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Archive for Internet


How’s Your Online Reputation?

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Is your online reputation building–or eroding your profits?A� For years, our industry has hired agents to a�?see if they work outa��–to a�?give them a chancea��. We are proud that we a�?hire from our guta��. We brag that we have great intuition about who will be successful in real estate. And, unfortunately, that gut and our intuition keep letting us down. Now, the reputation we’ve gotten from those hiring practices is viewed from a much larger perspecctive.A�

A�Reputation and Referral: Ita��s No Longer Done Just Word of Mouth

A�Ia��ll bet youa��re familiar with Angiea��s List, or Yelp, where products and services are rated by consumers. Just think. If you were a roofing contractor, and you got poor ratings, it could literally ruin your business. Now, leta��s relate these online evaluations to real estate agents. Are agent ratings now available to the millions of people using the Internet? Yes! In fact, some are on Yelp. In addition, though, new websites devoted only to evaluating real estate agents are springing up. Check these out:

A�www.realestateratingz.comA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� www.incredibleagents.comA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� www.zilllow.comA�A�

Word of mouth is wonderful, but, since ita��s verbal, it is not very memorable and cana��t cover a very wide area. But, Internet postings can stay forevera��either to haunt you or support your reputation. Read the reviews on the sites Ia��ve mentioned in this article. Some of them are from raving fans. But, many of them are from very dissatisfied customers.

People Love to Spread their Unhappiness….

You know, too, from experience, that unhappy people are much more likely to spread their unhappiness than are moderately happy people. In fact, the marketers tell us, on average, the unhappy person tells eleven people. Now, with the Internet, unhappy people have a much greater impact on yours and your real estate agentsa�� business and profits.

A�Consumers Just Dona��t Love Us Anymore

A�The recent survey by the California Association of Realtors shows some stunning and alarming trends about customer service expectations and delivery. In 2005, Internet consumers rated their overall satisfaction with their agent at almost 90%, while traditional buyers rated their overall satisfaction at 37%. However, in the ensuing years, the ratings have plummeted. In 2009, both Internet and traditional buyers only rated their overall satisfaction with their agent at 4%!A� (The ratings of Internet and traditional buyers now are equal). In other words, consumer expectations of what an agent should do for them are just not being met.

Dissatisfaction and Ability to Broadcast Should Give the Industry a a�?Heads Upa��

A�Ita��s true that the past few years have been very challenging for real estate agents. They have had to deal with customer distrust, indecision, short sales, and REOs. Ita��s much more difficult to bring a sale to closing. Yet, this is the very atmosphere in which agents should be perceived as much more valuable to the consumer. Instead, the consumer is judging the service received from the agent very harshly. There are several reasons for this:

  • Unrealistic expectations from consumers
  • Inability of the agent to adequately educate the consumer
  • Too many a�?dual careera�� (read that as part-timers) and undedicated agents in our industry

A�In my next blog, I’ll provide you a survey you can use to gain great testimonials–and fix any problems fast.