According to recent research, more people today are turning away from traditional business communication in favour of good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews. This is true for both sales and service-focused industries. Real estate salespeople are advised to request a testimonial from every happy buyer and seller they serve and there are many online tools available to help them do so. Why should it be any different in property management? This article shares some best practice tips for requesting customer testimonials in property management.
Much like asking your boss for a pay rise or promotion, asking for a customer review isn’t easy for many people. While you may receive an unsolicited testimonial from a very happy owner or tenant from time to time, which is great, you will receive far more if you ask because most people are too busy to think about it unless prompted. So the key here is to push your fear and any thoughts of appearing egocentric aside and ASK. Think of yourself as a consumer. If you have an excellent experience with a business, you are happy to submit a positive review, aren’t you? Your clients feel the same way.
Tips to help you ask for a customer testimonial in property management
No matter which option you choose, strike while the iron is hot. In other words, the best time to ask for a testimonial or review is immediately following a service or action you know the owner or tenant was happy with. Examples could be:
- Prompt action on a maintenance request (tenant)
- A recommendation to increase rent based on improved market conditions at the time of a lease renewal (owner)
- The issue of a very thorough inspection report (owner)
- A recommendation to inspect the safety of a rental property (PropertySafe Report) to protect the safety of occupants and minimise risk to the owner (owner and tenant).
Ask via an email
This is a quick, easy way to ask for a written testimonial and removes the fear of asking face to face. You could begin with a subject header like, ‘Rate your experience with us’.
The idea is to make writing a testimonial as easy as possible for people. You could provide a link to other client testimonials on your website or social media page to give people an idea of what others have written. If you don’t have a testimonials page, consider adding one.
Say something like, “Would you mind writing a brief testimonial about your experience with us in an email? I am asking because, in our experience, people place a lot of weight on what our clients say about us when deciding whether or not to use our services.” Most people will say yes.
The spontaneous testimonial
Always be aware of the spontaneous testimonial. This is when an owner or tenant provides you with great feedback in passing/spontaneously. When this happens, ask there and then if they would mind you sharing their kind words as a written testimonial.
Australia’s number one real estate agent ratings and statistics website, RateMyAgent has added a Leasing section that allows owners and tenants to review their property manager. This is done in one of three ways:
- By searching for the property manager on the site and submitting a review through their RateMyAgent profile,
- In response to an invitation by the property manager, OR
- A direct upload of a review made outside RateMyAgent.
Google or Facebook review
With an increasing number of people familiar with the Google and Facebook review systems, many property managers are opting to use a link to either or both of these platforms when requesting client reviews. Some even include a link with their email signature, together with a request to ‘Rate your experience with us’. Anecdotal feedback from property managers who use these systems suggests that many prospective clients read their online reviews before getting in touch.
As you can see, there are several ways to receive testimonials in property management. All you have to do is ask.