Have you ever watched a testimonial video where the client spends five minutes talking about how great their real estate agent is? Of course, you haven’t. Who wants to listen to THAT?!?

Too many real estate testimonial videos miss the mark. They fail to capture anyone’s attention.

In this week’s Walkthrough, host Matt McGee shares five tactics to help you make the best video testimonials in your market — the kind of videos that people will watch and will compel them to want to work with you.

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Links and Show Notes

Full Transcript

(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host)

You love the feeling when you get a five-star review and a great client testimonial.

[Sound: crowd cheering loudly]

When that happens, you wanna tell the world. It creates social proof for future clients. So you pull out a short quote, you put it over a nice background image, you post it online, #TestimonialTuesday or #ThankfulThursday.

Nothing wrong with that, but it gets a little trickier when you’re doing client testimonials on video. People don’t mind reading a sentence or two on that image that you shared, but when you post a video with someone talking for like three minutes straight about how wonderful you are…

[Sound: people yawning]

…that’s pretty boring, right? You have to take a different approach when it comes to video client testimonials. If you want people to watch, the video has to be interesting.

As life returns to normal this year, you’ll be in position again to get your clients in front of a camera. So let’s make sure you and they get it right.

Today we’re gonna get really specific about video testimonials. Let’s figure out how to make the best video testimonials in your market, the kind of videos that will set you apart from the competition, the kind that buyers and sellers will find irresistible.

This is “The Walkthrough.”

(INTRO MUSIC)

Hello. Hello. How are you? My name’s Matt McGee. I’m the editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center. Welcome to “The Walkthrough.” This is a weekly podcast. We have new episodes that come out every Monday, except when Monday is a big holiday like it was last week with Memorial Day. I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend and were able to enjoy some downtime if possible.

“The Walkthrough” is the show where you will learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.

If you wanna get involved in the show, there’s a few different ways you can do that. You can find me in our Facebook listener community, go to Facebook, do a search for HomeLight Walkthrough. The group should come right up. You can also leave a voicemail or send a text. The number is 415-322-3328. Or you can just send an email, walkthrough [at] homelight.com. It comes in straight to me.

You’re listening right now to an experiment of sorts. This is unlike any of our previous 60-plus episodes. For the past couple months, I’ve wanted to try a different kind of Walkthrough, a shorter episode where it’s just you and me. No guests. Think of it like a One More Minute segment, only a bit longer, because sometimes there are topics that I wanna share that don’t really fit into 60 seconds. So that’s what we’re doing today. Let’s try something new. Are you ready?

Today’s show is all about creating great video testimonials with your clients. Let me start with an important statistic. A company called Vocal Video surveyed more than 450 marketers last year. Those marketers said 64% of small businesses get “a dramatic improvement in conversion from video testimonials.”

I’m a big believer. I think video testimonials are a powerful and underused piece of your marketing toolbox. And when they are used, too many agents are putting out bland videos that just have a client saying how great the agent is. Yawn.

I speak from experience, by the way. I am guilty of this. When I was my wife’s full-time marketing guy, a few years ago, we did a series of video testimonials. They looked nice, they sounded good. The clients said great things, but the videos were just kinda meh. And what’s worse is that with at least one of the clients, we missed a huge opportunity to tell a pretty amazing story about their transaction. This husband and wife had looked at more than 30 homes, they were moving in from out of town and they were on a deadline. They fell in love with a home on the first day that it hit the market. They wrote a strong offer, they thought it would get accepted, and then the seller raised the price on them. And I don’t mean $5,000 or $10,000. The seller raised the price by $75,000! Well, after some frustrated exchanges with the seller, my wife’s clients threw in the towel on that home, but Cari found them another one just a day later that they bought and love. We didn’t tell that story well enough in their video testimonial and next time my wife is doing video testimonials with her clients, we’re not gonna make the same mistake.

So on today’s episode, I’m gonna share a handful of ideas to help you make the kind of client testimonial videos that will get watched and create new clients, ideas that we’ll be using the next time my wife gets some of her clients in front of the camera. I’ll be talking about things like who you should be asking to give you a video testimonial, what type of questions to ask them to make more compelling videos, and what to think about in terms of production quality.

So that’s all coming up today. Ready? It’s just me. Here we go. Chris, play that intro music, and let’s get started.

(BEGIN CONVERSATION)

Matt: The first thing you have to get right with video testimonials is who you’re going to ask to give you a testimonial. Don’t look for your biggest fans, the clients who love you the most. A video of them might get a lot of yawns. Instead, there are two types of clients you wanna look for.

