The time of the testimonial is over with consumers moving to online reviews, according to industry trainer and principal Rik Rushton.
“As little as five years ago you’d ask for a testimonial from a seller or buyer to add to your marketing material,” Mr Rushton told Real Estate Business.
“Five years ago it was word of mouth, but today it is word of click. You need to have your social media strategy, your 'klout' score and hyper-local expertise. And all that needs to be linked to some sort of video or else you’ll be lost in the crowd.”
Mr Rushton speaks at some of the biggest real estate events in the world, but still manages to run his own First National office in Belgrave, Victoria.
“I’m not talking about what I did in 1998, I’m talking about what I’m doing in 2013,” Mr Rushton said. “If people can’t get some sort of review about you on their computers, if they can’t see something of you online, then you’re nobody."
“A prospect wants to know if you can promote their property in an online market place. If you can market yourself successfully, then you’re already halfway there. These are things I wouldn’t be comfortable speaking about five years ago, especially if I left the industry to take up speaking full time.
Managing a high profile that has him speak at over 50 events a year as well as running his own office might seem too much for most agents to handle, Mr Rushton believes his stringent time management keeps him on top of things.
"I’m very strict with my time. Most real estate agents know there are two six o’clocks in the day. There’s the one where you can prepare, and there’s the one you can make sure you’ve done everything you planned to in the last 12 hours.
“I can virtually tell you what I’m doing for every 15 minute block during any given day.
"Most agents will have a rough idea, but I don’t think a rough idea is good enough in 2013. I believe you need to be very specific.”