There’s nothing as wonderful as a public endorsement by a real estate client…especially when a buyer calls and says the magic words, “I read about you on Zillow (Trulia/Redfin/Your Company’s Website, etc.). Can you help me?” That’s a great feeling!
But there’s another place you could use endorsements…and that’s to generate referrals from your past clients and sphere of influence relationships. Those people are not necessarily looking at Zillow, et al., because they’re not actively looking for a real estate agent.
They’re not necessarily seeing your glowing endorsements, but they still need to be reminded about how great you are.
How can you get endorsements in front of everyone in your database in a subtly acceptable way? Easy! You can print them in your real estate newsletters.
What kind of endorsements should you get?
There are three different kinds of endorsement you can use in your newsletters:
- Testimonials are statements given by someone as if they’re talking to another person about you. “Linda was great to work with. She understood our needs. We didn’t make it easy on her, but she had infinite patience.”
- Thank You’s come directly from a client to you. They’re not intended for third parties to read, but there’s no reason not to show them to others. “Linda, thanks so much for helping us, even though we were a real pain in the neck. You had infinte patience.”
- Proof of Success (POS) stories are very short (one paragraph) descriptions of how you helped someone. They are written by you about a past client’s experience. Here’s an example:
[features_box_grey width=”85%” + border=”2px”]”I once helped an elderly lady whose husband had died without a will. The property had a reverse mortgage on it–in the husband’s name only. The mortgage company started automatic foreclosure proceedings. I worked with a legal representative to get Mrs. Riggs an extension so that she could sell the house and take the equity, instead of losing everything. If you know any elderly people who are going to need to sell their home in the next few years, please introduce us so that I can begin talking with them about their options gradually. It’s never too soon to get their property squared away.”[/features_box_grey]
What if you don’t have any endorsements?
If you have endorsements in social media, drop a line to the endorsers asking if it would be OK to use their comments in your newsletter, too. They’ll say yes.
If you don’t have any endorsements in social media, then ask for testimonials. There’s no shame in saying: “John and Dev, you’ve said several times how much you appreciate my insights into negotiation on this deal, and how happy you were to get as much money as you did… Would it be OK with you if I used your kind words in my next newsletter?” Then it’s best if you ask them to repeat what they just said while you write it down.
You can’t ask for Thank You’s. They just happen. Sometimes you are blessed to get a thank you note (hand written, even) from a client. Other times you might get a mention in social media or an email. That’s fair game to use in your next real estate newsletter. If you feel awkward reprinting someone’s Thank You, you can tell them you are so proud of having helped them, that you’d like to show their thank you note to others in your real estate newsletter.
Finally, write your own Proof of Success stories. A POS is written as a memory you had of helping someone in a specific situation. Keep it very tight, about 170 words or less.
Get permission to Name Names
It almost goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), if you plan to use a person’s name or contact info, get their permission first. Once you use their personal information, it becomes a reference. Someone just might contact them for a candid referral, and you don’t want them to be surprised.
If you’re sending real estate newsletters without some kind of personal endorsement, then you’re missing a great opportunity to toot your own horn to the people who need to hear it most…your sphere of influence. Sure they already know, like, and trust you. But they might not always think of you, or remember what a great real estate agent you are. Remind them through endorsements.