A prospective client’s first impression of your real estate business is often based on a simple Google search. If the first thing they see is a high number of negative reviews, they’ll most likely skip over your business. It’s never too late to start focusing on reputation management.
Here are 6 tips for making your online reputation your best sales asset:
1) Search for your business online
Why not start the same way your clients do? First, type in “Realtor near me” or a similar term and check the top search results. Does your business show up? If not, who does? Next, type your business name into Google and see what appears. Now, pretend you’re looking to buy a property — would you choose your business?
If you’re not happy with these search results, there are several steps you can take to improve them.
Read also: How does Google search work?
2) Keep your business listings accurate everywhere
Your business listings not only help customers find you easily, they also tell Google that your business is legitimate. Google then decides it’s worth displaying in search results. However, all too often your contact information is outdated or straight up wrong on some sites and business directories. Even a discrepancy as tiny as “Consavari Realtors” instead of “Consavari Realty” can confuse search engines.
This simple but conflicting information can really hurt your search ranking. It also means even if customers do find you online, they might not be able to reach you. Update all your business listings across the web to be identical — and do this consistently. BirdEye’s Online Presence tool regularly scans the web to find all places your business is listed, then automatically fixes any errors in real-time. It’s that easy!
3) Answer all negative reviews
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring negative reviews about your business. They aren’t going to go away, but they will drive prospective customers away if left alone. There are tools available that let you monitor all your reviews from across the web from one place. When you receive a negative review, clear up any misunderstandings immediately. Let the customer know how you’re going to fix their issue. This minimizes the damage of negative reviews and proves to prospective home buyers that you care about your clients’ happiness.
Read also: How to respond to negative reviews
4) Try to be active on blogs and social media
A great way to make a name for yourself online is to publish fresh and engaging content. This will help you establish a personable brand identity and grow your following on social networks. Listen to the conversations already happening about your business on social media. Jump in to the conversations to answer questions and address concerns.
5) Make your website and blog search engine-friendly
Your website is beautiful and your blog posts are riveting, but if they aren’t structured properly no one will be able to appreciate them. Make sure the content of your website and blog are SEO optimized. Find out the top keywords for your industry using Google Adwords, then incorporate those across your website pages. Write blog posts around them and link each blog post to main pages on your website whenever relevant. These inbound links (links to your site from another site or page) also boost SEO. With the help of a consultant or online scanning tool, there are more technical SEO fixes that you can implement. The keywords used should echo those used by your intended audience. Make sure you are using the right keywords and targeting the local market. This will lead to growth in your online presence and is critical to online reputation management.
6) Distribute press releases
Press releases can help you get more attention from a wider audience, since they’re often picked up by media outlets. They can rank highly in search engine rankings, but won’t stay long at the top because they are dated. Launching press releases about important updates and events on a regular basis to help push any negative reviews down in search results and fill page 1 with positive, relevant content.
These steps need to be taken on a regular basis in order to be effective. Online reputation management is a continuous process: earning a strong reputation does not guarantee keeping it. Your competitors are likely taking measures to bolster their own reputations, so you can’t afford to let yours go unattended.
Keeping a positive online reputation requires attention and maintenance. There are tools to help you proactively improve reputation management from the ground-up. You can take action to reduce the number of negative reviews you receive and manage those you do. See for yourself! Sign up for a free trial to see how BirdEye can help your real estate business grow.