Bradley Davis, Owner of London’s Homewood Homes, which has won allAgents Best Letting Agent in its area three years running based on its reviews, actively solicits positive reviews from happy landlords. “I let our landlords know how much we value that feedback because it's not just important to us, it's important for future customers as well,” he says. “People do read reviews and they do take them into consideration when they’re choosing an agent. We want to show that other people who've used us are happy with our service. Reviews help to back that up.”
Online reviews in particular are more important than ever before, with ninety-three percent of customers reading online reviews when they’re researching brands, according to Trustpilot, and 81% of customers say they would lose trust in a brand that didn’t have any online reviews - and customers must trust you before they will buy from you. "Social proof is a way of creating trust that consistently works," notes Trustpilot. "The principle of ‘Social Proof’, as introduced by Robert Cialdini in his groundbreaking 1984 book Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion, is that if you see someone else doing something you are more likely to be persuaded to do that thing yourself." Trustpilot suggests featuring your reviews in your advertising, by quoting an individual customer review, using your overall rating in the images, or showing how how many customers have rated you highly.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re asking your landlords if they know other landlords who could be in the market for your service. You could incentivise referrals further by introducing a scheme for successful referrals - whether that’s offering the referrer a discount on their fees or giving them a gift voucher - and make sure your landlords know you have such a scheme in place by adding it to your website, newsletters, and targeted advertising campaigns.
“We almost purely rely on organic growth, which we feel is the best and most solid way to grow your business because there's nothing better than a referral from a friend,” says Matt Dilkes of Christopher Shaw. “We ask for reviews and for referrals. We do offer referral incentives as well. If a landlord wants to bring on someone, we might discount their management fee for a few months, or we give them a voucher for M&S, or treat them to an experience. We like to reward that kind of goodwill. That’s how we've grown over the last 10 years, more than any other route.”
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