As a real estate agent with a modern marketing strategy in place, you need a solid online review strategy in place as part of your overall digital strategy, but that shouldn’t stop at just Google reviews and LinkedIn recommendations, even if you do have a lot of them.
Ideally, you should have testimonials and reviews on as many websites as possible.
But to truly have a well-rounded review strategy, you need to diversify and take it further than just the standard testimonial talking about how great you are.
That’s where case studies can really separate you from your competition by helping you tell a more complex story around how you really helped someone succeed, sometimes while highlighting how other agents weren’t able to.
How Do Case Studies Compare?
While testimonials are usually a short iteration of what working with you was like, case studies provide a deeper dive into how working with you brought about a successful real estate result.
A well-written case study should touch on 3 main points:
- What the problem was.
- How you approached solving it.
- What the outcome was.
The whole idea of a case study is to take a deep dive into a transaction you did and hit all 3 points above, ideally, nailing down a situation that happened to someone within your target audience
★ Want to learn more about target audience? Have a look at these posts:
- Finding Your Target Audience, and Why You Should
- Why Your Target Audience Shouldn’t Be Anyone and Everyone
- How to Connect, Reach, and Engage Your Target Audience Online
Let’s say, for example, you want to work more with first-time investors, which you already have had some success with in the past. Then ideally, you want to have a case study that outlines how you helped someone with a common problem that a first-time investor would have:
1. The Problem: As a first-time investor, I was worried about buying an investment property that would actually get me a monthly and long-term ROI.
2. The Approach: My agent was able to provide a lot of data and information about what to expect as a return for all of the properties we viewed.
3. The Outcome: In the end, I purchased my first investment property successfully, and I’ve seen a direct return on my investment. I feel confident that I made the right decision, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my agent.
Then, you want to expand on the points above by adding your own opinion to it and using the testimonials to boost it. How?
The biggest difference between case studies and testimonials, other than usually length, is that testimonials are written completely by the other person, whereas a case study can be written by you, with some of the testimonial mixed in.
For example, you can talk about the experience the client had, in your own words, and then add the pieces of the testimonial that back up what you’ve said to build authenticity. When done right, it can be a powerful tool to convince someone that you’re the right agent for them.
Because case studies are structured this way, it means that if you have some testimonials or reviews that hit all 3 points above, then you can probably put together some case studies right now by expanding on them without needing to bother any of your clients for new information.
★Want to know more about building an online review strategy? Have a look at these posts:
- How Building Social Proof Gets You More Business
- Why Every Agent Needs an Online Review Strategy
- How Your Online Reputation Can Lose or Win You Business
So Why Do You Need Both?
Nowadays, it’s not as likely that someone will call you ready to work with you simply because they heard something good about you.
They’re either going to bring you in to pitch with a few other agents, or they’re going to research you online before they even contact you, or maybe both.
Everyone researches differently, and as part of that research process, there are going to be a lot of people that research very thoroughly. While a lot of testimonials and reviews are great and certainly helpful, a case study helps someone really imagine in a detailed way how working with you can help solve a problem they’re having.
A case study can be a powerful piece of content that highlights exactly how you can help your target audience. If a first-time investor is part of your target audience, and they find the case study example above as part of their research process, you can see how the likelihood of them reaching out to you would be quite high; you might even be the only agent they reach out to.
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