About one in every 10 brokerages have outdated or inaccurate information about the real estate business online, resulting in potentially huge losses in terms of online leads on deals and traffic. Is your business also guilty of this?
According to an audit conducted by the WAV Group, a real estate consulting firm, a number of businesses leave their online profiles neglected on websites that the business either elected not to optimize or that the business may have decided did not yield the results that would make maintaining the website worthwhile.
Examples of this include forgotten and neglected Facebook and Twitter accounts, of course, but also profiles on real estate websites like Zillow and Homes.com. Given that many real estate investors and brokerages change their profiles on these sites or create and abandon profiles as time becomes less available, it can be a daunting task to update all of the online profiles out there, much less begin to update them.
According to WAV, the first step in making sure that your potential clients can find you no matter where they first encounter you is to simply identify all of your business’ online profiles. This means you’ll need to figure out not only where those profiles are located, but also how many relevant profiles may be listed on any one given website. If you have worked with more than one social-media expert in the past, for example, you may find that you have three or four business profiles on the same website with similar identifying information but possibly outdated contact information. You’ll want to be sure that every existing profile has the right physical address, email address, phone number and URL.
Once you’ve identified all of your business accounts online, if you have employees who are officially associated with your company (for example, a brokerage will have numerous agents) then you’ll need to make sure all of their information is up to date as well. If an agent has not updated his or her profile, then leads that find that agent will not ever get to the agent or your brokerage when they reach out.
Also, said Wilson, it is important to make sure that agents and employees are staying on top of their profiles in terms of keeping images and other information relevant and timely. Potential clients may opt not to contact you if your employees appear to be far behind the times, as can happen if an individual posts news on a website for a period of time, for example, then stops posting completely. This makes it appear that they have not been active in the space even if the truth of the matter is that they are simply focusing on other areas.
WAV actually recommends that if possible, employers keep files on not only their business online presences, but even on those of their employees in order to make sure that every aspect of your online presence conveys a coherent, cohesive, timely message. Victor Lund, also of the WAV Group, called the maintenance of agent profiles in particular the “heavy lifting” of the task of updating your online presence.
Whether you are dealing with agents or employees, keep as much information as you can about every online location and mention of your business in order to make checking up on these things as easy as possible. Also, formulate and maintain a short (250 words or less) “bio” of your company and another for yourself, if appropriate, that you can use on every website where you have a professional profile.
You can read more of Carole VanSickle Ellis’ coverage of this and other topics at Self-Directed Investor News!
About the Author
Carole VanSickle Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a daily nine-minute investing podcast, and the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.