Agents and brokerages have been known to solicit client comments from time to time, but the practice is by no means industry-wide. At the same time, satisfied clients are probably one of the most persuasive pieces of information to deploy on your behalf — who among us is not affected by the public affirmation of a business by a recent customer? Facebook, the social media giant, applies this concept on several levels via its famous “like” feature, recommendations and sharing.
What Facebook is tapping into is what marketers call “social proof” — the process of building rapport with prospective customers through the dissemination of positive statements of similar people who are current (or past) customers. Or put more simply – we tend to trust other people to tell us more than we tend to trust what a company tells us. This is powerful stuff.
Real estate testimonials can be very effective social proof. The power of a kind word on behalf of an agent or company can make the difference in the decision process when buying or selling property. And, as a side benefit, effective testimonials help buoy the industry as a whole. And that’s good for everyone.
Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services, based in Lancaster City, with 10 offices in eight Central Pennsylvania counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg where he also serves as mayor. Jeff has been actively involved in local government and business and has been used as a source by local, regional and national publications.