With the majority of buyers and sellers conducting research online, Realtors® need to be vigilant about managing and protecting their online reputation. The Internet in many respects is a vast, largely unsupervised frontier reminiscent of the old Wild West. This is a place where anyone can have their say making their comments known to the world which can get downright personal at times. This isn’t always a bad thing. We need our clients to post honest reviews about the services they receive. It helps everyone strive to do their best.
Unfortunately, this means there are going to be some negative reviews. But a negative review may not be that damaging to your real estate career, especially if you have mostly positive reviews from clients who are genuinely pleased with the services you provided. In fact, many consumers expect that there will be some unhappy clients. Remember the old cliché, “you can’t please everyone all of the time.” It may even look suspicious to some potential clients if all they see are glowing reviews. This is why you need to invest some time managing your online reputation.
How to find your online reviews
Perhaps, the simplest way to discover if anyone is talking about you online is to do a name search in Google. Type “Your Name Realtor” into the search box in Google. Be sure that your search parameters are in quotes. i.e. “John Doe Realtor” or “John Doe Chicago Realtor”. You can refine the results even further by clicking on the “sprocket” icon, located on the top right of the Google search results page, then click on Advanced Settings. Here you can include or exclude additional search terms and even limit results by domain, such as yelp.com, twitter.com, bbb.org, etc.
How to deal with negative reviews
If you spot a negative review from a client you may be inclined to defend yourself by posting a rebuttle to a negative online comment. But this could engage in a bitter back and forth battle that ends up hurting your online reputation even more. Instead, reach out to the client and try to satisfactorily resolve any outstanding issue they may have. In some cases, the negative review may not be legitimate or it may be from someone you never spoke to or met. Any reputable online review site has a mechanism in place that will allow you to request the removal of fake, exaggerated, misrepresented or otherwise false online reviews and objectionable content that does not meet their content guidelines.
How to improve your Online Reputation
Your online reputation will naturally improve over time as you get more positive reviews from satisfied clients. You may want to get in the habit of soliciting online feedback from buyers and sellers, just as you would seek out referrals, to build a nice portfolio of online reviews. This will not only help you improve your online reputation, it will also help improve your search engine rankings as well.
photo credit: Lyn Lomasi via photopin (license)
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