Friday, 24 November 2017

How can Real Estate Agents escape the Wormhole of Bad Online Reputation?

Written by Posted On Friday, 14 August 2015 05:56

  

Why is it that, whenever you introduce yourself as a real estate agent, people usually make a cringe face. As realtors, you surely would have faced regular negativity about your profession. They are usually perceived to be greedy and liars and only after your money. But if you think about it for a moment, every other sector has the same set of unprofessional people. So why is it that real estate agents have to deal with bad reputation more often than others.

Studies have shown that “home” comes second to “mother” as a word that is really close to our heart. Buying and selling a house usually entails major emotional event. However, most of the real estate agents only treat it as a mere financial transaction that involves lucrative commissions. This could be one of the biggest reasons why most of the people compare a real estate agent to a greedy wolf.

Due to the digital era, it has become easy for anyone to get relevant information. Internet has, in that aspect, become a one-stop gateway to all the information. So when you go online and search for experience with real estate agents, you would mostly get negative comments.

Some of the prominent comments related to real estate agents include:

  • No calls returned: An agent does not respond to your calls after you sign a Buyer Representation Agreement.
  • False promises: An agent offers you a sale price over and above price that was earlier listed.
  • Lies and Deception: An agent intentionally gives you an over inflated evaluation of your property to get the listing, but asks for price reduction at a later stage.
  • Greedy / Self Serving: Realtor pushes for sale even if it is not the best move for you.

All these comments usually tend to fill the mind of a consumer with negativity. But the fact of the matter is that not every finger on a hand is same. One cannot deny that real estate sector has been tarred with bad agents, but in fact if you look closely there are many happy consumers who have not faced any hassle while dealing with a real estate agent. In fact, in the recent years, customer satisfaction has become the top priority of realtors. So the big question is that what can be done to change the negative image of realtors.  

  • In order to have a good reputation, you need to focus on consumer satisfaction and always be professional as well as ethical.
  • Don’t chase a mediocre business plan; being exceptional will lead you to growth.
  • When it comes to offering your services to clients, you need to put yourself in their shoes. This is how you will be able to provide optimal services. 

Although above mentioned points would surely give you an edge and allow you to excel, having a positive reputation requires much more than that. As discussed earlier, internet has become a key beacon for information sharing. The global reach of web has made it imperative for businesses to stay alert of any type of negative review. A good word would only spread as far as neighborhood corner, but a bad review online is out there for the whole world to see.

This is where online reputation management for real estate agents comes into existence. Realtors need to be wary of their business practices, but more so, they should also invest time in ensuring that nothing bad is being said about them over internet. In addition to it, realtors should incorporate several best practices, which would offer them ample leverage:

Create positive buzz around your brand:

This is one of the most widely used practices in current market dynamics. In order to garner user attention towards your brand, in a positive sense, businesses often use PR website. Moreover, if you can get someone to say good things about yourself for free, then it is probably the best deal for your online reputation.

Publicize your events and do self-promotions:

One of the biggest factors behind negative reputation of a business is that they fail to leverage upon their positives while negative allusions keep on mushrooming. Internet has made it really easy for anyone to self-promote and publicize themselves. Realtors need to be outspoken of their accomplishments as well as their events, and focus on creating a positive vibe around them.

Focus on internet real estate:

While actual real estate is the first thing realtors focus on, they also need to emphasize on internet real estate; by that we mean shift little of focus towards websites too. Make your presence online by offering positive information about your business; it will be highly beneficial to garner positive perception. 

Social media presence:

In the current age, social media has become one of the most vital marketing tools for businesses. Real estate agents who use it efficiently are the ones with maximum connections. It not only helps in grievance redressal but also builds consumer engagement. Using the power of social media, you can also keep your community informed on all the latest developments, and give prominence to your expertise.

Use engaging pictures:

Studies have shown that articles/news/information with engaging pictures get 94 percent more views than others. Regardless of the platform, where you are sharing the information, always ensure to post it along with a show stopping photo.

In the end it is all about doing the business ethically and keeping the interest of clients up front. In reality, most of the real estate agents are professionals and only a handful of them indulge in unethical business. But due to lack of information the whole sector is painted with the same brush. There is very little you can do about the general perception about the real estate agents. What you can do is stay afoot of these controversies, by emphasizing your online reputation. This way you would be able to create a niche for yourself and your real estate business. 

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Emily

w3Police is a group of seasoned online reputation management professionals who do not work typically and make additional efforts to build positive name of a brand. We are a bunch of thought-pullers who like to disagree until an idea seems convincing enough. 

www.w3police.com/

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