Why Get Client Testimonials? (It's not why you think)

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Mortgage and Lending with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

Why Get Client Testimonials? (It's not why you think)

 

 

     Whether or not testimonials and reviews are important isn't up for debate.  It's clear that they are super important, and as the internet becomes the go-to resource for consumers shopping for real estate and lending services, testimonials will become even more important.  If you're NOT getting testimonials published in a place consumers are actively using, you need to get started.  Mortgage testimonials

 

 

     When looking around for a Realtor or lender, consumers go online and search for various things.  Yelp! is a resource they use, maybe searching for a "mortgage broker in Orange County" or "Realtor in Boca Raton".  Google is another.  Each of these platforms have reviews, suggestions for people searching, and even the people advertising on these sites don't catch a consumers eye like a business that's got hundreds of great reviews and testimonials.

 

 

     5-star reviews, catching a shopping consumers eye, and getting phone calls from people who already know you & trust you is great, and I'm not down-playing that at all, but there is an even greater benefit from testimonials.  They can help you take your business to the next level.

 

 

     In a simple 1-5 star survey, 1 means poor, 5 means excellent.  That's basic.  The words of a previous client, though, are beyond basic.  They get down to the micro level of your business, and show you exactly what people love, like, and perhaps what they don't, about the way you're doing things.  In a recent review, I saw a client write my "response time is beyond immediate, and he would call each week with an update even if we had no questions", and another stated "he even returns emails in the wee hours of the morning & returns all phone calls and emails in a timely manner".  While those reviews were incredibly flattering, what I took from them is that communication is something that people shopping for a loan find invaluable, and good communication is perhaps a pleasant surprise to them.  This is something people want.  

 

 

     Both were 5-star reviews, and both included mentions of how important communication was - so this is something I need to remember and focus on in each and every loan.  While I know communication is huge, there's also always room for improvement.  I often wonder if people care that I provide an update every Monday (even if there's really no update or any outstanding questions), so reading that testimonial confirmed that the "Monday update" practice is one that is serving a purpose and keeping people comfortable.

 

 

     2 recent reviews mentioned something along the lines of "even though John is on the west coast, he never let the distance get in the way".  Again, flattering, and something I know is very important because I work both coasts, but it also points out that this is something people are worried about.  If they hadn't at some point thought "I wonder if doing business with someone so far away is a good idea?", they wouldn't have included that in a testimonial.  Now I know it's something I need to address in my marketing, and a concern I should address with prospective clients right away, before the question even arises.

 

 

     Testimonials are a great way to get exposure, attract new business, and close more deals.  In the internet age (especially with mobile), they'll become only more important as the old-school ways of finding Realtors & lenders become irrelevant.  More importantly though, testimonials can help us improve our business and continue to grow in the right direction, by showing us what people care about, and whether or not we're meeting the needs of the people we serve.  The exposure of a good testimonial and 5-star review is great, but it's the advice of our clients, and the learning opportunity a testimonial presents that is the true value.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Winston Heverly 03/14/2016 01:44 PM
  2. Lise Howe 05/17/2016 10:57 PM
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Ambassador
3,290,541
Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

John Meussner - you are so right - the world has changed a lot. And online testimonials are now more important than ever.

Though there are many sites mushroomed to take the advantage of this fact.

And one more question - which are the best places to post our testimonials to be visible to the world?

Jan 24, 2016 02:29 PM #52
Rainmaker
566,147
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®
  • Hi John Meussner - If the process is too difficult a customer will avoid it.
  • I think it is important - I have a webpage designed to help a customer get through the process -
  • Sample reviews, explanation of the process - buttons to the websites
  • All located under - Write a Review 
Jan 25, 2016 12:08 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,427,186
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have really been neglegent in gathering these things and getting them out there.

Jan 25, 2016 02:32 AM #54
Rainmaker
194,764
Liane Thomas - Corona & Riverside Real Estate
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

I agree with Rochelle Kretchmar . I have been struggling to get people to respond to my request for reviews. Perhaps it is time to hire a VA to make some calls? 

