How to Maintain Your Reputation as a Real Estate Professional
Building a reputation as a trusted, credible real estate professional can take some work. However, it can be lost a lot faster than it is gained when real estate agents, investors, and CEOs aren’t careful. So what are some of the best ways to build and maintain your reputation as a real estate professional?
There is a lot of need for newer entries to the industry to build credibility fast. It is crucial for standing out and gaining business. Not just upfront either. Today, consumers will often check you out again before doing more business with you. Unfortunately, the naysayers are thriving and many will go out of their way to hurt their competitors with the passion of a high profile political campaign. So how can you give your real estate reputation a boost, and fend off the onslaught?
Real Estate Education
Constantly strive to learn and enhance your knowledge of the real estate industry and its various fields. Forget the fancy letters at the end of your name that may do more to alienate and confuse prospects than draw them to you. Focus on your real estate education to become a go-to source for information, the best decisions and to become the expert.
Publish More Content
Blogging on your real estate website, publishing articles off-site, and guest blogging are all great ways to demonstrate your expertise. Self-distributed press releases are also powerful for achieving these goals, as well as for counteracting any negative press or online comments. That said, make sure your content is well written. Quality content will not only let people know that you know what you are talking about, but it will also make you a trusted source to return to.
Do What You Say
Seriously. Just do what you say you are going to do. Do what you promise and advertise. It’s simple to draw masses of attention, web traffic, and real estate leads with big promises, but it will only be counterproductive if you fail to deliver on them. While there may be huge temptation to compete with less ethical companies and salespersons by telling consumers and other industry workers what they want to hear, you’ll be far better off in the long run by sticking to accurate truths.
Proactive Reputation Management
Whether justified or the result of malicious acts, trying to bounce back from bad press and a hit to your reputation can be seriously expensive. Just ask Nike, which reportedly spent billions of dollars on clawing their way back from just one blunder. Bad PR will be far less damaging, and will cost a lot less if real estate professionals and companies have already been engaging in a proactive reputation management campaign. This should be a positive, ongoing effort which is part of your monthly budget. This can include blogging, article publishing, cultivating good online reviews and video testimonials.
Watch Who You Hire
Your team members are your representatives. They say a lot about your firm, and your personal reputation. It’s not just about how they converse with your clients, prospects, and partners on the phone or via email, or how great they do at their jobs. Some of the biggest impacts made on your reputation will be in their actions off the clock. Everything from inconsiderate driving to aggressive behavior at the gym and social media will be a direct reflection on your real estate brand. You may have spent a decade or more building up a successful and respectable real estate company, but all it takes is one team member mistake to set you back. This might seem tough to deal with, but it is your reputation and your family’s livelihood on the line.
Regular Online Reputation Monitoring
Regular monitoring of your online reputation is a smart move. At least once a month, real estate agents, CEOs, and investors should take inventory of Google, Bing and Yahoo results to see where they stand. This can be done manually, or systematically with monitoring tools and alerts. Either way, it is absolutely critical that you know where you are in the eyes of others.
Watch What You Say Online
While it can be seriously tempting to unleash those rants about terrible service in online reviews, blogs, or even in feedback to outsourced contractors, anything negative can breed poor perception of you and your business. Once it is online, consider it permanent. So be cautious.
Don’t take on too Much Work
While there is much to do and accomplish, less can be better when it comes to your reputation in real estate. Only take on what you can handle. Do your best and grow your value, not your volume. The money will follow.