Why Should Estate Agents Stalk Themselves Online?
Yes, we all know that there is a wealth of information on the internet but we forget that there is also a lot of information about ourselves there too.
I would wager that not many estate agents have recently taken the time to do research on themselves on the internet. Why is it critically important that estate agents do this? Why should we stalk ourselves online?
Real Estate marketing efforts to reach clients and get them to make contact with you result in that all-embracing term; “lead generation”. So, what happens to these leads when they come in? Inevitably most estate agents choose to call the person rather than email them, if they can, as we all know that in property, time is of the essence. Calling is the fastest way to respond to a lead. Too often the person we are calling does not answer and the primary reason is because they do not recognise the number calling them.
So what do they do? They wait until the call has stopped and then they go into Google and search the telephone number to see if they can find out who called them before calling back.
This is the critically important reason why it is important to clean up your online persona.
Do the exercise of putting your telephone number into a Google search and see what comes up. You should also do this for your name and your email address.
Also make sure you click on images and video tabs to see what comes up, not just the text search window.
If there is anything that appears in your searches that detracts from the image you want to project out there, or nothing comes up at all then you need to take action.
Here are 9 key steps you should take:
- Check out all the accounts you have and also created in the past such, but are no longer active on such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, Flickr, Reddit and the like. Go into each of those accounts you want to keep and see what’s there.
- Cleanse your profiles of inappropriate items. This doesn’t mean deleting all your fun vacation pictures. But it does mean deleting pictures or comments that could harm your chances of getting “hired”.
- Understand which social media platforms are deemed strictly business-oriented (LinkedIn) and which are better for personal use (such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram). Make sure your profiles match the platform tone.
- Think like a hiring manager. If a hiring manager were to review your social media profiles and Google search results, what would he or she think? Put yourself in their shoes and consider your online profiles as seen from a recruiter or hiring manager’s viewpoint.
- Delete all accounts that you do not use anymore.
- If there is material you find during your search appearing on other people’s sites and accounts that you think is inappropriate, then you should contact them and ask them to kindly delete it.
- VERY IMPORTANT. Create a video of yourself and post it on YouTube. Make the title of this video “Who Called Me From 123-456-7891 (your phone number), your email address and your name and surname”. Remember that Google owns YouTube so when somebody types in “Who called me from……”, your video will probably show up and the person wanting to know who called them will be able to listen to you telling them who you are, why you are in real estate and the services you provide, as well as the message you want to get across.
- Consider the professional image you want to project. Then think through the various ways you could do this online, which might include providing value-added comments within discussion forums, providing links to helpful articles within your subject area, or authoring blogs or articles in your area of expertise.
- Curate your online posting content. Don’t get so caught up in creating your online persona that you forget to live your life in reality. Sure, post about the fun work event, share a few pictures from your community volunteer activities last weekend, tell your colleagues about the great business book you just finished and why you found it so helpful. Just don’t forget that life is meant to be lived in real life, not online.