The real truth is that I have NOT been asking my clients for feedback and testimonials after the closing.
I haven’t the foggiest clue . . .
REALLY . . .
Why would ANYONE squander all of that (usually) good MOJO while it’s still fresh?
Candid and Construction Feedback is INVALUABLE (As long as you don’t take it personally). You can learn from it, adjust your process, and provide even BETTER than before for the next client. Keep doing that with every successive transaction, and your business will literally grow exponentially.
Of course, one of the hazards of asking for feedback is that you might hear some things you don’t want to hear. Those clients might just hurt your feelings and make you feel unappreciated. While it may be easy to dismiss this hurtful feedback with a summary judgement of the client (“OH! THEY were just difficult people?”) . . . There’s probably an element of truth within every bit of feedback . . . Keep it all in perspective and know that you can CHOOSE what to do with the INFORMATION you now have (It IS just information)
What NOT to do . . . is to fail to ask for the feedback in the first place because then you’ll never know.
Without knowing, how will you improve?
Will you (forever) continue to do all the same things all the while expecting better results (Easier and more Transactions)?
Testimonials are a whole different ball game. I believe it takes just as much chutzpah to ask closed clients for testimonials and endorsements of their experience while working with you.
What if they rant instead of endorse?
What if they shun you and refuse to write anything . . . or simply ignore your request?
No, we cannot force anyone to write a testimonial, but there is one thing of which I’m certain . . . If you don’t ask, you won’t receive!
This does not have to be a formal thing. There’s no weirdness to it at all.
Upon Completion of the closing, let the dust settle for a couple of weeks. Give the clients some space to unwind from the stresses imposed by the transaction and the physical move and keep in touch with a weekly call “Just to touch base and see how things are settling down?”
When they seem to be finding their “normal groove” send an easy email that says something like this:
“Thank you SO much for allowing me to work with you through your move.
I very much enjoyed getting to know you and am ecstatic that we were able to pull it off and get you situated in the right place.
Please – Will you hit “Reply” on this email message and write a brief testimonial about your Home Buying experience with me?
When you do so, please also let me know if I have your permission to publish this testimonial (or excerpts from it) on my website and possibly marketing materials.
I had the good fortune of being contacted by a Buyer Prospect today . . . an internet lead. Turns out he is interested in Buying a house or condo EXACTLY in my Niche (Area of expertise). I responded immediately, and we began to correspond. We were talking (via email) about interesting parts of town and his wants and needs . . . and then he began to ask some really smart questions:
- “Will you send me a list of all of the houses you’ve sold in the past 12 months?”
- “Will you give me the names and contact information for the 5 most recent closed clients, so I can call them for references?”
- “Do you have any testimonials from prior clients you can share?”
Generating the list of sales was easy.
Then it hit me square in the nose . . . For YEARS I have dropped the ball with respect to capturing feedback and testimonials from clients.
So I pledged to learn from this . . . and am now asking.
One of my favorite clients Ginger wrote:
I’m a middle aged RN who has owned 8 properties over my lifetime. A different realtor was used for each transaction, as I was not happy enough with the first ones to recommend or use them again. My experience with Barry Owen has been entirely different, and I recommend him without any reservations. He went above and beyond what would normally be expected to sell my previous home (for significantly more than I had expected) and to close a complicated transaction on the home that I purchased. The sellers of the home I bought (found through word of mouth) did not have a realtor or lawyer and were not, in many cases, honest. Barry took it on himself to put extra time into creating sound contracts on both sides to ensure that everything was properly and legally done.
- He listened, and he responded appropriately to things that I worried about and/or needed to make the real-estate transactions go smoothly. I always felt that he “had my back,” so to speak.
- When (due to complicated district zoning laws) I didn’t know if my small flock of backyard hens could move with me, he emailed me council district maps, along with the ordinance to make sure that I understood it.
- He took me to see 2 homes that that he knew didn’t fit my needs, but were in an area that I was quite interested in, then discussed the pros and cons of the neighborhood and its homes. This definitely helped with my focus on the particular area.
- That said, he didn’t waste my time looking at homes that he knew I didn’t need to see.
- While working with me, he did not take phone calls, except on rare occasions when he was expecting an important call from one of his children—he’s a good family guy with some great kids; I’ve met them, and they’ve clearly been well raised, which says a lot about Barry and his wife Deb.
- He helped me to find good movers and contractors.
- He knows the local market quite well, was very positive, encouraging, and answered every question I asked—sometimes more than once if I needed it!
- Time has proven that his market predictions (financial and real-estate) were very accurate, as was his advice about the timing of selling and buying. That said, he never claimed to know it all, stating at one point that he’d be interested in knowing what my financial adviser was thinking…
- He’s great at nudging without nagging—making sure that important things get done without me feeling overly pressured.
- He is very diplomatic when working with difficult people, which I’m afraid I was at times, and know that my sellers were most of the time.
- He remains there for me with regard to property issues, even after closing.
If you’re not asking for testimonials, you’re selling yourself short and missing a HUGE opportunity to build your business.
Just DO IT!