If you have been in the real estate business for a while, perhaps you have figured out how to market yourself to the world:
The website, RETS or IDX feed, blog, online content management system, newsletter and/or several mailings, banner ads, sponsored listings, the business cards, signs, park benches, bus stops, decorated cars and by now, maybe even hammered every friend you know to grow your business.
But…Can You Be Trusted?
Or, better yet – do you appear trustworthy to your potential clients? This is a commonly missed opportunity to present yourself and expand your clientele, with or without all of the abovementioned marketing madness. Prove to the public who you are.
Take the Online Trust Test:
1. Visit www.google.com
2. Type in your name
(geo locate if you must: john doe, fort collins)
(specify realtor or real estate agent if you need to slim down results: john doe realtor)
(specify both if needed: john doe realtor, fort collins, colorado)
3. Turn off the personalized settings to make things fair:
Are you there?
If you’re not in one (or all 6) of the first 6 unpaid listings, you need to work on your improving your online social presence, which in turn, improves your social trust factor. Here’s how.
Who’s “Googling Me”?
The first thing a potential client may do (especially if they are in the millennial generation), is “Google” you. Who are you? Can I trust you? Even if you came to a potential client on a referral, your name will most likely still become fodder for a search. The first 6 results of any search are going to let the referred home buyer or seller konw if you are a legitimate business person and how to get a hold of you if they decide to do so. Remember, clients seeking to buy or sell are trusting you with a very large investment – their home. Whether that’s over $100,000 or $1,000,0000, trust is a huge factor in determining whether you are in or out of the game when it comes time to play. Show them that you are worth their phone call.
Are you accurately represented? Are you the mystery man silhoutte? The cartoon avatar? The outdoor gal? The professional suit and tie guy? Pictures are worth a thousand words and speak volumes to your clientele. Whether you have a cat in your lap, tattoos, the perfect hair cut, hair color and backdrop, your “real life photo” is considered more trustworthy and transparent than the mystery man silhoutte and cutesy avatar in the eyes of the general public. If you can prove to the public that you are an actual person, without mystery or concern of why your picture is missing, your level of legitimacy as a real estate professional goes up exponentially if they can find you.
If you accurately represent yourself and market yourself properly online, the potential home buyer or seller may feel you are a good fit to also market their home. The photos you take of homes you list also represent your quality of marketing. Be sure to take good pictures (check the mirror for flash marks or your own reflection) or hire someone who can get the job done well for you. It very well may pay off in the end.
In addition to a great photography, updated contact information is also important. If you change phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, etc., it’s important to keep your information current everywhere, but especially online. If you set up social profiles, be sure to note which ones, and keep the logins somewhere safe so you can update them as needed. Stale information can cost you a listing, a sale and integrity as an agent.