Recently I worked with a group of real estate agents and asked them to focus on building their online presence. I wanted to see how their business was affected by increasing their online visibility. Of course, I wanted them to blog and have a strong presence in their community but I also wanted to see how little changes online impacted their business.
For a few years now I have seen how some agents who have made their online presence a priority have flourished, but could an agent who had previously neglected this area in the past actually get results from a few little changes? I knew there would be some positive results, but even I was surprised at how quickly these small changes created results – sometimes dramatic results – for my clients.
The simple changes they made resulted in not only potential clients, but actual listing presentation appointments and listings. In one case the immediate result was a listing of a high-end luxury million dollar home.
For those of you who might be saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t need this online stuff; I get my business from my referrals,” you might want to try it before you knock it. While you may think you do not need an online presence, your clients need you to have one.
The reason for that is very simple: Buyers and sellers verify and compare information all the time when doing their real estate research to find an agent. If you have been referred to them by a friend or colleague they will still probably go online to “check you out.” They are verifying that you are a participating member of the real estate community and comparing you to the competition.
If your profiles are up to date and complete at least they were able to verify that you are an active real estate agent and they can get to know a little bit more about you which is the next step towards meeting you.
Imagine if you are unable to be found online or if your profiles are incomplete. That would send most potential clients running. So give yourself an insurance policy against this by claiming your online profiles and having an online presence. Build your brand online and it will bolster your business offline.
Here are some great places to start building your online presence and profiles:
Depending on the functionality of the site, you may or may not be able to include your bio, areas of specialty, designations, awards, sales history and your photo – but include what you can!
My advice for tackling this project is to do it one small bite at a time. There is often a learning curve involved with anything new online. Even setting up your profiles can seem overwhelming if you are not familiar with how that particular site works. So expect that there will bumps along the road and plan for them.
Building your online presence and brand is a commitment that requires patience and perseverance, but when that new client calls you because they found you online, you will be glad you tackled this project.