The 5-Step Testimonial Generating Machine for Real Estate Agents & Lenders - Joe Stumpf's By Referral Only

The 5-Step Testimonial Generating Machine for Real Estate Agents & Lenders

One of the most valuable assets you can have in your business is a high-quality buyer or seller testimonial. Testimonials are the equity you earn from being a referable Real Estate Agent or Lender.

Experience shows the easy part is getting a client to agree to give a testimonial, but the hard part is getting them to follow through. Even your raving fans say, “I’ll do it!”, but very few people follow through. Use these 5-steps in every transaction and you will create a no-fail testimonial generating machine that will yield high-quality testimonials…starting with your next transaction.

The Beginning of the Transaction

The wise proverb asks, “When is the best time to plant an oak tree?” Of course, the best time is 20, 30, or even 100 years ago, but the second-best time to plant an oak tree is today.

Plant this social media referral seed as early as possible, even before they have chosen you to be their agent. There is a good chance that simply planting this seed will cause the buyer or seller to select you as their agent. Why?

Because the request is not about you. It is about helping them achieve a level of happiness that may even be hard to imagine. It is also about helping the next person who can benefit from the good work you do together now.


“My purpose is for you to be so outrageously happy with the help I provide that you want to scream about it from the rooftops. And experience shows the best way to do that is to write a great review that other people can see. Not because I want to look good, but because my hard work plus your review will give people the comfort to ask for the help they need.”

Every Week During The Transaction

Give consistent regular updates your buyers and sellers can count on. At the initial consultation, let them know you have already scheduled time to give them their weekly transaction update.

This way they know every week they have time set aside to meet with you and get all the latest news about their progress. A well-informed client is one that doesn’t spin out of control with regret over past mistakes or worry about an uncertain future. Simply put, when they are informed and know they have a consistent schedule, they will interrupt you fewer times with less important concerns.


People appreciate content over fluff. Use this formula to give an update that reinforces their ultimate scenario.

Specific Behavior You Did + Meaning = Outcome

“Joe, on Tuesday afternoon at 3pm, I instructed my team to place seven Open House directional signs throughout your neighborhood which means everyone who drives their car between Park Boulevard and Main Street will see these signs and know you’re serious about getting your home sold, so that you’re even closer to having your kids start the year in the new school.”

One Week Left in the Transaction


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin”

Ensure your clients are prepared and facilitate a smooth end to the transaction. Remind your clients about the specific items they need to bring to their Celebration. Demonstrate that you’re a client advocate throughout the entire buying/selling/ financing process and validate your consistent, relationship-oriented standards.


“Next week we will be taking the final steps before you move into your new home/get the money from selling your house. I am truly excited to see you getting your (5-6-7).

To make absolutely sure that things go smoothly, I want to schedule a phone call/Zoom/in-person meeting, so we can make sure you have all your ducks in a row and know exactly what to expect next week before you get the keys to your new home/the funds for your home.”

During The Ducks-In-A Row Appointment

“I want to be the first to say congratulations! When we first met you were…”

  • Living in an apartment
  • Living with your parents
  • Realizing you needed more space
  • Ready to sell

“And now you are…”

  • Moving to your very own home
  • Moving to dream home
  • Moving to your next adventure

“This is a big deal. Most people who start this process do not get to sit around this table. Some people start and don’t finish, and other people never start at all. Maybe they are afraid and never ask for help from a skilled confident agent, like me. And they don’t even know the opportunity they’ve lost.

A lot of this happened because you did everything required to be in this position right now!

If you think about it, we have been through a lot together. Do you remember when
we first met?”

Recap important phases of the transaction:

  • Deciding to meet
  • The first meeting
  • Searching/Marketing/Staging
  • Negotiating
  • Removing Conditions
  • Celebrating

Highlight specific behaviors they did when implementing your advice. Allow them to fill their short-term memory with the memories of their buying/selling experience. You are creating awareness for the value of your relationship and leading them to discover, recognize and appreciate the value you’ve brought to them. As this occurs, now it’s time to ask them to help someone just like them.


Ask for Comfort:
“Joe, I have something important to ask you, and I only want to discuss it with you if you’re comfortable. If you’re not, just say so. Fair enough?”

Ask for Time:
“Joe, can you take 10 minutes with me right now to answer five easy questions about your experience? Maybe we can use these answers to help someone who is just starting their journey of buying/selling and simply need to hear from someone like you who has already made it this far.”

During the Ducks-In-A-Row Appointment


Here is the big secret.

You don’t even want a testimonial; you want a contentimonial.

A testimonial is all about you. It is ego-based bragging at best. At worst, nobody ever really pays as much attention to a testimonial as you. A contentimonial is completely different.

A contentimonial is a story about successfully moving through the buying and selling process and the story is told by the hero; your buyers and sellers. The story is about them, but don’t worry – you’ll be in the story as the guide by-their-side and you WILL look good.

Experience shows these stories are truly persuasive. Think about the last time you needed to learn and do something new.

Who did you seek out?
Where did you find them?

They were probably stories and experiences shared by someone who knew what they were talking about because they had already been there.

Now here is the next secret. It is easy to help your clients to tell their stories.

Just ask them these five questions and record their answers:
1. What were your expectations when you first started thinking about buying/selling/financing?
2. What was your experience of buying/selling/financing?
3. What would you tell other people about your experience of buying/selling/financing with me?
4. What was the most memorable part of buying/selling/financing?
5. If you had to describe this with a metaphor, what was it like?

When they’ve answered these 5 questions you have a story worth reading. And if you’ve recorded the conversation, you now have a story that is worth watching by all of your prospects on Facebook, YouTube and other social media accounts where future buyers and sellers can find you.

We recommend you gather all your contentimonials using By Referral Only Zoom, because your Zoom Meetings are recorded, transcribed, and saved to your unlimited cloud storage. From there,  you can download the transcription and copy and paste your pre-written testimonials. You also have a video that is ready to edit or post just the way you’ve recorded it. (To find ut more about his By Referral Only Membership feature click here.

If you follow these 5 steps, here’s what your results will look like:



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