Number one, clients who are really compelling on camera. If you have buyers or sellers who are bigger than life, right? Great personalities, they’d be a natural on camera, those folks might be a good candidate to ask. Or maybe you have clients, you know, who are super cute together, maybe an older couple that’s been married for 40 or 50 years, they finish each other’s sentences, they’re really adorable, they might be a good candidate to ask. When I say clients who are compelling on camera, I mean someone who if you put a camera and microphone in front of them, you know it’s going to be fun to watch. Clients like this, of course, are not common.

So the second type of client to look for is clients who have a compelling story to tell. If you’ve had deals that involved some kind of obstacle or tough situation — and in this market, I bet you have — those clients are great candidates to ask.

Look for clients with the best stories. Let me say that again. Look for clients with the best stories.

Now, you might be asking, “What makes a great story?” I mentioned that incident 4 or 5 years ago with my wife’s buyers when the home price went up by $75,000 as soon as the offer came in. That’s a great story to tell. Some other ideas might be things like this: Is there a seller who tried to FSBO first but they were overwhelmed by the process, then they listed with you and you took care of everything? Maybe you have a buyer client who would have been homeless if you hadn’t shown them houses every day for two weeks straight. Before-and-after comparisons can also be good stories. Maybe your client worked with another agent, they lost, you know, 15 bidding wars or something then they hired you and you got them under contract within a week.

Those are all compelling stories. Stories like that have tension and drama. They make for great video testimonials. And then when you go to share that testimonial on social media, you have a story to tell. You have a hook. You have something that will compel people to watch. It’s not just several minutes of someone saying how great you are. So that’s tip number one, the “who” part of great video testimonials.

Tip number two is the “what” part. What questions should you ask them? Well, this might be counter-intuitive but ask questions about the client, not about yourself. You want them to tell the story of their sale or purchase. So you wanna ask questions like, “What were your fears or concerns about buying or selling your home in this market? What was the hardest part of this transaction? How did you feel when that thing, whatever it was, when that thing happened?” Those are the kinds of questions that will draw out the emotion and drama in their story. And as they tell their story and share their feelings, eventually you’ll be the hero of the story who helped them through this adventure.

Couple more things to know about the interview. You might wanna have someone else do the interview. Now, you know your clients well, you want them to be totally open and candid. If they can do that with you asking the questions, go for it. But be aware that some clients might be more comfortable talking to someone else — maybe one of the agents on your team, maybe just the camera person, the videographer. Whoever is doing the interview, make sure it’s someone who’s familiar with the client’s story and knows what questions to ask.

Another tip, let your clients talk as long as it takes, you can always edit later. Number three, the more specifics they share the better, right? So if they don’t get into details on their own, be ready to ask something like, “Was there a specific moment when Sally really came through for you?” Also, if you can get them to share some specific results, fantastic. “Sally helped us win a bidding war against 23 other buyers.” That kind of detail is fantastic. After they hear your client’s story, people will want some closure, right? They wanna know what happened, how did it end? What result did you create for your client? The more specific, the better.

And then last tip about the interview, a good last question after they’ve told the story and shared the results, it’s just something simple like, “What would you tell your friends about Sally?” Or, “How would you describe what it was like to work with me?” Even if you don’t include that material in the final video, it could be something that you just use on social media, and that’s fine. And you know what? Even if you never use their answer to that question, it’s still really good to know what your clients would say about you to their friends.

Okay. I wanna talk about production and video quality in just a moment, but let me insert a listener question right here. In our Facebook community, Abby Walters asked a great question that kind of involves both the “who” and the “what.” Her question was, “How do you get your clients to be more comfortable on camera?”

Two things I’d say to that. Number one, think about that when you’re choosing which clients to ask. If you have clients with an amazing story to tell but they’re scared to death about being on camera, forcing or begging them is not the answer. No matter how great the story is, unfortunately, some clients may not be a good fit for video testimonials. You might also ask them, “Would you be more comfortable with me doing the interview or with someone else?”

And then tip number two, be willing to give them some coaching. I would never give your clients a script to read, right? That’ll sound kind of formulaic, but there’s nothing wrong with saying, “These are the kinds of questions that we’re gonna talk about.” Let them know in general what to expect when they sit down in front of the camera. Your more introverted clients, especially, will be more comfortable if they have some time to think and prepare. Also, let them know that you’re not looking for perfection. The video will be edited and the most important thing is for them to be themselves. So hopefully that answers your question, Abby. Thank you.

Okay. We did the “who” and we did the “what,” let me talk a bit about the “how.”

