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How to Build and Protect Your Online Brand - Homes.comWarren Buffett once said, “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only 15 minutes to destroy it.” This couldn’t be truer in today’s interconnected world, which makes managing your reputation more important than ever.

Ninety percent of home buyers start their search online and seventy percent of them say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal), so what are you doing to build and protect your online reputation?

Here are 8 steps to create the ultimate strategy for building and maintaining your online reputation:

Step 1: Identify Your Strengths

Identify your strengths to create strategies that will grow your business.

Step 2: Identify Your Weaknesses

Identify your weaknesses and dedicate the resources to fix them as soon as possible to keep yourself from falling too far behind.

Step 3: Identify Opportunities and Threats

Identify your opportunities by looking for things that your local community or competitors lack and find a way to provide it. Threats could be things such as new agents in your local market or new technologies that you have yet to adapt to.

Step 4: Build Your Brand Online

In order for a website to be truly effective, it needs to be engaging, interactive, user-friendly, easy to navigate, inviting and most importantly, able to capture leads. Try adding widgets, social walls and other tools for visitors to use that will make their experience even better.

Step 5: The Power of Video

According to Nielsen Ratings, YouTube reaches more U.S adults than any cable network. Of the home shoppers that are using video, eighty-six percent want to find more about a community and seventy percent want to tour the inside of the home. Using video will not only show that you’re up to date on the latest technology, but it will demonstrate that you know what it takes to get a home sold.

Step 6: Reputation Management

Word-of-mouth is the top way that consumers are finding a real estate professional, so it’s very important that what they’re hearing is positive. Ensure that you are on local review sites like Google Local, Yahoo! Local and Bing Local, and that you ask previous clients to post their own positive reviews. In addition to helping your reputation in the community, having people rave about you online will also help you in search rankings when people search for real estate related terms in your area.

Step 7: Social Media

According to Jimmy Mackin, “Social media for Realtors® is not about pushing listings, it’s about growing your referral network.” Interacting with other users and sharing valuable local content are keys to having a strong social game. You must also be mindful of the type of content you are sharing, because it shouldn’t all be about real estate. Listen to what your community is talking about and share content that matters most to them.

Step 8: Reports Are Your Friends

Evaluate your marketing tactics to understand how your business is progressing and areas you may want to improve. You can identify which of your marketing resources are driving back the most traffic to your website, see what kind of content your followers are interacting with on social media or even see what type of homes people are looking for most in your community.

Want to find out more on how to build and maintain your reputation? Then download the FREE “Maximizing Your Online Reputation” guide today!