Real Estate Agents Can no Longer Afford to Operate “The Old Fashioned Way”

Well-honed “people skills” are a vital attribute for real estate agents, along with local knowledge, marketing talents, attention to details and negotiating skills. Increasingly, however, not only first contacts but a large and growing segment of real estate business is conducted online rather than face-to-face.

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It’s Not Just Property That’s Listed Online Anymore

The “old-fashioned” MLS Listing Book has all but disappeared from the real estate landscape, and the vast majority of prospective buyers first view listings online. That trend has brought about important changes in property descriptions and mandated a need for better photographs. Online listings have also all but eliminated the need for onsite open houses, and printed property flyers.

A similar evolution is underway in terms of the way clients select real estate agents. Those who are ahead of the curve have already taken steps to establish a “virtual portrait” of themselves and the services they offer. It requires a different set of skills. But it is a vital step. Agents who neglect their online presence are going to fall behind in their efforts to represent sellers and find prospective buyers. Those clients who prefer in-office meetings and exchanging business cards in person will never disappear, but the new age of marketing points in a different direction.

Developing a distinctive online presence is not only a smart professional move, it will soon become the primary method of building a successful real estate career. Traditional marketing, advertising and networking can remain an effective way to get your name and your face in front of the public. Involvement in service organizations and charitable events cements an agent’s reputation as a decent human being with a “life” apart from the business.

However, future clients are much more likely to travel to a website rather than to an office to satisfy their curiosity and explore your listings. They are also likely to read online testimonials and ratings before they will ask neighbors and business associates for agent recommendations. And the reach of an active social media presence is immense. Think of the potential: Your market is no longer limited to the local geographic area. The internet can bring clients from anywhere in the world!

Think About How the World Sees You

Online reputation management is an important part of the new world. However, it might be something requires expert help. It involves a more thoughtful approach than having a website and posting occasionally to Facebook or Instagram. A limited or poorly-executed online presence might have the effect of driving business away.

Digital marketing and web design experts can be instrumental in helping real estate agents optimize exposure, manage content, boost engagement rates and assure that the digital “picture” is one that speaks of success. That’s a foundation on which to build even greater exposure. The goal is to project an image of authority and solid achievement while still appearing approachable and personable. It’s a balancing act that many agents manage extremely well in person but have not yet mastered on the digital page. And this is definitely not the place to seek advice of a “digital native” like a teenage son!

Your business or personal website should be the starting point. It’s perfectly appropriate to have a page on a shared website, expanding that to a well-thought-out complementary presence on social media sites tailored to the audience you want to reach.

Offer prospective clients a variety of pertinent and topical information by writing a weekly blog post. Discuss local market trends on a monthly basis, explain financing options and real estate terms; offer advice on credit management, or promote local events and charitable efforts. Interact with the local community through social media and develop an online community to boost engagement and build referrals.

It will take time, but it will define your business success for the future. Don’t be left out in the cold!

Dylan SnyderDylan Snyder is a team leader and real estate consultant at The Snyder Group – Keller Williams Realty Luxury Homes. His business is augmented by his high-caliber team of seasoned buyer specialists and a dedicated marketing department.

5 Reasons Businesses Avoid Managing Their Online Reputation

While many businesses have embraced Reviews Management as a core part of their marketing activities and business process, some businesses fail to see the benefits. Here are the 5 top reasons businesses stop short of managing their online reputations:

15384843 - obsolete technology concept with a trashcan5. “It’ Not A Priority” – Old School Thinking

Businesses may not have review software because they don’t know they’re online. Whether you’re on social media or not, most local businesses are already found online. A patron of their establishment may have written a review. Or, a business listing site already has you in their database. Whatever the reason, you’re already online. And if you’re online, looking into those reviews is a priority to see who is talking about you and why.

 

4. My Reviews Are “Good Enough”

If you have taken a look at your reviews, you may think your reviews are “good enough.” But Local Search results (people who search for a business like yours on Google) impact not only by the number of reviews but by how recent they are, as well. That means if you have reviews that are several months or even years old, you are probably getting outranked by your competition with more recent reviews. Take a look at your competitors and see how they’re faring in comparison. It’s never too late to be the leader of the pack.RecentReviews

 

3. A Handful of Reviews on One Review Site Is Enough

When potential customers search for a business like yours, they are most attracted to businesses with good ratings on many review sites. Focusing on review on just one review site doesn’t cut it.  The search results for your business will be limited when you lack reviews on multiple review sites.  This is because the search engines favor businesses with reviews on many review sites.  Put the effort it to get reviews on review sites and you will reap the rewards of increased business.

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2. Fear of Getting Negative Feedback76347565 - angry woman surrounded by negative comments in white speech bubbles

It’s okay, we’ve all been here. Whether the last time you got negative review was back in grade school or just yesterday, negative feedback can be a scary thing. But negative feedback can be the best teacher and it can tell you how to unlock the potential of your business. For example, a doctor can be a great practitioner who is popular with her patients, but the receptionist in her office is a curmudgeon. The doctor didn’t realize this until she read the feedback from her patience. Once she addressed the problem, she saw an increase in referrals. ReviewInc’s software allows you to see all feedback privately before it goes public. Now, you can worry less about the Negative Nellies posting publicly. Plus, you can use their feedback to see how you can improve your business in the future.

