In the past few years we’ve seen the emergence of companies that allow sellers and buyers to rate their agent (e.g. rate-my-realtor.com, rankmyagent.com, homelight.com, etc.). These companies advertise directly to consumers with the claim that they can put people in touch with the best performing real estate agents in the market. They then take the leads generated from their websites and sell those leads back to the agent. As a professional, you should be aware of which companies exist in your market.
Your online reputation is extremely important, and it has a lot to do with how you conduct your business. When some agents come into the business, they are very charismatic, enthusiastic and ambitious. They come in like a house on fire and they do business at the expense of everyone else. They end up with their reputation in tatters, and it becomes increasingly difficult to find new clients because they have burned through past relationships. On the other hand, there are agents who focus on their clients rather than their paycheck, and those agents end up with more business than they can handle. For me, it has always been more important to build my business slowly, one satisfied client at a time.
Here are 15 tips to build a great reputation:
- Focus every day on improving your service delivery. What small fix can you make today?
- Do everything for the benefit of people, not at the expense of people.
- Value your clients over your commission check. You’d rather lose money than lose a client.
- In every interaction with clients, do something small to make their life easier.
- Adopt a weekly communication strategy; don’t let any daylight get between you and your client.
- Don’t run away from problems; deal with them head on. Be prepared with solid solutions.
- Always give honest feedback (say the tough stuff nicely), so clients can make wise decisions.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. Look for little ways to exceed their expectations at every turn.
- Be thoughtful (e.g. nice house-warming gift) to let clients know you appreciate their business.
- Ask for client video testimonials; post them online to assure others that you are trustworthy.
- Ask your clients to post 5-star reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.
- Be careful what you post on social media; avoid touchy subjects like politics and religion.
- If a relationship with a new client doesn’t start well, walk away. If the courtship doesn’t start well, the marriage won’t get better. You are better to refer the opportunity to another agent.
- Set up Google Alerts on your name (it’s free). You’ll be notified if anyone says something about you online, so you can respond in real time.
- If a client posts a negative review, phone them immediately to resolve the problem. Post your solution online and ask the client to post a positive comment to let the world know the issue has been resolved. Viewers will see you as a problem solver.
We can’t afford to get anything wrong or to ignore issues. The consumer has a stronger voice today than ever before. Do a really great job. Get clients to post positive reviews about you online. Potential clients will search for you online…what will they find?
Leader’s Edge Training