Lucie Fortin, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX Unis in Repentigny, Quebec, is a pro at gathering and using client testimonials to differentiate herself in a competitive market. She shares her best tips here.
1. Provide service worth writing about. Clients are unlikely to sing your praises unless you create a top-notch experience.
“You have to add that magic ingredient – a human approach – to your interactions by empathizing and listening,” Fortin says. “That’s how you win good testimonials, which helps you win more listings.”
2. Make it easy to do. Fortin sends hard-copy surveys in the mail (with pre-stamped return envelopes enclosed) shortly after each transaction. It’s a personal touch that grabs clients’ attention and is more likely to elicit a response.
“People get so much email every day, and it’s easy for them to ignore your messages,” she says.
3. Ask for grades and comments. Fortin customizes the survey she sends out by transaction types (buyers, sellers, expired listings and off-market listings). She also includes checkboxes asking clients to rate her on a sliding scale on items such as her negotiation, sales, communication and follow-up skills, and leaves space for open-ended comments at the end.
“I’ve sent more than 125 surveys in the past three years, and about 90 percent of my clients respond,” she says.
4. Build volume before you share. Displaying just a handful of reviews can lead potential buyers and sellers to assume you’re either inexperienced or don’t have a lot of satisfied clients – both perceptions you want to avoid.
“You need volume to really unleash the power of testimonials,” Fortin says. “The more testimonials you have, the more credible each of them become.”
5. Help people find the feedback. Fortin features a dedicated testimonials page on her website with feedback that helps set her apart in a competitive market.
“I invite potential clients to visit my testimonials page so they can read what other people have to say about me,” she says. “Most of the time, the testimonials help me win the listing.”
6. Follow up and thank everyone. It’s also important to use feedback to evaluate your performance, which is why Fortin recommends emailing or calling each client who sends in a survey to thank them for their feedback and, if necessary, discuss any issues they might have had.
“So far I haven’t had any negative comments, and I think that’s a strong testament to my work,” Fortin says. “It keeps me accountable.”