I’ll start by saying this, client testimonials are one type of video where quality really does matter. I know that goes against a lot of the advice you’ve heard on this podcast in the past 15 months. You’ve heard a lot of my guests say, “Don’t worry about quality. Just shoot the video.” That’s the right approach most of the time.

I think video testimonials are an exception to that rule. Here’s why. These videos should live on your website and your YouTube channel forever. They should be part of your listing presentation, they should be part of your marketing to buyers and sellers, they provide a level of social proof that you don’t get with other kinds of content. So if you just throw these together with no regard for quality, I think that won’t reflect well on how you do business. It’s like staging one of your listings. You don’t have to do it, but it sure looks better when you do.

So make sure the lighting is good, make sure the audio is good, the editing is good. I’m not saying the video needs to be, you know, Hollywood-level production. You’re not Steven Spielberg here, not at all, but do put some effort into it so that your testimonial video doesn’t look homespun.

The only exception to this, I think, is if you’re shooting a spur-of-the-moment video with a client, you only plan to use it like on your Instagram story or something, quality doesn’t matter as much in that case. But for a true video testimonial, definitely put the time and money into production.

Also on the production topic, you might be wondering how long the video testimonial should be. Here’s my thoughts on that. If your client is really compelling or if your client tells a really compelling story and you do a good job persuading people to watch the video when you share it, people will watch a long video. But that’s not permission, you know, to do like a 20-minute video testimonial. I think with a great story and interesting clients, you could easily get away with five or six minutes, but I’d try to make it shorter if at all possible. Two to four minutes is probably the sweet spot.

Last tip. So now you’ve got a bunch of really cool, really compelling client testimonials. What happens next? Here’s a few things.

Number one, as I just mentioned, great client testimonial videos should live on your website and your YouTube channel at minimum. Give them a dedicated page on your website, link to it from your regular testimonials page, put it in your website navigation, make the videos easy to find.

Number two, share them on social media, of course. Write some text that plays up the compelling story that your client tells. You can share the full-length videos. You can also have shorter clips edited specifically for use on social media. That’s important because you know there are limits on how long your videos can be on the different social platforms. And then don’t just promote these things once, promote them time and time again. Client testimonial videos have a pretty long shelf life.

Number three, you can use them as video ads on Facebook or YouTube. You can do that with either the full-length videos or the shorter clips.

Number four, your videos with past seller clients, make them part of your listing presentation. If you also do a buyer presentation, include your buyer testimonial videos in that. There’s a lot you can do with great client video testimonials.

But one last thing, do yourself a favor, make sure your clients know what you plan to do with the video. You don’t want them to be surprised when they see their own faces all over your website and all over your social media channels.

(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host)

So there you go. I’m a big believer in video testimonials and I hope you are too. Remember that statistic I shared a little bit ago, 64% of small business owners get dramatic improvement in conversion from video testimonials.

Now, that obviously was way too long for a One More Minute segment. I hope you found this valuable. Did you? I would really love your feedback on this experiment today. I’ll give out my contact info again in just a moment. Send me an email, you know, text, voicemail, whatever. Let me know what you think about this episode.

Right now, let’s do the takeaways segment. Here’s a quick summary of what I want you to know about making great video testimonials.

Takeaway number one, don’t ask your biggest fans. I know it sounds strange. Don’t ask your biggest fans. You wanna ask clients who are really compelling on camera or clients who have the most compelling stories from their work with you. Give them a little coaching, a little bit of prep if you need to. What they talk about will be way more interesting than a couple minutes of your number one fans saying how great you are.

Takeaway number two, ask questions about the client, not about you. You’re looking for the emotion and the tension in their story. “How did this make you feel? What was the hardest part of this transaction?” You will eventually become the hero of the story but first you need some drama.

Takeaway number three, specifics are great. You want them to talk about specific moments that were difficult when you helped or saved the day. You want them to talk about specific results as well if possible.

Takeaway number four, quality matters with video testimonials. Spend the time and money to make sure they look and sound great. That’ll make you look and sound great.

And then takeaway number five, use these videos everywhere, on your website, on YouTube, on social media, in your listing presentations, your marketing to buyers, everywhere. They will have a long shelf life. So take advantage of it.

All right. Questions or feedback, like I said, I would really love your thoughts on this experimental episode. You can leave a voicemail or send me a text, let me know what you think. The number is 415-322-3328. You can send an email to walkthrough [at] homelight.com or just come and join our Facebook listener community. Go to Facebook, do a search for HomeLight Walkthrough. The group will come right up.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for listening. My name’s Matt McGee. You’ve been listening to “The Walkthrough.” At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.

Go out and safely sell some homes. I’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.

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