3 ways estate agencies can leverage social proof in their marketing efforts.

We all value the opinion of others – the more people believe in something, the more we are likely to take notice of it. There’s good reason for this. We can save a lot of time in following the actions of others instead of making an independent evaluation ourselves. More times than not this pays off since the collective wisdom of a crowd usually beats the wisdom of an individual. Social proof leverages this ‘follow the crowd’ characteristic of human nature to influence the behaviour of consumers.

So how can estate agents leverage social proof? The likelihood is that they already do it everyday. For example showing properties in window displays as sold tells prospective customers; “Look! Loads of other buyers already trust us and are doing business with us, why wouldn’t you trust us too?”. However there are other more sophisticated means of harnessing the power of social proof, here are a few ideas.

1. Optimise your language. By telling clients how the majority of other similarly positioned clients behave you are likely to influence their behaviour. For example comments such as ‘this is our most popular option’ or ‘people are usually prepared to pay £x for this’ or ‘we handle people in your situation all the time’, are all likely to have this effect.

2. Work your testimonials. Testimonials and recommendations are the most wide-spread form of social proof. They’re powerful too – a recent survey found that 90% of customers are influenced by online recommendations. Therefore it’s essential that you make your testimonials as accessible to potential clients as possible. The good thing is that social media has made it easier than ever to amplify and archive your most glowing recommendations.

3. Safety in numbers. Telling prospective clients how many people have already successfully used your service can be a persuasive tool. An example of a company who are great at this are Amazon. By telling you that ‘221 customers have already bought this’, it makes you think ‘well surely it’s got to be good then?’. Why not remind your customers of how many successful sales you’ve completed this month?

Social proof is a powerful and complex marketing tool that still remains relatively unexploited. However there’s a balance to be struck between broadcasting yourself and remaining authentic. What’s more, social proof can also work the other way and reinforce negative behaviours too, read this to find out how leveraging social proof can backfire!

Originally posted on Propertyflock, a new and easy to use one-stop hub for marketing your estate agency.

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