Jan 25, 2016 04:57 AM #55
Rainmaker
277,087
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

I'm glad I saved your post to read.    Your Great Takeaway gives testimonials more importance in our planning and marketing than I'd realized: 

"More importantly though, testimonials can help us improve our business and continue to grow in the right direction, by showing us what people care about, and whether or not we're meeting the needs of the people we serve. "

 

Jan 25, 2016 06:18 AM #56
Rainmaker
3,025,957
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

John 

Get testimonials are a great marketing tool.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jan 25, 2016 12:21 PM #57
Rainmaker
3,025,957
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

John

Congratulations on the gold star.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jan 25, 2016 12:22 PM #58
Rainmaker
777,288
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great incentive to get back to asking for tesimonials.  There for a while I was mailing out a response form, now I try to remember to send them via e-mail for Yelp, Trulia or wherever.  I think it's most important to have staying power with those testimonials, so choosing a site to host them is important, too.  Great post!

Jan 26, 2016 01:59 AM #59
Rainmaker
2,353,684
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Congratulations on your gold star status and I encourage you to go for more gold in whatever you do professionally.

Jan 26, 2016 03:17 PM #60
Rainmaker
2,353,684
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I agree! Incentives are very awesome, but I can never forget my real motivation to empower people to be better people who how I do my Feng Shui practice.

Jan 26, 2016 03:19 PM #61
Rainmaker
2,353,684
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

My previous comment was for Jan. I just didn't want to confuse anyone.

Jan 26, 2016 03:21 PM #62
Rainmaker
2,353,684
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I thought I would check back on this one and see how it's doing. It's good to see that everybody is so motivated to be the best business person they can be with full ethics intact.

Jan 26, 2016 03:26 PM #63
Ambassador
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Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

John Meussner 
I enjoyed this post - a complete explanation about Testimonials from YOUR perspective.
Lynn

Jan 26, 2016 10:58 PM #64
Rainmaker
197,742
Christi Farrington
William Raveis Real Estate - Wilton, CT - Westport, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT

I haven't been great at requesting testimonials.  Before Zillow purchased Trulia, it was easier to send a request and get a response.  Now Zillow wants people to open an account to ensure that it isn't a relative, etc.  Hence, because people are hesitant to do that, my number of reviews on Zillow are very small.  How do I get reviews on other sites?

I do agree that it is a great learning tool for us  -  what people really like about how we do our job.  

Congratulations of the 'feature'!

Jan 27, 2016 03:56 AM #65
Rainmaker
1,089,505
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Testimonials are indeed important. With the wealth of choice out there we tend to rely on other people's experience. I always look at comments before buying something online and let them guide me. 

Jan 27, 2016 04:18 AM #66
Rainmaker
270,974
Teri Pacitto
RE/MAX Olson & Associates, Inc. - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

I agree that testimonials are key in our business and speak more than advertising can ever do.  The consumer has the ability to search on line for an agent and I have found that many key in on the experience that others had and voiced in their recommendations.  The old saying goes...service first, sales will follow.  

Feb 01, 2016 05:25 AM #67
Rainmaker
595,983
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi John Meussner Sorry I missed this when you posted it.

I agree that feedback is very valuable. I haven't done this yet, but I guess I should.

Thank you.

Bill Roberts

May 17, 2016 11:16 PM #68
Rainmaker
1,360,007
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

I was reviewing some client reviews yesterday to move to my website.  I can see the value of real reviews.

May 17, 2016 11:43 PM #69
Rainmaker
1,243,009
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

John Meussner This is excellent advice for us all to work our business, even if we are not striving for the all-to-elusive client testimonials.

May 18, 2016 12:00 AM #70
Rainmaker
1,078,561
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

It is very important to make leaving reviews for your client as simple as possible.Help your client. Provide them a link with a few specific instructions.Ensure it takes only a couple of minutes of their time.  Make sure your survey process is mobile compatible since most of modern clients ( 85% according to CAR) use their mobile devices. 

May 24, 2016 04:19 AM #71
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