If you are a real estate agent, your reputation is everything.
You work so hard to build your client base and win referrals.
The last thing you want is for a new client to Google you and choose not to do business with you because they don’t like what they see.
In this Online Reputation Management Guide For Real Estate Agents, you’ll learn:
- The steps to take to protect your name in Google
- Which directories you need to be listed in
- Additional resources for taking charge of your online reputation
- How to hire us to handle everything for you
Step 1 – Claim/Optimize Your Google Business Page
Realtors can get a Google Business page for free.
It’s important to claim your Google Business page for three reasons.
- It looks more professional
- Provides users with your contact information
- Allows you to get found in location-based search results for “realtors” and “real estate agents”
Compare the page 1 Google search results for the two real estate agents below.
Claimed Google Business Page
Notice how Google shows a preview of this agent’s business listing on the right side of the page.
This makes it easy for users to see where the agent works and how to contact her without having to click a thing.
Unclaimed Google Business Page
If you have not claimed your Google Business page yet, you might see search results like the one below.
Notice that Google thinks Brian Bostick is Brandon Bostick.
That’s probably because in addition to not claiming his Google Business page yet, there is not enough information about Brian online.
If you’ve already claimed your Google Business page, great! Double check to make sure your contact information is up to date and make sure to fully optimize it with images and description.
If you haven’t claimed your Google Business page yet, you can do it now for free. Note that you will need to connect your email address to a Google account or simply create/use a GMAIL account in order to establish your Google Business page.
Start by going to http://google.com/business. If you have questions about claiming or optimizing your G+ Business page, you can request a call from Google to get help or call me to handle it for you 503-890-6663.
Here are the key points for optimizing your page:
- Include [city + realtor/real estate] in business name. Why?
- Confirm office address, hours, and contact info
- Choose the correct category, either “real estate agency” or “real estate agents”
- Add your main website
- Add photos of yourself (don’t put images of houses you’re selling or have sold)
- Write a unique and compelling description
Step 2 – Optimize Your Brokerage Page
Most realtors work for an agency and are given a page on the agency website with their basic business information like the one below.
However, many agents don’t do anything to improve the appearance of the page, nor do they describe themselves or provide a call to action.
Check with your agency’s IT staff or webmaster to see what improvements you can make, so that your broker business page stands out and represents you the way you want.
This is important because most real estate agency websites have a lot of domain authority and will usually rank high in Google search results for the agent’s name.
Be sure to include the following, if possible:
- An updated professional and smiling photo of you
- Accurate contact information including email and cell
- Social media links
Step 3 – Claim/Optimize Your LinkedIn Page
LinkedIn is a very strong site. For nearly any business professional you Google, you’ll see LinkedIn on page 1 of search results.
If you haven’t already signed up for LinkedIn, do it now.
Keep your profile work history up to date and take advantage of the features LinkedIn offers, such as:
Following the 3 steps above will ensure your profile on LinkedIn ranks as high as possible.
Step 4 – Claim and Complete Zillow.com Profile
Zillow.com boasts a domain authority of 91 out of 100, making it the strongest of all real estate directories.
A higher domain authority means Google trusts the site and is likely to rank your profile very high – especially if you claim it, fill it out completely, and get reviews.
I searched zillow.com for a random realtor called “John Becker,” and this is a screenshot of what I found.
See how professional the top listing looks compared to the second one which has been left unclaimed?
Step 5 – Claim and Complete Realtor.com Profile
Realtor.com is one of the strongest, most trusted sites on the web. In terms of domain authority, it currently has an 89 out of 100 – that’s very strong.
Go ahead and claim your Realtor.com profile if you haven’t already.
Complete all of the free features you can. Realtor.com will automatically pull in your sales activity, so your completed profile will look very nice and professional.
Compare the two profiles below. Who are you more likely to work with?
Unclaimed Realtor.com Profile
Claimed Realtor.com Profile
Step 6 – Claim And Complete Trulia Profile
Trulia.com is another strong real estate site, with a domain authority of 86.
When I click the “Find an Agent” button in Trulia, it automatically gives me a list of agents in my area.
And while it’s impossible to know exactly how Trulia ranks it’s agents, one thing appears to be clear: claimed listings with pictures seem to outrank unclaimed listings.
Give yourself every opportunity to get found by creating a great looking profile!
At this point, you may be asking, why do I have to claim all of these profiles? Here’s why.
Sites like linkedin.com, realtor.com, and zillow.com are very strong. Google trusts them and therefore they usually show up in search results for realtors.
