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4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation

April 06 2012

Gone are the days of high school when your “reputation” was built with whispers and torn slips of binder paper. These days, you’re a professional adult, with a very different set of rules to follow for reputation management. True, word-of-mouth is still important in real estate, but you simply cannot ignore the Internet, where more and more people are looking for an agent/broker.

Today, we bring you some highlights from another great whitepaper by RentJuice. The full whitepaper, “How to Manage Your Online Rental Real Estate Reputation,” is also available to download for free. Although RentJuice is a rental expert, their tips are certainly helpful for those of us selling properties as well.

Here are 4 of their tips for managing your reputation online:

1) Begin by giving your reputation a boost.
Don’t have anyone talking about you online yet? Start a conversation yourself! How do you do this? RentJuice suggests:

  • Launching a blog. This will help establish you as an experienced professional. Frequent posts can help develop a “personality” and move your blog up in search engine rankings.
  • Creating a LinkedIn profile. There are benefits to each of the social media sites out there. But the folks at RentJuice point out: “If you’re going to start any social media presence online, it better be a professional one if you want to generate business.” This excellent point leads you directly to LinkedIn.
  • Starting a Yelp business account. First, start or claim your business. Then, direct your customers to this page and encourage them to leave a review. The truth is that consumers trust other consumers and will give greater credence to consumer-generated reviews.

2) Protect your reputation.
Although you’re certainly an excellent agent, you’re probably destined to receive at least a few negative reviews throughout the course of your career. Your first instinct may be to delete these negative comments – but be prepared for disappointment, because you probably can’t. Your best option is going to be to make these reviews less visible to future searchers. How do you do this? RentJuice recommends:

  • Starting a website. You should already have a real estate website. If you don’t already, now is the perfect time to get started. If you have a real estate website, but don’t have a rental-specific website, consider building a rental website. If built and maintained properly, your website should appear higher in search results than any negative reviews.
  • Pushing down negative information with positive information. By publishing regularly on your blog and your website, as well as encouraging satisfied customers to post reviews about you, you’re doing what you can to push negative reviews down in search results.
  • Respond to negative reviews in a positive way. Want to demonstrate that you’re a classy, ethical, customer-oriented professional? Don’t just ignore your negative comments – respond to them with positivity. RentJuice points out 4 key components to your positive response: “listen, empathy, resolution, and an open line of communication.” For more advice on each of these, and examples of good responses, download the whitepaper.

RentJuice

3) Maintain your positive image.
Once you’ve sold a property or rented an apartment, don’t just disappear! Check in on your buyers/sellers/renters to see how they’re doing. This earns their loyalty – and their positive reviews. Checking in on customers after a transaction is a great time to ask for referrals and online reviews.

 

4) Monitor the conversation.
Think about the potential opportunities a single negative comment could cause you to lose. With so much at stake, it’s important to remain vigilant and constantly track what is being said about you online. How do you do this? Create Google Alerts.

Google Alerts are totally free. When you set them up, you’ll receive emails anytime there’s activity related to your search terms. To get started, just create a Google Alert for your full name. But don’t just research your own reputation; follow your company’s as well by setting up a Google Alert for your company name.

 

We would like to add a tip of our own: Ask for help!
There are companies out there that are devoted to helping you build, maintain, and leverage your online reputation. If you’re having trouble shouldering this burden on your own, reach out to one of these companies and ask what they can do for you. You can get started in our product directory. You can also get in touch with RentJuice; if your focus is on rentals, they are an exceptional resource.

About RentJuice
RentJuice is a rental marketing platform. It provides brokers and property managers with the tools they need to find tenants and sign them to leases as quickly as possible. The company is growing by leaps in bounds – announcing recently that they have hit over a million listings and officially launched in San Francisco.

To learn more, you can visit www.RentJuice.comwww.RentJuice.com.