Using Social Proof for Real Estate Agents to Get New Clients | The Ultimate Guide
Establish Trust with the Power of Real Estate Testimonials & Increase Sales
With industrial breakthroughs and rapidly changing technology consumer behavior has changed. As Millennials begin to dominate the consumer population, the buyers’ journey plays out differently. Once done primarily by word of mouth, social proof in real estate and other fields takes a new form online.
In the past, people would ask their friends and acquaintances for their opinions on products or services. Now the internet has made it possible to connect to people on the other side of the world and get a wide range of opinions on products and services.
In the world of real estate, like others, consumers are reading reviews and ratings then comparing their options to land on who they think is best. Given the broader reach and increasing importance of social proof, it should be given consistent consideration in your marketing efforts.
In this article, we will cover the importance of social proof in real estate and how you can best utilize it.
What Does Social Proof Mean?
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon in which people are affected by the actions of others in order to produce the correct behavior for a given situation. So, consumers tend to look at others and then copy successful patterns of behavior when considering the products and services they have to choose from. This force is so strong that one negative review can stop a person from purchasing a product.
Consider someone walking down a street full of restaurants. Most are half empty but there is one full to the brim. Despite a potential wait that is the restaurant they want to go to. Why?
There must be something special about the place that drives more customers. This is the force of social proof.
The same thing happens in real estate. If everybody is recommending a realtor there must be a reason. And it drives the potential prospects towards that realtor as they believe the services that certain realtors provide must be exceptional to attract so many customers.
Long and short of it: people trust other people, especially the ones they can relate to.
Why is Social Proof Effective in Real Estate
Social proof is one of the most important factors Millennials take into consideration when buying products or paying for services. They trust what others say about services and products more than what the owner of the business claims. That’s why the review section of the websites exists.
Realtors need to target Millennials differently as they tend to be savvy and unimpressed by traditional marketing. Their buying habits’ are quite different from those of previous generations. According to Drew Allen, co-owner and creative director of Peppershock Media:
“Millennials can spot an ad from a mile away and will do everything they can to avoid it.”
Realtors need to back up their traditional marketing efforts with customer reviews and testimonials to fit better into the new customer journey and buying habits.
Social proof for real estate works because it connects HAPPY customers to your prospects. Due to the bombardment of marketing messages customers are exposed to, other marketing methods have been rendered less effective. User reviews and customer testimonials will help the confused prospect reach a decision.
How To Get Social Proof as a Realtor
There are many ways to get social proof online. Here are some of the proven methods. But don’t confine yourself to these. Use your creativity and think of more ways to reach out to your happy clients and spread the word:
In the real estate world, between 60–80% of your leads can source from referrals, making your Sphere of Influence the pumping heart of your business. That is why you need to start amassing positive reviews from your clients.
In the world of real estate social proof equals a concept agents refer to as “TESTIMONIALS” and clients and customers call “REVIEWS”. A happy client will gladly speak up for you on their social media channels, your social media channels, your website, and real estate websites. That’s far more effective than self-promotion. Now you can and should use testimonials in written form but there are more creative and effective ways to share testimonials which we will share and you will want to consider.
Note: keep in mind that if you use a client’s testimonial or quote on your website, the client may be contacted in future as a reference. Therefore, before putting clients’ testimonials on your website, get their approval. Explain the fact that they might be contacted.
They might tell you that they would rather stay anonymous and stay away from future reference for your business and that’s okay. However, using testimonials without a name fairly ineffective
Roomvu offers realtors a branded website that offers all the features an agent may ever need. The Roomvu profile is here to help real estate agents establish trust and polish their personal branding using their client testimonials. Sign up for a free account and add your testimonials in a few simple steps.
2. Social Media
People talk about things on social media. The service you provide is no exception. People will comment on how they liked doing business with you. If someone leaves a positive comment on your social media channels, make sure you reply to their comment and ask them for permission to use their comment as a testimonial.
You can ask your followers on social media to provide you with some feedback on how happy they are working with you. This is very beneficial when it comes to happy clients. However, social media can be a double-edged sword. Keep this in mind when requesting public feedback.
3. Customer Surveys
Determining who to reach out to is not always straightforward and you do not wish to be a nuisance. It is also very important to act quickly.
A great way to get social proof for real estate is to establish a system to manage your clients. CRMs (customer relationship management systems) are beneficial tools that can help you in this matter. They will allow you to reach your customers with a simple message like: “Hi, if you are happy with our services, would you like to leave a review on our website?”
An NPS survey or some other feedback collection method is also another great way to collect customers’ feedback. You can contact recent buyers and sellers, ask if they would recommend you to a friend or family member, then decipher their qualitative responses into actionable insights for your business.
4. Celebrity / Business Social Proof
In this scenario, you go out and ask a prominent figure to speak up for your brand. Of course, you don’t have to ask a celebrity to do so (it would be great if you could afford it in theory). See if a local paper and/ or business would give you praise.
When a reputable business or paper writes about you, your credibility soars. If you are lucky enough to secure such praise, make sure you promote the testimonials on all of your social media channels and websites with that business’s logo.
According to LinkedIn, “A recommendation is a statement that is written by a LinkedIn member to recognize or commend a connection, such as a colleague, business partner, or student. People who view your profile will often read the recommendations you’ve received from your connections to see what others have to say about your work.”
From Ara Margos LinkedIn page
This happens to be an effective form of social proof as many people look for an agent on LinkedIn. Here is how you can ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn:
- Navigate to the profile of the 1st-degree connection you’d like to request a recommendation from.
- Click the More icon (3 dots) in the top section of the profile.
- Select Request a recommendation.
- Fill out the Relationship and Position at the time fields of the recommendations pop-up window, and click Next.
- You can include a personalized message with your request by changing the text in the message field.
- Click Send.
6. Show Likes and Shares
Many platforms allow users to show and share the number of views, shares, and likes. By keeping a tally for each listing or blog post you can show potential clients that what you write and share is popular and gets attention. That further proves your expertise and introduces you as a realtor who knows their way around the business.
7. Just Ask
There is no guarantee that all the people you have done business with will agree to leave a testimonial or a review. But it won’t hurt to ask. Worst case scenario they will say no and then you can go on to the next client in line. But not asking will deprive you from a probable positive testimonial that can have a great influence on the rest of your potential prospects.
NOTE: Some websites like yelp frown upon soliciting reviews on their site. If you are asking your clients for reviews on other websites, make sure you are not violating their policies.
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