References from landlords and tenants could be the most cost-effective way to acquire new business and develop credibility.
Wagga Property Management director Dave Skow said most property management departments overlook testimonials as a business growth strategy, despite how simple and affordable they can be to procure.
“As part of our new business process, we actively ask our clients for their testimonial after around six months of dealing with us,” he told Residential Property Manager.
“This is by email and we simply tell them that whatever they have to say, good or bad, we would love to hear from them.”
Mr Skow said he goes a step further and asks if the testimonial can include a contact number, so prospective clients can call the referrer to discuss the service received.
“The power of a testimonial backed up by the client’s contact details is immeasurable,” he said.
“Although I am yet to hear of any of our prospects actually calling a current client, many have commented that it is a gutsy move and that we must be very sure of ourselves to be able to do such a thing.”
Your Property Manager director Carolyn Wright told Residential Property Manager such testimonials are “incredibly powerful” in today’s consumer-focused market.
She said websites such as TripAdviser and Urbanspoon are testament to how businesses can sink or swim from online reviews.
“I feel that particularly for landlords, they want to know a brand is tried and tested,” Ms Wright said.
“More so for a brand that is not a household name, because people are a little more wary of a brand they are not overly familiar with.”
Ms Wright said collecting testimonials is not always easy. Many clients are not tech-savvy and struggle with online reviews.
“When we are presented with a lovely email or a written testimonial, we do ask our clients if they would mind doing some form of online review such as a Google Review or a Facebook review,” she said.
“It’s not that people don’t want to do it, they just find the task difficult and time-consuming. People are time-poor so it goes to the bottom of their to-do list.”
[Related: PMs should be ‘embracing’ negative reviews]