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Episode #18

December 12, 2019

Strategies To Collecting 5-Star Reviews and Build Trust

Host of
REI Conversion Podcast

Jessey

Hey, how’s it going? This is Jessey Kwong. I’m the founder and podcast host at REI Conversion, with a back ground stemming from design, digital marketing, and Real Estate Investing.

My goals here at REI Conversion is to empower other real estate investors, like yourself, with the digital tools and strategies to help you get started and scale your investing business.

Not only do I work closely with our small team and the services at REI Conversion, but I love building conversations and relationships with all of our investors, listening to the needs to help investors to grow.

Building trust is key to winning more leads, sales, and completing deals. I’m joined by Robert Dow, a full time land investor, who discusses the strategy of collecting positive reviews, ratings, and testimonials.

In this episode we cover the timing, strategies, and tools that make collecting testimonials easy. But, Robert also shares how he deal with challenges like negative reviews, like the ones on Google or Facebook.

It’s time you included testimonial collection as a part of your system after completing any deal.

Show Notes:

Endorsal.io – automated testimonial collection tool
REI Managed – Endorsal is included
Remarkable Land – Robert Dow’s Land Selling Website using REI Landlist

Podcast Transcription:

Jessey Kwong
Hey there. Welcome to the REI Conversion podcast where each episode we discuss strategies and digital tools to help you launch, automate and scale your real estate investing business. Learn how to run your investing business remotely. Find out ways to automate your business to better utilize your time and learn what other successful investors are implementing. So you could get to the next step closer to your investing goals. And I’m your host and founder of REI Conversion, Jessey Kwong!  

Hey, how’s it going? This is Jessey of the REI Conversion podcast today. I am so excited to have on the podcast Robert Dow, you may not have heard of him or you may have seen him active in some of the land investing groups. He’s definitely active inside the REI Conversion community group today. I am bringing him on because a conversation that sparked inside a group revolving around testimonials. So, like every episode, we’re gonna keep this short and right to the point. Hey, Robert. How’s it going,

Robert Dow
Doing well, how are you?

Jessey Kwong
Awesome. Thank you very much. I met Robert Ashley. He is a customer of ours on REI Conversion. He’s like I said he’s also active member inside of the Facebook group. Robert, can you sort of introduce yourself a little bit? Talk a little bit quickly about your land investing?

Robert Dow
Sure, Absolutely. My name’s Robert, down from Dallas, Texas, originally from Memphis, Tennessee. And, um, I got the land business. I started studying the land business in late 2017. Um, you know, started listening and reading about it all skied. Seth Williams and Jack Bosch. Those guys started consuming. Ah, all the information I could. I’ve never been a formal student of any of their programs, but really gathered a lot of data on then May have 2018. I sent my first land mailer and bought my first few property shortly thereafter, um, often and on worked on it in 2018 in then in 2019 and then as of the summer 2019 it’s my full time gig today is buying some land.

Jessey Kwong
That’s awesome, Robert, Your site is one of the models sites that I use as I asked you for your permission. But , lot of people say, Hey, can can I see one of your customers and I don’t have the permission to show everybody site, but Robert’s been generous enough to allow me to share his site. And, uh, yeah, is his sight looks great what you’ve done with REI Landlist. So congrats on that. So let’s jump right into the thick of things with testimonials. I posted up something. You’re actively collecting testimonials. You’ve tried different things. I think the money question is, does testimonials actually make a difference?

Robert Dow
The short answer is yes. You know, I think I think testimonials is matter. I think whether youc all it testimonial or review it matters. You you know the selfless example that I can think of is if you look at Amazon reviews today, even though we all know some of are manipulated and fake, at least to me, they still sway my decision.

Jessey Kwong
I mean, that’s the exact same same thing I say. Look at Amazon every time. Like when you choose to buy something, you’re going to look and trust those ratings like you said, Whether they’re fake or not, they do sway our decision making. Sadly, I know Amazon. I I don’t know what to trust any for on there, but yeah. Uh, you know, I literally read the best. I – I usually purchased the best reviewed items and the ones that have the most. So it does have power.

Robert Dow
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think one way or another we’re kind of consciously and subconsciously looking for social proof and and, you know, you know, having evolved kind of from little tribes of groups of people, um, reviews and testimonials is one of those ways we get that kind of special proof.

Jessey Kwong
Now, you mentioned that you use on your post inside the Facebook group where you mentioned that you used up the Better Business Bureau. Ah, the triple B or B B B. Is that something that you can actually track? I haven’t actually used it or signed up myself. How does that work?

