As a real estate agent, you probably understand the importance of your professional image and reputation. In fact, you’ve probably put a great deal of effort into managing your in-person image. Since many homebuyers go online to find their real estate agents, it’s critical that your online presence projects the right image to potential clients. Keep in mind that buyers have many agents to choose from. Your goal is to maintain a professional online presence that attracts and keeps them. Here’s what you need to know about auditing your online presence.

1. Google Search Results

Buyers sometimes gather names of real estate agents from friends and family. Chances are that the potential client’s next step is to look up those agents on Google. If someone did a Google search on your name and the keyword “real estate agent”, would the search results be an accurate reflection of your personal brand?

Check out the Google search results for this Washington DC real estate agent. Her results are ideal. All results on the first page are related to her real estate business. You see links to her current listings, professional profiles, and five-star reviews.

On the other hand, you don’t want to be the agent who has a mediocre rating (three stars out of five) popping up near the top of her search results. For your own name, look for links to unflattering or overly personal information. If your audit reveals undesirable search results, Google has guidance for removing it.

2. Social Media Channels

Your social media accounts are the part of your online presence which you have the most control over. Consistency across social media channels helps build your online reputation and personal brand. Use the same professional shot as your profile photo for each account. Similarly, each of your social media accounts should display the same version of your logo. Since the ultimate purpose of a professional social media presence is to generate leads, a current email link or phone number is essential.

Review the frequency of your posts. People expect social media accounts to be updated regularly. Infrequent posts can give the impression your business generates little activity. It’s better to post regularly to one or two social media channels than to have a lackluster presence on many of them.

Most of all, your business social media accounts need to be professional. Facebook accounts that mix business posts with deeply personal moments from your life aren’t the best way to generate new leads.

Also, the methodology you’ve used to audit your social media accounts can be used to evaluate your business blog or website.

3. Reviews and Ratings

You probably found reviews and ratings in your Google search results and on your social media accounts. Visitors to Redfin, Zillow, Yelp, and may have also rated your work. Potential clients may rely on reviews and ratings as they decide who is worthy of their business.

Although everyone wants a page of glowing reviews, negative ratings happen. In the event you find a negative client review, the best course of action is to provide a pleasant and professional public response. For a recent review, it may make sense to follow up with a private call or email to address the issue. After resolving the problem, you could be in a position to ask your client to update their review.

4. Ongoing Management of Your Online Reputation

Once you’ve completed your audit, you may want to set up a Google alert to notify you of new content that contains your name. It’s possible to add a keyword to narrow the scope of results, which is useful for agents with a common name. Google alerts allow you to give prompt attention to issues that could have a negative impact on your online reputation.

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