As a real estate agent, your reputation is all important. A good reputation is favorable and publicly recognized name or standing for achievement and reliability. Definitions say that reputation is the word that refers to the position you occupy or the standing you have in the opinion of others regarding integrity and attainments.
Real estate recovery occurred quickly early in 2018. It has slowed down, but clients are still buying and selling homes and relying on real estate agents for help. You don’t want a reputation comment like this one:
Real estate professionals are at large mistrusted by the public. I had a horrible experience with two realtors. Not because at the core, they weren’t good people, but because the industry is so irregular, especially since 2005. They have a responsibility to their industry to drive prices up..its a part of farming(as in cultivating the neighborhood and controlling price)”
Forbes Magazine states that real estate agents rank 23rd on the list of most admired professionals. Number 23 is just below actors, politicians, and stockbrokers. Why the bad reputation? Most real estate agents are caring, sensitive and professional people. They do their utmost to help their clients
Reputation is perception. It’s a human trait to think “bad” about someone when they first meet them. As time goes on, you discover that your perception was wrong. The same thoughts can be applied to real estate agents. Maybe you had a bad experience with one agent, so you paint all the other real estate agents with the same brush. You think the real estate agent is crocked, and it’s not your fault that things went wrong with your home purchase.
I am guilty of this same generalization. When I sold a house in another state the real estate agent caused so many problems that the house went into foreclosure. He admitted that he was “lazy” with our listing and the advice he gave us was poor. I believed that the real estate industry was full of lazy and uncaring agents.
However, when we moved to another state, the real estate agent was terrific. He found us a good house for our family, introduced us to a lender, and stayed with us until we moved in the home. To this day, this agent is a good friend, and we often call on him for advice.
Reputation management is an opportunity for real estate agents to change the perception the public has about agents. Turn away from thoughts that “real estate agents are sleazy,” to “real estate agents are caring.” Educate your clients, inform them. Be professional. Always be one time, ask questions and find the motivation for why you are purchasing a new house. If your clients are skeptical about you, take the opportunity to change their perception.
There are things you can do. One is to be the agent who changes the perceived reputation by using reputation management websites. Monitor your reputation. “Work smarter, not harder” and embrace this principle when marketing yourself. Your success as a real estate agent depends on how well you sell yourself and your business.
It has been found that up to 88% of respondents in a study done by BrightLocal (2014) trusted consumer reviews as much or more than personal recommendations. Think about when you last used online review platforms to decide where to stay or what to eat. People will go on the endorsements and testimonials they find online about an agent. If your reputation is tarnished, you might lose business. On the upside, if you have good reviews, you may find that more people look for your name and call you up for real estate service.
Online reviews are today’s word of mouth. Many platforms offer the ability to control your reputation. There are so many places where one bad review can tarnish your reputation. When you use a platform like OnllineAgentReview you can see these negative comments, refute and work through them. You can change your reputation and change clients’ minds.
Create a profile that can be used on reputation management platforms. Be sure only to create what you can manage. Don’t leave your profile open or empty. An open profile means you don’t care enough to take charge, and this leaves the door open for spam comments. Write a profile with the most value for your clients. You can use OnlineAgentReview, LinkedIn, Zillow and Trulia platforms that are directly in your real estate niche and where your potential clients will look for you.
Ask clients for reviews and recommendations. Make your target review platforms a priority. Format them, so they appear in organic searches. Make sure potential clients are seeing the reviews, reading them, and act. In today’s technological world, you must be proactive.
Collect reviews by sending out a follow-up email after your client closes on their property. Thank them for choosing you and ask them to rate your service. In the email provide a direct link to the review section of your profile platform with a simple message, Leave a Review.
By using a direct link, extra steps for the client are avoided and this increases the likelihood they will leave a review. Make the process simple.
Follow the review platforms you belong to, set up email notifications that will alert you when a new review is posted. You can then respond promptly and calm down a dissatisfied client. Take the time to consider what you will say regarding a negative review and avoid “knee-jerk” reactions. Take a negative review as an opportunity to change instead of being reactive and insulted.
Make sure your response is not defensive but do acknowledge the issue. If you have provided poor service, apologize and publically acknowledge your mistake. If you recognize you are human, it shows you are trying to reconcile the issue; it shows you care.
On the other side, be gracious when you receive a positive review. Thank the client and take their positive review to heart. Keep up the good work.