Agents… Have you Googled yourself lately?
According to Glassdoor, more than 80% of employers will google you and a recent study by the Board of REALTORS® reports that at least 60% of consumers will Google real estate agents in order to learn more about them.
This percentage is sure to grow as more and more Millennials enter the real estate market (they LOVE to google!).
Think about it. Potential real estate clients will hear about you from a listing sign, a friend from work, an open house, etc. Before contacting you or agreeing to work with you, they want to learn more about who you really are. Typically, potential clients are googling you to find out:
- How experienced are you?
- Do you work in the areas they are living or interested in?
- Who are you? (i.e. your character and personality)
- What do your past clients have to say about their experience working with you?
- Do you look professional and/or like someone they would feel comfortable working with?
- Are you tech savvy with a professional website?
- Many potential home sellers look at your current listings, number of listings and how you market your properties
How to look your best on Google
First, be consistent.
Use the same name on every profile you create. So if your name is Jennifer Smith, don’t call yourself “Jen Smith” on one website and “Jenny Walker-Smith” on another. Stick with one. The same is true with your brokerage name. If you are with Happy Times Realty Group of Austin, don’t abbreviate with “Happy Times Austin” or “Happy Times Group”.
*** TIP: If you have a common name, you may want to consistently use “Jennifer Smith Chicago Realtor” or “Jennifer Smith Real Estate” in your profiles so that Google’s algorithms can identify the correct person when someone googles your name.
Add your profile to all the industry websites.
There are more and more these days, but if you are just getting started, make sure you add your bio and photo to Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and your brokerage website. Once you’ve finished with the basics, you can move onto secondary real estate and review websites like Homes.com, Movoto, Nestigator, HomeSnap and even Yelp.
*** TIP: When you are writing your bio, try to make it about the consumer and how you can help them. Sometimes agents just add a list of accolades and awards and it can be a turn off for some buyers. It also helps to vary your profile on the different websites a bit because Google likes unique content.
Update your social media profiles.
If you haven’t already, create a Facebook business page and add your bio to the page description area. Also make sure you are on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus. Learn more about creating profiles on social media.
Do some housekeeping.
When you google yourself, you may find a few things that are either outdated, inaccurate or don’t make your look your very best. This could range from that outdated “glamour shots” pic from your first year in real estate to brokerage that you no longer work for or an old phone number.
Ask for testimonials and reviews.
A great profile goes a long way, but nothing makes you stand out from the crowd like glowing reviews from your past clients. Websites like Zillow make it easy to request reviews, but we would recommend sending your clients an email asking them to add the same testimonial to at least three sites — Zillow, Trulia and your Facebook business page. You can also add the testimonial to your website.
Share your new business card!
Now that 99% of everyone you meet owns a smart phone, the old business cards are obsolete. See what your new Web 2.0 Business Card should look like in this article by Brad Andersohn.