By Beth Kinsella, Member Solutions Manager, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Everyone is asking for my feedback these days. I’d take that as a compliment in some circumstances, like a colleague asking my opinion on a project, but I’m getting solicited by some unlikely folks as of late and it’s making me a little uncomfortable — literally.
On a recent doctor’s visit I (unexpectedly) had to have blood drawn. Naturally, I wasn’t too jazzed about this, but imagine my surprise when the nurse wiggling around to find a vein said, “You know how you can tip me?” Pained and confused, I said, “Tip you?” She then encouraged me to say nice things about her in my patient survey. Why did she think that was a good time to ask me? I thought, why not just slap me and ask me what I think of your manicure?
Every truck and bus driver has a “How’s my driving?” sticker on the back of his or her vehicle. Every receipt you pocket has “Tell us about your experience” printed at the bottom (I bought gum; I’m fine, thanks). It appears that anybody and everybody is hungry for feedback, and probably no one more so than a real estate professional. Are you asking the right people for feedback? Are you going about it the right way? Here are a few ways you can better manage your clients’ critiques.
Wrangle Raving Fans
Even if it requires a trip in the “Way-Back Machine” make contact with some of your dazzled past clients (it’s a good excuse to touch base with them to see if they have any current real estate needs). Explain that you are enhancing your website and would love to feature a testimonial from him or her. When they follow through, be sure to send a handwritten thank you note.
Extract a Positive from the Negative
Should a client offer some salty words about his or her experience, demonstrate how you’ve improved since that event (if their dissatisfaction was with your performance). Thank him or her for the feedback and explain how you’ve upped-your game since then and how their feedback was a vital part of that progress. Even if his or her opinion bruised your ego, move past it and rise above it. Appreciate (if only in a small way) that they helped you avoid making the same mistake twice.
Try to gather feedback from a wide range of buyers and sellers; a first-time home-buyer’s experience is radically different than someone buying investment properties. Did you have any special situations like a short sale or foreclosure? Did you handle a referral from another agent? Readers will gravitate to reviews similar to their situation; do your best to get the attention of all your readers (they could be your next buyers and sellers).
Spread the Word
Beyond your website, consider using testimonials on postcards and mailers you send your clients as well as social media. Adding compelling testimonials in a “drip campaign” on either Facebook or Twitter could get the attention of just the right person; add one testimonial every week or two. Remember that when one of your Facebook friends “likes” one of your posts, that can be seen in his or her newsfeed — making your audience that much greater.
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has launched an exciting new initiative to help members gather feedback from their clients. We believe a negative review can help you learn from past mistakes and a positive review can be a real shot in the arm (in a good way, of course).
For more information on Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, visit www.LeadingRE.com.
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