There’s always something to do when you’re a real estate agent. On any day, you may be figuring out how to hire to stage an apartment, scheduling showings and open houses, or heading to closing meetings. Years ago, real estate agents only interacted with the internet in the sense that you were emailing clients, checking out listings, and updating your own properties.
Nowadays, real estate agents must be online savvy to make sure their properties are seen by the largest amount of potential buyers. However, you also must have a strong overall presence to continually attract new clients. Gone are the days where word-of-mouth referrals and repeat clients sustain the majority of your business.
When someone is looking for a new real estate agent, they are most likely to head to the web first. This means that your professional profiles may appear alongside your competitors and, depending on who has the higher rating, this is what they will use to make their decision.
A smart and savvy real estate agent will work hard to create an attractive online presence and manage their reputation to best attract new clients.
Table of Contents
- What is Online Reputation Management
- How Your Online Reputation Could Impact Your Success as a Real Estate Agent
- How to Properly Manage Your Online Reputation
What is Online Reputation Management
Your online reputation is, essentially, anything that appears on a web search when someone is looking for your name or through a search like “real estate agents near me.”
This means that everything from your agency listing, your profile on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and Zillow will all create your online reputation.
If you have public social media profiles, like on Facebook, make sure you either make it private and create a professional profile or ensure that all of the content on your profile is work-appropriate.
Online reputation management, as a result, is any action you take to manage the way someone views you online. Soliciting and responding to online reviews is an effective online reputation management strategy that will allow you to look better compared to competitors.
How Your Online Reputation Could Impact Your Success as a Real Estate Agent
Buying or selling properties, or finding a new place to live, is one of the most important decisions a person can make. It’s a stressful time when people rely on their real estate agents to create a professional and relaxing experience.
If you do a quick web search, it’s likely that you’ll find quite a bit of bad experiences posted online about people’s negative experiences with their agents. Whether what they thought to be a professional ended up being a scammer, or a professional with shady dealings, there’s no shortage of bad experiences to read about.
When an agent has a series of negative reviews that are bringing down their overall rating, it can raise a lot of red flags to potential clients who are looking for the best professional possible.
That’s why it is so important to manage your online reputation. The better you look online, the more likely it is that someone will choose to work with you over a competitor.
How to Properly Manage Your Online Reputation
There are a few things that you can do to properly manage your online reputation and make sure that you’re represented as positively as possible on the sites where your clients are looking.
Claim Your Profiles
As we mentioned earlier, online reviews play a big role in your online reputation. In fact, they can really make or break it.
That’s why you should first create a list of the most important websites that you could have a professional profile on. For many real estate agents awards, this list includes Google My Business, Yelp, Zillow, Homes.com, and Trulia, and Realtor.com.
To properly manage your online reputation, you should first find and claim all of your existing profiles. For many people, these profiles are automatically generated, so you will simply have to enter your information and likely answer a robo-call to prove that you are who you say you are.
If you notice that you don’t have profiles on key websites, make sure that you create your own and fill it with the most accurate information possible.
Update Your Real Estate Profiles
When you’ve gained access to your professional profiles, it’s important to make sure that all the information on each one is accurate.
This means that you will want to check your business hours, service areas, area of expertise, phone number, office address, and email. Additionally, make sure you upload a great professional picture and shots of the homes you’ve staged or sold in the past.
If a profile gives you the space to write a bio or include any other information, make sure that section is completely filled out.
Check Out Current Feedback + Improve Your Services Accordingly
Once you’ve claimed your profiles, it’s time to take a look at your current feedback. Chances are that one or two previous customers have left a review for you without you asking, so take the time to look at where you currently stand.
Some real estate agents start off their reputation management quest at a solid 4.5 stars. Others are not so lucky and have been hit with a few negative reviews that lowered that rating to 2 stars.
Knowing where you stand is a great way to adjust your strategy and know what to ask for.
Ask Current and Past Clients for Their Feedback
The best way to ensure that your offline reputation matches what potential clients can see online is to ask your current and past clients for their feedback.
You can ask clients in person, such as when you meet them to handover the keys and wish them well. Other agents prefer to use reputation management tools to solicit reviews and check in with clients via text and email.
No matter which method works best for you, make sure you are asking.
People are more likely to leave a review if they have been directly asked and sent to a specific profile, so strategically point people to a certain profile before moving onto the next.
Continue to Monitor and Solicit Reviews
Once you get a good process in place, you should continually monitor your profiles and solicit new reviews. Whenever a client leaves you a review (positive or negative, make sure you respond!
A simple thank you and short personalized message is great for positive reviews left on your profiles. When someone leaves a negative review, you will want to invite them to discuss the situation privately and note that this is not the usual experience you give clients.
The more you’re able to interact with clients online and generate a great-looking presence, the better you’ll be able to manage your online reputation and attract new clients at the same time!
Garrett is the President & CEO of RepCheckup, an online review management software used by real estate agents across the country. He has been helping businesses thrive through sales and marketing since 1999.