Posted January 8, 2008 12:53 pm by with 11 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

InmanTV has an interesting video interview with Damon Pace, the CEO of Incredible Agent. About two minutes into the segment, Pace discuss the importance of real estate agents keeping track of their online reputation–especially using Google Alerts.

With the housing market struggling in many parts of the US, home sellers are going to be more discerning about who they select to sell their home. As Pace suggests, they’re going beyond simply asking their friends “which Realtor do you recommend” and are instead turning to social networks and other social media.So, what can a Realtor do to ensure the web presents a positive reflection of their reputation?

Here are some quick thoughts:

  1. Make sure you’re managing your Google reputation. Relying on the single page profile you get from your brokerage web site, is not enough.
  2. Pace suggests setting up Google Alerts, but there are many other free tools you can use to keep track of blogs, forums, and other social media.
  3. Track trends in your local market. If you’re the first to know about new residential construction, you can impress clients by being the first to tell them about it.
  4. Do you know of a new neighborhood going up near you? Want to be the agent buyers call to represent them? Create web pages that include information about the area–schools, taxes, amenities, etc–and it will be your name they see when they conduct research on Google.
  5. Keep tabs on your rival agents. You should absolutely set up Google Alerts and other monitoring to receive notification on any news that involves your competitors.
  6. Track industry/housing market trends and be the first to contact a local journalist about it–you pay good money to get your name in the paper, so why not look for opportunities to be quoted as the real estate expert?

Those are just a few tips and many apply to similar professions such as attorneys, doctors, dentists, gyms, etc. If you need more advice, pre-order my new book–packed full of tactics and tips for managing professional reputations.
Hat-tip Jessie.

  • Web 2.0 can be a really great place for Real Estate Agents, if they educate themselves because it is largely a reputation and name recognition driven profession. With all the social networking and blogging craze, this is a great time to be a real estate person.

  • While I agree that managing your online reputation is extremely important, no matter what line of business you are involved in, I still place more weight on a personal recommendation given by someone I trust.

    Alan Johnson

  • @Alan – I’d agree to some extent. However, I’ve found that with Realtors in particular, one person can have a great experience, while others not so much. I’d like to see what more than one person thought of a Realtor–that might be ‘cos I’ve been burned by even “great” realtors.

  • Google Alerts is one of the best ways to find out who’s talking about you. There’s another tool that will perform regular searches for a number of keywords and bring you the results right to your feed reader. Super sleek.

  • jessica freeman

    I agree with alan johnson. I personally place more weight on a personal recommendation given by someone I trust. when i bought my first home i looked around for home inspection as well, and my friends recommended from their experience, and it worked out fine, they were able to tell me things about the house i would have never known. I also used my friends relator, and i tell you nothing like a personal recommendation for good people.

  • I think it is important to understand that the demographics of people who will control the majority of real estate transactions in the future is changing rapidly. The Gen X & Y who are going to help their parents (the largest real estate owning group) with all of their future transactions WILL check online on behalf of their parents, when they decide to do something.

    Think about it. How many of you reading this right now, get questions from your parents regarding various issues that you research for them online?

    Sure, a 55 year may work on a referral because that was the best referral then but now when he / she seeks the opinion of from the son / daughter, they (son / daughter) will go online and do research on the person or subject parents are interested in. At the very least you better be ready to answer question about items posted about you online.

    Keep in mind, this demographic is already communicating with friends and family online, they are communicating via text message and im more than in person or verbally over the phone. This change basic interaction has far reaching implications that must in real estate haven’t really thought about.

    Andy is a leader in this field and his suggestions should be studied and applied. Look at his suggestion #6… remember redfin recent tv appearance with scientific facts on selling your home?

  • Andy, you are 100% correct that looking into other opinions is always a must and that the Web is a great place to hear what others have to say if you are experienced. If, however, a person is new to the Internet, I would suggest asking a more experienced user for assitance as far as online research is concerned in order to avoid falling for a few common traps the WWW is popular for 🙂

    Alan Johnson

  • Andy,
    Thanks for the post. Online reputation is going to be huge in the Real Estate space along with other service industries as well. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years with online reputation management.

    @Alan…I agree that most people will trust personal recommendations over internet recommendations, however if you are moving from Chicago to Seattle and you don’t know anyone in Seattle…you will have to turn to the internet for a recommendation on which Realtor to use. First hand knowledge is great, but in absence of that you have to turn to the web.

  • Very interesting…..I agree with the comments that a personal recommendation is gold in this business; however, technology now has such a strong influence in our purchasing decisions, we would be remiss to not utilize tools that help keep track of the amazing amount of information being shared. Great info, thanks for sharing.

  • I have just recently become aware of when I received an email saying a review had just been posted about me. I followed the link and saw where someone I have never heard of, much less worked with, posted a derogatory review about me. Of course I signed up and claimed my profile because I am proud of my online and local reputation yet I could not delete the bad review. Then when I attempted to call the number on the website it was no longer in service. I submitted a “contact us” email only to find out the next day my photograph and company logo had been uploaded to my profile without my permission.

    Doing a bit more research on this company, Damon Pace has a checkered past as a REALTOR in Arizona and his real estate license has lapsed more than a few times including in 2008 and is not currently an active REALTOR. What’s more disturbing is that if you click on “recent reviews” you will see that quite a few agents are receiving derogatory reviews. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a fellow agent’s profile who is an active REALTOR but has not sold homes in quite a while as she is in management. She had a negative review posted about her from a person who “used her to buy a home”. This made me realize these are obviously false reviews being submitted in order to have agents sign up for a profile on the website in hopes of removing the fake review.

    Damon Pace and Tom Wolf have no intention of removing them and have even admitted receiving threats from fellow REALTORS. As real estate professionals, we have enough trouble justifying our commissions and credibility. People like Damon Pace and Tom Wolf are most certainly not on the agent’s side and these two individuals and their website is yet another black eye on our profession.

  • Jeff,
    You forgot to mention you decided to change your profile to your alter ego, “Sasha Fierce” – an overweight black stripper. Then you thought it would be funny to submit false reviews on your own profile with foul language and responded to the only real review by confirming you knew the reviewer and called her a “bitch”. Way to care about your online reputation. The only reason I uploaded your information is because of your childish antics. I was simply attempting to clean your profile up so there are no improper images and information on my website. You may be able to get away with these actions on Myspace, but not on my website.

    For the life of me I don’t know why you wouldn’t want your real photo or your office logo on your profile…unless you’re afraid of being held accountable.

    By the way, no one on our team has ever submitted a false review for a Realtor. No matter what you think, I have no interest in destroying your reputation. In fact, I would prefer you prove you are a good Realtor by having your clients leave positive reviews, rather than wait for a bad reviewer to leave a posting on your profile.

    FYI: I don’t delete reviews for anyone(even paying clients) unless the review is obviously false or breaks our terms of service in any way. If you simply would follow the process on the website (instead of acting like a child), life would be a whole lot easier.