By Jaime Westman

Our reputation is on the line at all times in the real estate world. That’s even truer today with it being online in multiple platforms and being dissected in many formats. How we handle our business and conduct ourselves has always been scrutinized, but now it’s available to a wider audience with a simple click of a mouse. So it’s important to monitor our online reputation and business and make sure both are displayed in the best light. Internet and blogging tools have made it easy for prospects and clients to voice their opinions, which could be aimed at us. A recent Webinar pointed out ways to ensure that our reputation doesn’t take a hit. Here are some bullet points to keep in mind:

Research Yourself

Conducting periodic Internet searches will help you find out what’s being said about you, if anything. Go to a search engine and type “your name and city,” “your name and business,” “your name and real estate” or “your name and real estate review” to see what pops up. You can also check review sites such as Yelp or Craigslist to see if anything is listed there.

Respond to Reviews

Sites such as Yelp allow you to post a public response to a review. If you see one of yourself, thank the person if it was positive or point out the reasons for why things transpired like they did if wasn’t as glowing. This will show that you’re proactive and care about your clients. Even if the reason for a poor experience was out of your control, reacting with tact and reason will be appreciated by the writer and others.

Ask Clients to Review You

You’ve undoubtedly clicked with many of your clients and some might be friends or great business acquaintances now. If you’re comfortable with asking them to write a review of their experience for a testimonial, don’t hesitate to do so. The positive words will go a long way toward attracting prospects that see the testimonial on Yelp, Craigslist or other business review sites.

Publish and Post Testimonials

Create a section on your website or personal blog for client reviews and testimonials. This will give you the opportunity to outrank negative reviews in search engines. Also, if you’ve received a positive e-mail from a client, ask for permission to publish or post part of it to one of the above spots. But don’t go overboard, and circulate things in and out to keep the items fresh.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Your posts and comments on other posts will also show up in search results for your name, as long as you keep them current. Be sure to share pertinent information so that you build a following and continually rank in search engines. It’s also a good idea to use social media to respond in a timely manner to potential client questions. Facebook and Twitter are two of the more popular places for people to get in touch with you and ask questions.

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