What Is Social Proof and Why Is It Important for a Real Estate Website?
Social proof is the reviews, testimonials, and social shares that customers provide about a product or service that help lead others to make the same purchase. Social proof is important in real estate and many other fields because we are more likely make a purchase knowing others have done so already.
Imagine you are making a purchase online. You are comparing two identical products. One has 500+ positive reviews. The other has three. Which would you buy? Most likely the one with more reviews, right?
It’s natural. Nearly all of us would make the same choice. This is the power of social proof. The more positive reviews, testimonials, and social shares you have the more likely you are to convert sales.
Why Does Social Proof Work?
Social proof works because we are psychologically predisposed to do something when we know others have done it too. Studies show that most of us look to others for clues when we are unsure of a decision. If others favor one decision over another, we tend to conform to their views.
This is especially true if the feedback we get comes from varied sources (i.e. reviews from multiple people). The effects of social proof are also magnified if those providing it are perceived to be particularly knowledgeable (i.e. an expert).
Why Is Social Proof Important In Real Estate?
Social proof is important in real estate because choosing the right agent is risky. Homebuyers want as much information as possible about the available agents, their strategies, their costs, and their ethics before making a decision. Social proof provides the necessary evidence that their decision will be the correct one.
While social proof has always played a role in the real estate industry, its importance has increased since the industry’s transition to the Internet. Shopping for agents online increases options for homebuyers. But it also increases uncertainty. To make up for this uncertainty, homebuyers expect more social proof.
How Can I Increase Social Proof on My Real Estate Site?
Social proof is traditionally seen as reviews, testimonials, and social shares. But within this framework, there is quite a bit of flexibility because almost anyone can provide social proof. Customers, experts, influencers, certification bodies, and family are some of the most common. Check out our list below for some creative ways to add social proof to your real estate site:
1. Allow customers to leave ratings and reviews
Ratings and reviews allow customers to give feedback on the services you provide as a real estate agent. You may worry about receiving a bad review. If you do, simply respond to it and make a good faith effort to resolve the client’s problem.
This helps your social proof by showing that you are committed to your clients and remain so even when a problem arises.
2. Collect testimonials from your most successful clients
Sometimes a star rating does not capture the full client-customer relationship. For your most successful clients, it’s OK to ask for a bit more. If you close on a home and feel particularly positive about how things went, ask your client for a three-to-four-sentence testimonial. You’ll be surprised how many say yes.
3. Provide real time stats
Showing real time stats about who is browsing your page and your listings lets people know they are not alone. It also can push them to act faster.
4. Show likes and shares
Many web platforms include widgets for likes and shares. Keeping a tally for each listing or blog post shows potential clients that your content travels.
5. Collect expert recommendations
Collecting expert recommendations will increase the diversity of voices in your social proof, which will help make it more influential.
6. Create an “In the News” page
If you’ve been interviewed or written about, add it to an “In the News” page. This will help promote you as an authority in the community.
7. Display badges and certifications
Social proof does not just need to come from people. It can come in the form of certifications and designations. Include any you have on your home page or about me page.
8. Allow comments on your blog and listings
By allowing comments, you will demonstrate that people are engaged with your site and that there is an ongoing conversation about you.
9. Client showcase
Many companies include an online portfolio with their most successful projects. Real estate agents can create an analogous page by highlighting some of their best clients in a showcase or case study. Select a client. Then, try to remember the most important moments in the home-buying or home-selling process and how you helped your client navigate them.
10. Number of homes sold
Keep a running count of homes you’ve sold or deals you closed. This will demonstrate your longevity in the industry and show proof of your experience.
11. User count
If you allow users to register to your site, display a running count to provide evidence that others are using your services.
Now you have a sense of some ways to increase social proof on your real estate website. The best agents use most, if not all, of these simultaneously. For more tips for your real estate website, check out 10 Sources of Royalty Free Images For Your Real Estate Website or How To Create a Rockin’ Agent Bio For Your Real Estate Website and Social Media.