Do your clients testimonials have Reach?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Happy Grasshopper

I am always searching for great tools to share that save time.   My philosophy on technology is that it should shorten your work day, not add more tasks to your to do list.

ReachFactor.com is definitley my kind of technology.  They offer the easiest way I've ever seen to engage with past clients, collect testimonials from them and spread their kind words about you around the web.  In addition they have some great tools for easily syndicating your properties.

I told Suresh I wish I could use their online survey and reputation tools for our referral marketing and email marketing services Happy Grasshopper - he said their services are only for agents right now so I would have to wait.  At least I can share what he had to say about how ReachFactor works and what you can do to make sure the testimonials your clients give get found on Google.

Celeste: How does the client feedback system work on the web?

Suresh: It's actually quite simple. ReachFactor auto-creates a Web survey that an agent (or brokerage) can either send to clients themselves or let ReachFactor send for them. When ReachFactor handles the process, we send an email to past buyers or sellers asking them to complete a brief survey to provide feedback on the agent. ReachFactor even sends a few polite reminders just to make sure agents are able to collect a large number of reviews. By using ReachFactor's automated service agents save countless hours of follow up and don't have to appear to be begging for a testimonial. Past clients also get a sense the agent is a consummate professional since they're using a 3rd party market research service to collect the feedback.

Celeste: How does ReachFactor help agents build credibility?

Suresh: ReachFactor has a verification process around reviews to ensure that responses received are actually legitimate, verified opinions from past clients. Our verification process includes making outbound phone calls and researching transaction information. Once verified, we place a 'Verified Seal' on these reviews to give prospective buyers and sellers some assurance that these testimonials weren't 'gamed' or made up like the reviews appearing on almost every agent rating site out there. What ReachFactor does is provide the agent something akin to a Good Housekeeping seal of approval so agents are able to establish instant credibility. Many agents are using our verified reviews in their listing presentations already.

Celeste: Where should agents be sharing the testimonials their clients give?

Suresh: The important thing for agents to remember is that the reviews ReachFactor collects for them are not anonymous testimonials that anyone could have handwritten into their own website. These are bona fide reviews that were verified by a 3rd party (ReachFactor). Agents should enhance all their marketing with these testimonials because it will help them improve their lead conversion rates. And ReachFactor makes it really easy to do this.

Agents are enhancing their direct mail with badges we provide, they're embedding our widgets in their blogs (like ActiveRain), they're showcasing their bona fide reviews in listing presentations, and they're using our syndication to spread the reviews to search engines (Google, Bing) and social media.

For example, we provide the HTML code for a widget that anyone can embed on their website's About Me page or References page. The widget automatically scrolls through all the reviews they've received. We've heard from customers that they've seen an appreciable increase in contact forms being filled out.

Another prime location to share testimonials? Social media! People tend to share, comment, and 'like' things that are heartfelt, warm, and touching - which testimonials tend to be. Social media is the new farming ground for referral business and those 'likes' and 'comments' are the fodder. Our social media connector helps agents get the word out with their own custom landing pages for Facebook and an auto-post feature that shares their testimonials to Facebook and Twitter. This is content that populates into social media that promotes the agent. Agents don't have to do a thing.

Celeste: Can you tell me about your syndication tools?

Suresh: We empower 2 kinds of content publishing (syndication) from our platform - reviews and listings. These are great assets agents possess that can help them land new business when promoted properly. In ReachFactor syndication is as easy as checking a box 'on' or 'off'. The agent decides what to syndicate and where. We include publishing options to social media, craigslist, and the most popular real estate portals for listings. We've heard from many real estate brokerages that our syndication tool is the simplest thing they've seen on the market.

Celeste: What is the cost of the service, how do agents get started - do you have an offer for our readers?

Suresh: Our Smart Marketer package is for agents and is just $24.95/mo. We also have a separate service for brokerages and associations. There's no setup fee and we offer a 60-day money back guarantee. If your readers use promo code: HAPPYGRASSHOPPER they can get the entire platform for $99 for the first year. They just sign up at http://www.reachfactor.com/signup

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Comments (7)

Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What a great idea!  Not something that I had ever thought of, but I have people tell me often that they ended up calling me because of my Testimonials.  Thanks for sharing this!

May 03, 2011 03:54 AM
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

This is a really great idea and a real time saver. The only downside is cost. It doesn't seem like a lot of money but when you add it to everything else that is coming out of Realtors' pockets it's almost too much.

I can be such a curmudgeon sometimes.  :-)

May 03, 2011 04:24 AM
Happy Grasshopper
Happy Grasshopper - Tampa, FL

Ken, Cost is always about ROI - if you spend $100 on something that leads to a referral or sale, you are haven't spent a dime.  My thought, invest in the things that make you money, eliminate the things that don't.

Here is a simple exercise I do once a quarter.

  1. List every marketing activity I do.
  2. Estimate the amount of time/money I spend on each.
  3. Total the amount of new revenue I can attribute to each.
  4. Order by most productive to least productive.
  5. Double my spend on the most productive - eliminate or reexamine the least productive.

I am always shocked when I get emails from people who tell me they love my service and have received referrals from it, but they are hesistant to upgrade because it is just one more thing.  I am usually searching for things that generating revenue for my business - when I find something that works I spend, spend, spend - that is the key to growing.

May 03, 2011 07:08 AM
Suresh Srinivasan
ReachFactor - Content Marketing for Real Estate - Danville, CA

Many clients have said they use ReachFactor to save time but also to increase how professional they appear with clients and close more business.

For example, instead of having to chase clients, or beg for a testimonial themselves, ReachFactor is introduced as a 3rd party market research and survey service they're using to gather feedback. Makes them look more professional and savvy. ReachFactor does the emailing of surveys & handles follow ups on behalf of agents who set it on auto-pilot mode.

 

And for how they improve conversion rates.. We go through a lot of effort to verify that reviews are actually the words of legitimate past customers. A trust seal is placed on all those reviews like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

 

Agents use these 3rd party bona fide reviews in listings presentations, they sync reviews up to their Facebook page, and put widgets on their websites near contact forms. I even heard of one putting a QR code that links to their ReachFactor reviews URL from their lawn sign. It's neat to see how people are finding interesting uses of the system to grow their business.

 

Ken, maybe you missed the last part about price, but we're offering the platform for $99 for a year. Is that really too much?

May 05, 2011 08:52 AM
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Seems like a good idea !  Testimonials is a must these days on either your website or blog.  Or a video testimonial is even better ! 

May 07, 2011 01:42 AM
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Another great idea.  I seem to not have enough time to sit and set this up, which is more reason why I need to do it NOW.

May 09, 2011 11:34 AM
Suresh Srinivasan
ReachFactor - Content Marketing for Real Estate - Danville, CA

Totally agree guys - testimonials are a must. Getting those testimonials out and 'consumable' by Google and other sites is even more important because they have so much more impact than a regular sales pitch. And video testimonials are a great way to establish credibility if you can get clients to participate.

Chris, let me know if you need help getting going - we're happy to help!

May 11, 2011 12:35 AM

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