Testimonials a tired tactic

Client testimonials utilised by agencies to highlight customer satisfaction with services can be seen as an "old-school" approach, according to some industry professionals.

With consumers’ expectations surging as technology constantly evolves, are written testimonials displayed on agencies websites still a powerful marketing tool?

BresicWhitney head of marketing and communications Brendan Fearn said “word of mouth” is the most powerful way to get positive feedback flowing.

“So do we focus on sharing testimonials – not really,” he told Real Estate Business.

“We don’t necessarily spend time trying to share testimonials and talk about ourselves; we prefer to do a really good job and allow people to talk about it.

“Social media has changed the game; it fuels the online word of mouth and allows it to travel quickly and transparently between people.”

Also speaking to Real Estate Business, Starr Partners chief executive Douglas Driscoll said one of the things that fascinates him about the real estate industry is agents' interest in testimonials.

“I don’t necessarily think we should be hanging our hat on these things,” he said.

“As an industry we have always done that – seen them to be important and powerful and all the rest of it – but I certainly think written testimonials don’t carry as much weight as they once did.

“They are old-school and dated,” he added.

Mr Driscoll said he thinks agents should start looking for “references” as opposed to testimonials: “I personally think agents should now get in the habit of saying ‘Here are my referees; here are the names and numbers of my last 10 sales’.”

However, Strathfield Partners Real Estate managing director Robert Pignataro has a different view and thinks testimonials are still very personal.

“They do still play a major role because each testimonial is handwritten and it is personalised for that person,” he said.

“It is someone’s thoughts on how you acted on their behalf – I think that is a huge thing.” 

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