Robert Dow
Yeah, so I used that. I was what they called accredited with the BBB the Better Business Bureau for about two years. Um, what they do you know, of course, is their credit your organization and crediting just means that they somewhat vetted you. Now, all companies, whether they’re accredited or not again, accredit it just means you essentially pay them to be part of their system. You typically still will have a Better Business Bureau profile. Um, they will send you, as recalled monthly. They’ll send you traffic starts that’ll show you, you know, the number of click throughs and that kind of stuff through their website. You know, because I’m not an SEO expert because they’ve been around for a long time and they connect to a lot of different sites and have a lot of inbound links, they have some authority, and so typically, you’ll see you know, your better business bureau profile appearing pretty pretty high in your search, Frank’s for your name. If not, if not number one or two. Typically, it’s so they will sell you pretty hard honestly on some of that traffic about volume and some of that’s worthwhile I think, you know, we really went to the Better Business Bureau for a different business, where we’re really trying to gain the credibility and trust of what is typically an older pool of consumers. Um, and in that sense, I think the Better Business Bureau does a pretty good job there. Um, you know, at the time we were really just direct mail shop, and we still are at the time that we really had very little Web presence so we would use that Better Business Bureau seal, which you can only use the seal if you’re accredited in our direct mail pieces. In fact, we may not even use it on our website at the time the website was not a driver of traffic, just the nature of the business. But yes, we would use that seal on our direct mail pieces. And, you know, we rarely got direct feedback from that, over time, we did start pushing a few of our customers to add reviews to the Better Business bureau site. But we kind of abandoned the Better Business Bureau before we made that a more robust kind of platform.

Jessey Kwong
Yeah, you mentioned about pushing to get, you know, your clients or your leads to, you know, those that you actually work with the leave, you testimonials, your buyers or sellers. How hard was that process in general? I mean, did you have to do a lot of chasing or where they’re pretty quick to respond to it?

Robert Dow
I mean, the short answer is we try to pick, um we get both answers there. We get some folks that are crickets or hear crickets from them and other folks that are more than happy in general, when it comes to whether it’s a better business bureau testimonial or Google or Facebook, I mean, we tend in general to first and foremost hit those customers who we think we’ve had a really good transaction with a really good relationship with and who was connected with to try to get them leave some positive feedback. But truthfully, I couldn’t tell you what portion of them actually leave reviews or not. Well, we could actually if you were to do math, but, um, it’s still most folks won’t leave review and to take a step back in the early days, and this is probably about 2015 or so we have done this in a while. We would actually just mail forms. And so really just a testimonial collection effort offline. Try to get good reviews. Good testimony is that way.

Jessey Kwong
Yeah, always trying to trying to make it easier for them to complete that. Complete that testimonial process, whatever you can do to sort of collect, and I definitely you know, I definitely see a lot of value that for that for us, you know, both on my land investing and REI Conversion as well. So, uh, now, now, nowadays? What are you doing to collect testimonials?

Robert Dow
Yes, sir. The main thing we’re doing today is primarily pushing Google testimonials or Google reviews. And so, in our CRM, we’re CRM called Close. We have a handful of templates, um, that start off the conversation in typically one of two ways, and then have two or three follow up e mails to that sequence and we did that manually. But we will point them in really granular detail. Here’s where you find the review button or the review link. Here’s what it looks like. Would you please leave a review for us? It really mean the world to us? Because it does. It means a lot to us. So that’s that’s the main way we’re pushing it today. Um, although we recently and you and I have talked about this I guess recently ah, downloaded or subscribe to the Endorsal app. And that’s been an interesting and good experience so far.

Jessey Kwong
Yeah, when we could talk a little bit about that after, But I wanted to ask you is there anything sort of that you’re saying in your testimonial collecting email to sort of drive them to leave you testimonials or just take it a step further to leave you a positive testimonial?

Robert Dow
Um, you know, so the only we really do to try to drive them is just to be earnest and honest and tell him this means a lot to us. This is our This is our livelihood. Literally. I’m so some your kind words and your your feedback on a process helps us to do better and helps give third parties. And we even say this sometimes confidence in us, you know, you gave me gave a chance. You gave us a chance. And we love to make it easier for the next customer to do the same. Um, so that’s that’s that portion of it. Now, as far as trying to improve our chances in general, we try to collect testimonials when something positive has happened. So and you’re buying land or selling land that’s happening to typically when the transaction closes. So we try to… we don’t necessarily try to time it at the exact same time, but certainly were still top of mind relevant. And the customer has a good good frame mindset for us.

Jessey Kwong
I definitely think those two key elements like like you said, you know, it’s a bit of timing and then, ah, you know, getting them at the right time and then also just being genuine. And do open up and do you show your sort of human side. Hey, you know, this does make a difference for us. And, you know, we’re trying to put food on the table as well, just like you guys. And I think if you’re relatable like that, they would totally understanding in that sense that, you know, like you said, this this this would mean the world to you guys if they can leave a testimonial. So we covered the timing there now I wanted to actually come back. You actually mentioned I think, in our Facebook conversation that you left the BBB. Is that correct?

