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“The only way to build authority is through content.”
If you’re serious about generating leads on your real estate website, customer testimonials can be a key content element because they are unbiased comments that prompt visitors to give you their contact information.
By using testimonials in text or video formats on your site, you introduce content that will promote your business in an authoritative way.
You should be using testimonials to help establish credibility and authority. Quality testimonials increase conversions because they aren’t looked upon as sales pitches. If they come across in an unbiased voice they will build trust. You’re using real people to show success in your service.
In the end, your testimonials will be there to convert more visitors into buyers and sellers as long as you use them correctly.
According to a study… “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 to an untrusting world.
Additionally, as those values go vertical, a lot of aspiring wholesalers start flipping houses, making for increasingly saturated online spaces.
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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 agent, what I’m going to teach you will apply.
I’m going to teach you how to build credibility by leveraging testimonials that shine.
Let’s dive in!
What is 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.”
Here are some examples from one of our member sites:
Why are high-quality testimonials such a big deal?
If used correctly, testimonials for your real estate business do a few important things for website visitors (and for your conversion rate).
- Completely eradicate concerns that prospects had about working with your business.
- Build immediate trust for who you are and what you do.
- Convince prospects to give you their information via an opt-in form or call you on the phone directly).
Consider that 88% of consumers claim that they read at least 10 reviews before deciding whether they can trust a company or not (and they have to trust you if they’re going to work with you) or that 88% of people trust online testimonials just as much as personal recommendations from a friend.
To prove just how powerful testimonials can be (at least the conversion rate side of things), Unbounce reported on an A/B test. Ideal for testing, Version A and Version B are identical save for one difference: Version B includes a testimonial above the opt-in form of the website.
In the end, Version B increased the conversion rate by 34%.
Let’s put that in perspective for a wholesalers website.
Imagine that you drive 1,000 website visits every month, generating 100 leads per month on your website (a 10% conversion rate — typical for Carrot websites) and that you close 1 in 25 leads. That means you’re doing about 4 deals per month, at, let’s assume, $10,000 profit per deal.
Boom — you add a glowing testimonial to your website and increase your conversion rate by 34%, from 10% to 13.4%.
Now, you’re going to get a little more than 130 leads per month with the same amount of traffic (1,000 website visits). And since you close 1 in 15 to 25 leads, you’ll now be doing a little more than 5 deals every month with the exact same amount of website traffic.
You just added $10,000 in monthly wholesale fees (from $40,000 per month to $50,000 per month) by putting a testimonial on your website.
And the same goes for real estate agents. You can increase your conversion rate and monthly income by adding awesome testimonials to your website.
Of course, I’m not promising that you’ll get exactly those results. I’m just trying to illustrate how powerful a small boost in your website’s conversion rate can be on your business revenue (at Carrot, we provide high converting websites out-of-the-box for our members)… and that testimonials can help you achieve that small, powerful boost.
But… all of this depends on using high-quality testimonials.
You Might Be 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.
Level 1: The Basic Real Estate Testimonial
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 are 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.
Level 2: Be Specific
Level two is better, but still in the sad zone 😢
Do not use painfully vague testimonials.
“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.
When a testimonial is ambiguous, it can work against building trust for your business and actually create unease in the prospect’s mind. If this testimonial is real, why isn’t it 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 fewer critics.
Here’s an example of what this could look like…
“Best Decision I’ve Ever Made!!! I was in a situation where I needed to get out of my house ASAP and Colby came through for Me!!! Nobody else will ever beat his services and I’m relieved I don’t have the financial stress any longer!!! I will forever be grateful for what he did for me!!!”
But specificity isn’t all that counts toward your level. Even if your testimonial is true, 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.
Level 3: Be Real
Unfortunately, in our world of “alternative facts” and reality television, being authentic isn’t enough.
It’s tempting to just write your own testimonial under an alias name and throw it on your website to increase conversion rate. It sure would take a lot less time, and if you’re a great writer, it might even boost your conversion rate.
But chances are, the testimonial you’ll receive from someone who authentically loves your service will be far more powerful (and conversion-boosting) than something you throw together yourself. Plus, people can usually tell when a testimonial is fake.
You have to convince people you’re authentic.
Well, levels 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
Level 4: Record Video Real Estate Testimonials
If you want to climb to the testimonial pinnacle, make a video. Record a video of the whole process, of your client, recommending you, emotions and all.
Video captures something that text cannot: the human ability to communicate nonverbally. And that’s a powerful prospect.
Here are a few examples of good “real” video testimonials:
Let me end with one final tip…
You Need to Ask Good Questions
Don’t forget to set yourself up for success at the gate. To get a high-quality testimonial, you must ask the right questions.
Here are some questions to ask to get POWERFUL testimonials:
- What problem did you need to solve and did we solve it as you expected? — You want to pull out the pain they were experiencing before working with you. What were they going through? Could they even sleep at night? What was the emotional pain like? How stressful was the situation?
- Why did you choose to do work with us? — You want to now get a better understanding of what made them decide to solve their stressful situation by working with you. What was going through their head? What was the final straw that made them give you a call?
- Why did you choose us instead of some other company? — Why not somebody else? Asking this question will help illustrate your USP and what sets you apart from other competitors within your market.
- What was your favorite part about working with us? — Being on the other side of that stressful situation, what was the thing that the client most enjoyed during the time they worked with you? It could be how fast you closed or how easy it was.
- What surprised you about working with us? — Asking this question can get the client talking about the thing they loved about working with you that was the most unexpected (i.e. how you went above and beyond for them).
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 benefits
- Include a picture of a face or better yet, record a short video
- Short bio
- Ask good questions
Ultimately, Work With What You Have
Remember that threatening clutter?
Not so threatening is it?
If you’re not comfortable on video, then email past clients the questions above and ask for their answers. If you can’t think of any clients who’d give you a testimonial, then call a friend and ask them to vouch for your character.
In time, and as your business grows, you’ll get better and better real estate testimonials which will improve your conversion rate even further. But it’s a process.
Testimonials can increase conversion rate if you use them correctly and there are very few instances where a testimonial would actually hurt your conversion rate.
So work with what you have.
So embrace it; go get some testimonials and add em’ to your website. Remember, a slight conversion rate increase could mean thousands of dollars more per month for your business.
See Carrot in Action
Grow Your Real Estate Website’s
Traffic, Leads, & Results With Carrot’s Online Marketing Software