 

 

1. It’s Too Costly11637913 - coins in hand.

Sometimes it feels like there’s software and apps for everything, and they all cost money. When it comes to reputation management software, it’s well worth it. Managing your customer feedback and online reviews takes time, effort and consistency. More importantly, several university studies have correlated a good online reputation with increased business revenue. The Return On Investment (ROI) alone should satisfy any business owner or Chief Financial Officer.

In the end, it’s not about how much money reputation management software costs, but instead how can you afford not to. ReviewInc is here to make your transition through reputation management easy. Contact Us or Give us a call at 877-973-8439 or email us at info@reviewinc.com if you have any questions or would like to schedule a training.76347262 - hands holding speech bubbles with comments around a smiling woman

QR Codes Are Back! How to Use Them To Improve Your Online Reputation

QRCode ScannerSometimes, the best inventions come in the form of tiny little squares. After a long hiatus, and with some hiding in our favorite mobile apps, QR codes are back and in a big way. Here’s why:

QR Codes are about to go through a major rebirth thanks to Apple. Recently, Apple released iOS 11 that has a native QR code reader built into the Camera app. Apple’s iOS release joins Android’s 6.0 (“Marshmallow”) release to automatically recognize a QR code when the default camera app is pointed at any QR code.

The Sordid Past of QR Codes

While the codes remained extremely popular in Asian markets, things didn’t go so well in the West. In order to scan QR codes, consumers in places like the US had to download an app onto their mobile devices. Unfortunately, it was a hassle downloading the apps, and often times the available apps would break. This frustrated the American consumer, leading to the death of the QR code in the West.

What’s a QR Code?

Also known as a Quick Response Code, a QR code is a square containing tiny codes of black and white. These squares hold a ton of storage and are scanned by mobile devices such as your phone or tablet.

What Can it Do?

Due to its ability to hold a ton of storage, these little squares accomplish several feats. QR codes can: track a product, identify an item, track time, be used for document management and marketing purposes. If you’ve ever wanted free stuff at your local convention, you’ve probably scanned a few QR codes. Social media sites like Snapchat are already using the codes, giving QR the opportunity to re-brand in a more positive light.

Use QR Codes to Get More Reviews

Not everyone creates QR codes or even knows about them. But, at ReviewInc, we have the ability to create and even print out QR codes for your business. We even have a business card creator that will create Vista Print ready images that includes your very own QR code.

Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Honoring the Victims and Families of 9/11

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Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.

– Ralph Marston
American Writer

Knowing Facebook’s Rules Can Improve Your Business

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These days, there are standards for everything. Facebook, for instance, has their own set of community standards and terms of use. These standards are there to protect the consumer and the business. In many ways, it’s intended to police the consumer, putting the kibosh on hate speech and trolling. Luckily, it is to the benefit of business owners and social media managers alike.

Where to Find Facebook’s Regulations

Facebook’s Community Standards page is a catch-all for everyone who uses the site. They keep things pretty simple. Don’t sell or trade drugs. Encourage respectful behavior. And respect the intellectual, individual, and property rights. While it’s laid out plainly, the Community Standards page does not go deep into detail.

As a business owner or social media guru, what you want is the Terms of Service page. Keep this link in your back pocket. After all, you do not want to be searching for it through roundabouts on the Facebook pages when you need it most.

The Golden Rule Applies

Now that you know your own rights, you’re probably wondering how this can help you as a business owner. Your best bet is looking at the Terms of Service page. The first thing you should take a look at is section 3, labeled “Safety.” Here, it shows you cannot do anything illicit, but neither can anyone else. A person cannot intimidate, harass, or bullying a business. Inversely, a business engaging in this behavior spells disaster for a business’s Facebook page.

That said it isn’t always a simple case of bullying. Creating a false account can be grounds for expulsion from the website. Located in section 4, Registration and Account Security, it says that anyone falsifying their personal information in Facebook is against Facebook’s terms of use. And in section 5, Protecting Other People’s Rights, it says repeatedly infringing or violating someone’s rights or the law could spell expulsion from the website.

The Warning Label to be Aware of

After you read through the Terms of Service page, you may be a bit nervous about one thing in particular. Here it is in legalese:

“[…] you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless you’re content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

You may own what you post on your pages, but Facebook has the right to do anything they please with your posts. As far as adhesion contracts go, this may be scary when it comes to intellectual property. Even so, Facebook protects its users when others use your logo or brand name without your permission.

The part that makes this interesting is how you can use other people’s information. If this applies to you as a business owner, what about original posts by your customers such as reviews?

Sensitive Information

It’s also important for businesses not to post their customer’s information or take any kind of property. Facebook dictates you need consent if you collect information from your customers. This is especially the case for things like comments or user reviews. Say you want testimonials on your website. According to Facebook, you have to do three things. First, you need consent from the customer. Next, you need to make it clear that you and not Facebook is the recipient of the information. And last, you also need to give customers your business’s privacy policy so they know that you will not post their personal information or document.

What This Means for Your Reviews

Sometimes understanding Facebook’s rules is difficult as a business owner. This is especially the case with their terms of service and their online reviews. But, once you have that knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to navigate Facebook even better. What’s more is your business is more likely to succeed in the world of social media.

This article is just our interpretation of Facebook’s terms and should not be relied upon as official legal interpretation. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney for clarification and how these terms apply specifically to your business and its needs.

If you have any more questions about Facebook, improving your online reviews, or reputation management, we offer free consultations. Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.