Robert Dow
I did leave the Better Business Bureau. Yes.

Jessey Kwong
And what sort of drove that decision?

Robert Dow
Well, I think couple things one is it does cost money and I don’t know candidly how their pricing model works. I know what we paid. We paid $675 a year. That gave us a limited scope ability to use the Better Business Bureau locally within the North Texas region. And then in our mail are our mail pieces in online. Um, we did see positive results on the whole, but it was very un trackable. And it was hard to understand, really or substantiate was it worth us spending $675 a year. When we left them. Um, I started looking at a few other kind of trust certificates and things like that. The other was norther, McAfee, things like that. Because at the point, I was trying to really expand my Web presence and trying to look at ways to make us look more credible, you know, as a website, if, um, I never never ended up pulling the trigger with any of those other providers because although I did, I bought McAfee but saw no results from it. I was just trying to add trust and credibility to our website. Um, what we have done it again. I can’t prove that there’s any direct benefit from this per se. But we do. We have upgraded all over sized SSL just because the last thing we want is a browser telling your customer that your websites, particularly, you know, may be unsafe for insecure.

Jessey Kwong
Yeah, just for all of you guys that are getting your sites set up, make sure you do have SSL because Google is starting to punish those who don’t have SSL. So now you also mentioned that you’re collecting testimonials, mainly from Facebook and Google. And another. Um, remember inside the group A shout out to Joe Schmitt here. He avoids it because it’s easy to get thrown under the bus and to get negative reviews. And how do you sort of handle negative reviews? Have you had any negative reviews?

Robert Dow
We have had some negative views, and unfortunately I think just being online today, it’s unavoidable you now, you know and and negative reviews are the hard part. You know, again, it’s it’s this means a lot to you and me. This is our livelihood to start providing for our families and on. And I think today’s age it’s, you know, it’s pretty easy for somebody to be a little flipping and curse in an angry email. You know, we’ve had people, a troll our Facebook listings. We’ve had, you know, say what? This is junk property. Why in the world we know what anybody buy this that kind of stuff. We’ve had negative reviews on Google. We’ve had negative reviews on the better business Grow there again another day I think they’re on their unavoidable. My two cents or kind of the way I look at it, though, is, um I guess when dealing with these bad reviews, um, one is I think you have to really address the issue directly, you know, and and take it on really. Number to own that bad review whether whether they’re right or wrong, own it. And if you’re be empathetic to the extent you can with what the person leaving that review and again owned that problem. But lastly, kind of be concise and kind of clever. And I said polite as well, in your response, I myself have been guilty of writing a very polite but long response. That probably was just, uh, you know, kind of anger manifesting itself. Although I was not angry in my response. But you feel passionate about it. So you want to write a novel in response. But at the end of the day. And I think this is relevant that the number one goal in my mind in doing with these negative views is not to convince that party that they’re wrong, because you’re not gonna do that. Your main goal, though, is to convince the next person that they should trust you that this was a bad situation or whatever happens, something went wrong. If extent somebody actually reads that review with that one star rating, you want that future customer to say: Well, that guy just had a bad day. You know, I trust, you know, REI Conversion or whoever your company is. This is life, This happens so.

Jessey Kwong
Yeah, absolutely. And I think the other thing I think you mentioned really good points there. And I think the other thing is, you know, as as a business owner yourself and I’ve done I’ve been guilty of this is when you sort of dwell on that one negative review and some people more than less so you know, if you can let it go and try not to get too heated about it and move on with business. And, like you said, I think find a way to to build your trust with the next person and not try to convince that that person that left you the negative review that you know ah of otherwise. So I think you make a really good point there. So, yeah, I I do see the dangers of Facebook and Google. But then again, it’s so easy it helps with your ranking. There’s a lot of good stuff for for leaving reviews on Facebook and or Google, but there are other ways that you can go about it as well. You don’t have to go that way. And recently inside the group, I was promoting a tool called Endorse.io? Oh, that’s ENDORSAL dot io and its application that Appsumo that I frequent quite a bit. It’s It’s sort of like they promote tools for entrepreneurs, and this was a great one because, um, it’s a tool that helps make collecting on testimonials a lot easier. And it’s been a huge difference for us. That REI Conversion it was so simple, not only mean another great thing is you can actually pull your reviews from Facebook and Google. So for you, Robert. I guess it would be great that people are leaving reviews on Google and Facebook and then be able to post them on your website isn’t gonna be hard to do so. Robert, you mentioned that you checked out endorse. Will you have it right now? You just haven’t fully implemented it yet. All right, look. So it looks like we had a little bit of a technical difficulty or technical issue here. I’m just gonna continue the podcast myself. It’s been actually a little bit. Ah, struggled trying to connect this morning. I’m not sure what’s going on with our systems, but anyways, if Robert jumps back on. Hey, we’ll have it back on it. Still here anyways, so just to continue, what I was saying is that yeah, we’ve been using Endorsal, and it’s something that I promoted recently. Check it out. They’ve got a and extremely awesome deal going on right now. And I posted inside are REI Conversion Community Facebook group. It’s a lifetime price for, like, 49 bucks or something like that. It’s totally worth it. Like in four days. We’ve been chasing testimonials for the last past four months, and it made us. I made it so easy to collect 8 testimonials within four days. And yeah, then it’s been really positive with everybody. So one of my favorite part about Endorsal that you can actually create what they call super links. And like Robert was mentioning earlier, he was sending out mailers or forms that was pre filled so that they can just fill in the testimonial part and you make it easy to send it back. But oh, hey, Robert, you’re back.

