To stand out in a crowded, competitive market, it’s important to leverage the most valuable marketing channel available: word-of-mouth. Here are a few ways to use client success stories to generate more business.

Demand for housing is skyrocketing, but standing out from the competition is harder than ever. Studies show that right now, there are more Realtors than there are open listings.

How can Realtors stand out in this crowded environment and capture surging demand?

To make your business the obvious choice, it’s important to leverage the most valuable marketing channel available: word-of-mouth. Happy clients will have no problem spreading the word about your business as long as you take the right steps to enable them.

Let’s go through four tips that can help you make the most of the current booming market.

1. Enable clients to share their experiences

To attract new clients, you need to take the right steps to get your existing clients to write reviews on sites like Google and Zillow. The more social proof that’s available online, the more comfortable prospects will feel moving ahead in the process and the higher you’ll rank in relevant search results. Here are a few tips for collecting more testimonials from your clients.

Make the process easy

The easier the process, the more likely it is that the client will leave your business a review. I’ve found that I get the best results when I send review requests that link directly to sites like Google and Zillow. The vast majority of the time, your clients will be happy to take this simple step to reward your team’s hard work.

Be timely

To get the best results, it’s important to send review requests shortly after a deal is closed. The more time passes, the less likely it will be that clients will be willing to leave a review.

Send review requests to all of your clients

Some Realtors choose to send review requests only to clients who they’re absolutely certain will leave a positive review. This is a mistake. If you’re being this selective, chances are that you’re missing out on sending review requests to clients who would be happy to leave a great review.

2. Start managing the conversation

Even the best Realtors get negative reviews. That’s OK. What is important is how you mitigate the damage that they cause and amplify the reach of your positive reviews.

Respond to every review

Make sure that your team is responding to every review, positive or negative. Not only does this show that your team cares about delivering quality experiences to every client, but Google has also confirmed that responding to reviews can increase your search ranking.

Take negative reviews offline

On the rare occasion when you do get a negative review, be sure to respond immediately and provide a phone number or email address where the client can reach out to your team directly. Many times, clients are willing to edit or delete their original reviews if you address their issues in a timely manner.

Share your positive reviews

Chances are that you’ve already built a loyal audience on social media. Start sharing positive reviews on platforms like Facebook to highlight the fantastic services that your team provides.

3. Turn clients into advocates

Reviews aren’t the only way to turn your clients into a marketing engine. An effective client referral program makes it more likely that clients will advocate for your business within their social networks. Here are a few tips to get started.

Nurture your existing relationships

To make sure that your referral program is getting the best results, be sure to nurture your relationships with your existing clients. Checking in with your clients once a month after the sale will help you be top-of-mind whenever they’re giving recommendations to friends and family.

Find an incentive that works

Experiment with different incentives for referrals. While different states have different regulations about what’s allowed, even something as simple as a thank-you note can help motivate your existing clients to spread the word.

Get started with a digital referral program

It’s hard to keep track of your client referrals when you’re using a pen-and-paper system. Consider getting started referral software that can help you track all your referrals in one place and pay out your incentives in a timely manner.

4. Put your finger on the pulse of client sentiment

Remember, clients are more likely to advocate for you and your team when you’ve made your best effort to deliver fantastic experiences throughout the buying and selling process. To improve your services, your team should aim to collect feedback from your clients at every touch point.

Keep your surveys short and sweet

Make sure that your surveys take less than five minutes to complete. While it’s tempting to add on more questions, the longer your surveys are, the less likely clients are to complete them.

Keep track of Net Promoter Score

The easiest way to track client sentiment is to keep a close eye on Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is a metric that asks clients how likely they would be to recommend your business to friends and family on a scale from 0-10. If you find that your NPS is dipping, it may be a sign that operational changes are needed.

Track reviews and surveys in one place

Handing reviews and surveys on different platforms creates unnecessary work for your team. To streamline the process of managing client feedback, find a platform that supports both.

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

Dhiraj Nallapaneni is a Product Marketing Writer with Birdeye.
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