How your online reputation can help or hurt you

By Kelly Leighton | Sept. 11, 2017 | 2 min. read

You know the importance of marketing online, but do you keep tabs on your reputation?

Laura Cole, VP of marketing for Vivial, said Realtors® need to be cognitive and aware of their reputation online.

“Be aware what is out there and what is written about you. Be sure to reply. Realtors are busy and work crazy hours, but it is critical you are fast in your response. You have to respond online, whether the review is positive or negative,” said Cole. “Talk to current  or past clients and seek reviews out. Proactively ask,  if you’re confident in your service level, make it part of your procedure to ask. You may get negative reviews, but it’s better to bring them out of the woodwork, so you can reply and show you are proactive. Nearly half of buyers say they are looking for good reputation, honesty and trustworthiness in a Realtor, and that all comes out in reviews. Provably 10 years ago, someone would ask friends for a recommendation, now with digital space, you don’t have to know anyone, you can search online. You’re effectively asking friends via Google.”

Cole stressed the importance of replying to reviews on sites that allow it. She said when an agent receives a negative review, apologize publicly, then move the conversation offline and offer to make it right. “This shows them the feedback is important. If someone else sees it, they see you reply quickly and it shows a lot.”

Beyond review sites, Cole said it’s important to have a quality website where you can easily be found. “Make sure you have a good online representation on your own website,” she advised. “It is key, and provides really specific information. It’s a way for people to find you directly. Consistently is really important. Make sure you are coming up in searches accurately. Make sure you can be found where people are looking,” she suggested.

Email marketing is a great way to stay in contact with your clients, past and present. Staying in contact with past clients is “critical,” she said. “You can have that customer for life.”

Ultimately, Cole advised you manage your own profiles online. “Make sure you stand out and can be found online,” she said.

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