Robert Dow
Sorry about that there!

Jessey Kwong
No problem, Robert. I was just saying, I was asking you managed to grab, Endorsal yourself. Have you actually checked it out much yet or you haven’t had a chance?

Robert Dow
No, I have. I have sent it to probably to half a dozen or so recent customers. Yeah, Got one review on it. Pulled in a recent Google review, I think it’s a great app so far, I think I think it’s great that it’s a simple way to get it integrated. Your website quickly, which is challenging other than kind of manually copying over reviews and Facebook reviews. There may be other options, but I know you and I were talking before I started call, it’s certainly a very attractive option when you compare it to something. Trust pilot for example, which is a much more expensive platform.

Jessey Kwong
And being that this is a one time price, I think those of you that are still listening probably when this show was actually released. Hopefully, you can jump into our group and grab the link or just head over to Appsumo dot com and just grab it. I think it’s a great deal. Um, and I was just mentioning While you’re gone that, you know, you have this option that was very similar to how you were sending out, you know, forms with their names already on there so that they have to just write the testimonial and send it back to you. They have something they called super links, where I can customize it for, you know, say for Robert and it would have his name, his company, on their location only have to do is type in this testimonial and rate it and then hit the send button. It’ll come back to us, and for those of you that are using REI Conversion websites or WordPress websites is very easy to embed. And those, um, testimonials are dynamic as well, so as you, soon as you get more more control and they’ve got a lot of different functions on there. So very super easy to use. And they’ve got also something like an incentive program where somebody fills out a testimonial, you can actually offer them a discount, for example, if you want to offer them a discount on their next property. So some pretty darn powerful stuff other than that, I do want to let you guys know that whoever is listening right now, we actually are baking in Endorsal automated testimonial collection tool into our REI Managed Plans. So for those of you that are are on our REI Managed plan or are planning to get on it, this is packed with some pretty sweet tools. And this is one of them. Um, Robert, did I miss anything else about collecting testimonials or ratings and reviews? Um, that I should have mentioned in this podcast here.

Robert Dow
No, I think you cover it all I guess my one other note that kind of for folks to think about if they haven’t already, and it really depends on if they have a buying site and a selling site. I do. Personally, I have sought out things like Google reviews and using Endorsal, Facebook reviews very public reviews with my selling sites. Um, with my buying site, I tend to be offline with those reviews. I do want to eventually add video reviews to that site, but I tend to not, ah kind of Joe Schmitt’s point. I tend to not make it super easy on that side to get negative reviews because it happens, unfortunately, in the land business, we make offers that some folks think of particularly low. Uh, I don’t necessarily wanna make it simple for those folks to leave us bad reviews

Jessey Kwong
That that’s a great point. That’s a great point. Awesome. Well, Robert, thanks again for joining me on this short show here and on short notice as well. So I really appreciate your time. And Robert, I’m excited to see what you’re going to be doing with your business and hope to have you back here sometime in the future.

Robert Dow
Likewise. Thanks. Jessey would be happy to join you again.

Jessey Kwong
Awesome. Thanks again, Robert. Appreciate it.  

Jessey Kwong
Before you stop this podcast or head to the next episode, I want to personally thank you for listening to this episode of the REI Conversion podcast. If you found this helpful, we greatly appreciate an awesome review and rating on whichever platform you’re listening to this on. And if you have two minutes and wanted to step it up even more and help others feel free to share this and other Facebook groups or pages or any communities giving others a heads up of the REI Conversion podcasts or this specific episode that may help them on their investing journey. nce again thanks very much for listening and catch you on the next episode.

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