We all know Facebook posts have a half-life of 1.3 billion years but how much attention do we pay to the results seen by prospective clients when they search for you by name?
Since realestate.com.au first started charging our vendors for advertising our personal brand has been in virtual existence, like it or not. So, how should you take control of your online profile?
Search your name on a computer you don’t normally use, like a friend’s or at the library. Visit each link, taking note of the order they appear in. Generally, your realestate.com.au profile will appear at the top because of the power this brand has in the world of Google. Next should be your office’s website and then preferably your LinkedIn profile. There will also be random sites that scrap the internet for information, some of which may be out of date (see number 5). Look out for links to personal social media pages, in particular photo tags added by ‘friends’. You may need to change the privacy settings and remove tags from your timeline.
Once you have your first listing advertised with REA you will have a profile. So, while enjoying the excitement of getting your first form 6 signed take ownership of your online space. Your administration team should be able to assist but it is easy to find the link to agent admin at the bottom of each REA page. They even have instructions on their site for completing your free profile. Make the most of all the fields which include skills and expertise, community engagement and video (if you don’t have a professional video yet add a link to your brand’s video if they have one). Also, provide your LinkedIn profile url as another way to build credibility (sell also number 6).
Your office or brand’s website should be your next best opportunity to build your personal brand. This is crucial online real estate. As real estate agents, we promote ourselves as marketers of homes, what if we don’t market ourselves professionally? You must invest in yourself to appear professional, starting with a photo taken by a photographer; not a selfie, not an ‘up against the wall’ shot taken on your first day and certainly not one taken five years ago, at a social event.
Don’t skimp on creating your profile, employee a professional to write about your strengths and benefits to clients. It is very difficult to write your own profile, especially when you are starting out and haven’t established market credibility yet. What is a prospective vendor to think when you declare you are honest and trustworthy? Let’s leave that to others to say (see step 6). Once you have a professional profile you can use it to maintain consistency across mediums; print and online.
The thought of taking ownership of your online profile can be daunting but you don’t have to be the next Elon Musk to create a professional online presence. Continue checking the first page links for accuracy and relevance. If you find a profile you didn’t create on a third-party site you can contact them and request removal or updates.
If someone else says it it’s more likely to be true! When considering a new product or service we look for online reviews so why would selling the family home be any different? LinkedIn provides for recommendations while Rate My Agent has taken control of this space for real estate agents providing free and paid subscriptions. Shortly after you list your first property for sale this site will add you, meaning claiming and controlling this space is vital. Gathering testimonials or reviews is a simple process and hugely beneficial. You can use clients’ gushy words on your printed material and link to them from your brand profile and social media pages.
So, when you do your regular sock drawer clean out, do an ego search and make sure your clients are seeing you in the best possible light.
Need help? Role Ready Career Services is offering Validum students and alumni 10% discount on face to face resume appointments and professional profile writing services. Contact Maree on 0434 200 146, email email@example.com or visit www.roleready.com.au for more information.