Testimonials in Property Management Marketing
We live in an age of comparison. I do it. You do it. Your prospects and clients do it too. We identify an area of need (or a desire) and then go shopping online in search of a solution. We browse websites, review sites, and social sites in search of the best product or company that meets our need within our budget.
What are we looking for? Information & Validation
We want to know that we are making good decisions. Information, like price vs. service comparisons, help us make the head part of that decision. But, a buying/hiring decision is not completely intellectual; it is also emotional; it involves the heart. Testimonials (when done right) can sway a prospect’s heart decision in your direction. One widely quoted online expert, Gregory Ciotti, says: “Your customers [or clients] will always be more persuasive than you.”
Testimonials build trust.
They validate your property management business by giving “social proof” that others have tried and been satisfied (or ecstatic) with your services. The comments owners and tenants make about your company go deeper than a tick list of services you offer. They also address emotional needs and articulate reasons you’re a good company to work with (e.g. you are honest, responsive, help increase the value of an investment). Testimonials are easy to relate to and they alleviate anxiety over hiring you. Testimonials make sense in context of the emotional “conversation” going on within a prospect’s head.
Use client testimonials throughout your property management company marketing.
Company Website: Place your most powerful testimonials on the front page of your website. But don’t stop there. Add testimonials that relate to page content to important pages throughout your site. They will overcome mental blocks and objections that arise as prospects navigate your website gathering information.
Landing Pages: If you do any PPC advertising, you probably use landing pages. These are simplified web single page websites that direct traffic down a specific funnel (e.g. request a free report or evaluation). Using powerful testimonials on these pages can increase conversion rates (get more people to sign up).
Print Marketing: Print marketing, like brochures, postcards, and flyers can be expensive. Make sure you include key testimonials that encourage readers to take the next step in evaluating your company (visit website, sign up for a consultation, etc.)
Email Marketing: If you send email newsletters or leverage drip campaigns in your business, include testimonials. They reinforce a positive image of your company with existing clientele as well as earn trust with prospects.
Internally: Be sure you share testimonials with your property management team. This motivates and rewards your staff for serving clients well – they will know that their hard work means something.
Earlier, I said that testimonials are valuable…if done right. The second part of that statement is important because, when “done wrong,” testimonials can be damaging. Instead of building trust, they may generate skepticism. Here are some guidelines for doing them right:
First of all, run your business in a way that make people WANT to say good things about you. If your testimonials don’t align with the overall “buzz” about your company, they won’t be viewed as truthful.
The best testimonials are spontaneous and genuine. They come in letters, emails, cards, phone calls from grateful clients who love you for satisfying a need, solving a problem, or taking time to care above and beyond the call of duty. They are so happy that they can’t help but tell you. Collect these unsolicited testimonials, then ask the sender’s permission to use their comments in your marketing.
Collect testimonials in the form of feedback. Use surveys throughout a client relationship cycle at important points and transitions. When you collect comments as feedback, they are more likely to sound more matter of fact and genuine and less sales-y / scripted. You can automate feedback collection through trigger based marketing campaigns – then you don’t even need to remember to ask!
Use testimonials that use descriptive language. “I love property Acme Property Management. They are great to work with” does not have the same impact as “When I turned my property over to Acme Property Management, I was impressed with their professionalism. They quickly assessed the condition of my rental and helped me implement a few changes that increased the property’s rent value and attracted some great tenants!” The second testimonial is specific and more believable.
Use testimonials that support your company’s strengths and positioning. This will help you get more “Perfect Clients” because the comments speak to the thoughts and emotional needs clients you really want to attract.
Highlight a key phrase from a testimonial and use it as a headline. This makes testimonials easier to scan.
Attribute the testimonials to real people. Ideally, the testimonial will have a first name, last name, and city. Compile a referral list that includes additional contact information and give it out as part of your marketing packet (after requesting permission from the testimonial giver). If you are able, include a photo of the client along with the testimonial. Photos help make emotional connections.
Never, ever, ever (ever!) make up a testimonial. Don’t lie, overstate, or fabricate. In fact, there are laws that regulate the use of testimonials and control exaggeration in “social proof” marketing.
Finally, make sure you maintain and update testimonials.
Remove testimonials from people who are no longer clients or whose opinion of your company has changed.
Add and rotate testimonials regularly to keep them from becoming stale or outdated. Include dates with testimonials to reinforce frequency and recency.
Look for creative ways to present testimonials – videos, image marketing, social media, etc.
Testimonials are powerful (when done right). We all want to know we are making a good decision when we hire a new service provider or make a major purchase. You use them. I use them. Your clients & prospects use them too. Take time to collect testimonials and incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
Story by: Dee Allomong