By claiming and optimizing your profile on these “authority” sites, you accomplish a couple things:
- You present a professional public-facing image that lets prospects know you’re on the ball. See example.
- You strengthen the profile, meaning it may rank higher and displace content which is not under your control.
- Some people use niche sites like realtor.com, zillow, and trulia.com to find a realtor.
Step 7 – Establish Your Facebook Fan Page
You knew it was coming, right?!
Did you know that you can create a separate fan “page” from your public profile? This is great for agents who like to have some separation between their private and personal lives.
It’s also nice because Facebook Fan Pages are intended for business owners just like you. Setup your page and get to work marketing it.
You probably guessed that Facebook is a strong site and guess what? It’s 100 out of 100.
Whether you’ve claimed your page or not, it’s likely that you’ll see Facebook on page 1 when you Google yourself.
The trick for you is to claim your page and associate it with your business, so Google can make that distinction in it’s search results.
As is true with most social media sites, the more active you are, the higher it will rank.
Step 8 – Yelp
Yelp allows real estate agents to claim their own page, even if they work for a larger agency.
And since Yelp boasts a Domain Authority of 93 out of 100, it’s one of the strongest sites for business owners to be part of.
Get your own Yelp Page by going here and then make sure to completely fill out your profile.
Add a nice picture of yourself smiling like the agent above.
Important note: Unless you upgrade to a paid account, Yelp randomly chooses which of your photos to make the “featured image,” so until they change that, I recommend only uploading one picture and it should be of you – smiling.
Also include your website, hours and description of your business.
Step 9 – Homes.com
Homes.com was created in 1992 and holds a domain authority of 74. With all the other sites we’ve discussed, that might seem weak, but it’s actually quite strong.
Alexa, which measures the popularity of billions of websites, has it ranked in the top 4,000 of all websites. And it’s rank in the United States is near 1,000.
That means it’s extremely popular and gets a lot of traffic.
For agents, claiming and optimizing your profile on homes.com might be all it takes to move it from page 2 or 3 up to page 1 in Google search results.
Then it’ll become one more shining professional beacon to prospective clients who are Googling you.
Step 10 – Personal Blog/Website
Even if you’re not ready to build out your own website, it’s a good idea to buy your domain name.
A domain name only costs about $15/year and when you do decide to build it out, it will rank very well because its an exact match to your name.
If your name is already taken, then consider buying near match .com domains, such as:
- your name + real estate (ie. TomSmithRealEstate.com)
- your name +your city + realtor (ie. TomSmithDenverRealtor.com)
- your city + realtor + your name (ie. DenverRealtorTomSmith.com)
The realtor below bought a domain name that include her city + real estate + her nickname.
Step 11 – Get Your Page On Other Sites
Claiming your realtor profile on these sites takes time, but if you’ve completed the ones above and want to further strengthen your online presence, here are others you can complete.
ActiveRain.com – Domain Authority of 80. Active Rain is a community of real estate professionals who share information; the site is also an educational resource. Use this link to join.
RealtorAge.com – Domain Authority of 1. This site allows you to create a personal interview in addition to listing your contact information, so it’s a bit more personal than the other online real estate directories. View a sample interview or complete your own here.
Inspirery.com – Domain Authority of 32. Self-complete your own interview and get published on Inspirery with other talented business professionals and executives.
Twitter.com – Domain Authority of 100. Even if you don’t want to “tweet,” it would behoove you to signup for twitter. If you want to better promote yourself, your blog posts, and your listings, we can help you put a system in place that will tweet for you.
Instagram.com – Domain Authority of 98. Post pictures and videos of the homes you’re selling. Get the mobile app here.
Homelight.com – Domain Authority of 28. Homelight helps people find an agent by using reviews and actual home sales data. Use this link to sign up.
Incredibleagents.com – Domain Authority of 32. Incredible Agents is a place where users can review and hire “incredible” real estate agents. Create your free profile using this link.
In addition to the sites covered in this post, you can usually claim a business profile page on your local newspaper and/or chamber of commerce.
The nice thing about claiming the profiles above and completing the interviews is that you strengthen your online presence and insulate yourself against a bad review that might pop up here or there.
If you really dial it in, you can use some of the social media profiles (like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to promote your home listings, thus differentiating you from your fellow realtors.
Lastly, getting reviews on the sites that accept them is very important. As cited in this report, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
To get reviews, you’re going to have to ask or follow some of the tips we offer in this blog post.
If you’ve read this whole post and feel a bit overwhelmed, call me at 503-890-6663.
For a small 1-time fee, we will claim and optimize your profile/interview at each of these sites:
- Google Business Page