblock for you right now vs. an actual roadblock), and make sure they know who you are and want to work with you… you’ll do fine.

      YES I’d go get character based testimonials from…
      – Your banker
      – Your mortgage broker
      – Insurance agent
      – Real estate agent
      – Co-workers
      – Boss / Former Boss
      – Local non-profit agency you volunteer at
      – … you get the idea.

      something like…

      “I’ve worked with Candace on several projects at “The ‘Save The Carrots’ Day Parade and Fundraiser” and she’s always amazing. Honest, trustworthy, and she does what she says she does. If you’re looking for someone with integrity, Candace is the person. I’d recommend her to anyone” – Nancy Pancy, Director: Save The Carrots Foundation

      Yep, there are other ways to build credibility as well… just going out there and showing you know your stuff. Keep it up and get that first deal done! We can help you through it… just hop on one of our weekly Carrot Coaching Calls if you’re a Carrot client and we’ve got you :-)

      Reply
  4. Candace

    Thanks so much Trevor! That was very helpful and makes sense. I’ve been hearing great things about Carrot practically everywhere and have witnessed the a customer (and technically in my case “non” customer service I first-hand lol)…anyway the thorough response is much appreciated and I will definitely be an actual customer quite soon :)

    Reply
  5. Allan

    Trevor – How do you go about securing the testimonials? Mainly, do you get it in writing that they gave you permission if you do a level 2 or 3 testimonial?

    Reply
    • Trevor Mauch Trevor Mauch

      Hey Allan! Great question.

      The best way to secure them is at the moment they are the happiest and seeing value from you… which is the closing table… when they’re getting their check. So you just need to work into your process at the closing table asking for a testimonial.

      But don’t just say “can I have a testimonial?”. Then it seems self serving.

      Ask them for feedback instead.

      “Hey Mrs. Seller, I’m so excited we helped you get this done and this property off your hands. We’re always looking to improve… are there any things we can do to improve the experience for others? (let them answer it verbally). Then ask… “sweet, thanks for the feedback. So, on the other side of it… what was the best part about your experience with us? (let them talk, you take mental note). Then ask more questions. “What do you feel things would be like if you didn’t find us?” “what were you most surprised about after working with us about our service?” “were there any things you were nervous about before working with us that we overcame well for you during the process?” (that question is the one that’ll yield the most gold).

      Once htey answer w/o the pressure of “doing a testimonial”… then if they said some good stuff you say…

      … “oh, man there’s lots of sellers that have similar things that hold them back from working with professional house buyers like us… the way you said that is awesome… would you mind if I ask you that question again and we record it this time? Then we can show it to other prospective clients so they don’t make the mistake of working with fly by nite operations”.

      Reply

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