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HDC-Blog-Post-Reputation-Horror-StoriesWith about 1.5 billion people actively using Facebook each month, the age where you can safely ignore social media has passed. Your clients are online and they’re keeping their friends, family, and the internet at large updated about their breakfast, their pets, their relationship status, and about you.

Think of it like this, before your client gets a loan for their mortgage, they have to get prequalified. The bank looks at their credit score, income, and loans among other things before they decide whether or not your client is a good risk.

Prospective clients are doing the same thing to you. They’re reading up about you online: checking out your company website, digging into social media, and seeking out online reviews with your name on them. For most people, buying a home is the biggest decision they plan to make in their life and they’re researching you to see if working with you would be a good risk.

The Bad News:

There’s a good chance that at some point someone has left you a negative review on one of the many review sites that are out there.Someone who’s angry is more likely to get online and talk about you than someone who is happy with your services. A 2013 Zendesk survey found that 45% of participants share bad customer service experiences on social networks while only 30% share good experiences. Google, Yahoo, Yelp…they all have review and rating systems that could be ruining your online reputation and once a review is posted, it’s online forever.

More bad news: A recent study has shown that 80% of people will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And when someone is researching you, they are basically looking for reasons NOT to work with you. One bad review could cause someone to cross your name off their list while they move on to a different agent.

The Good News:

There are probably a lot of people out there saying really nice things about you. Each positive review you have helps lower the perceived risk of working with you and boosts your value (remember, 80% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations).

More good news…any bad reviews you have—they aren’t the end of the world. Your reviewer has told their side of the story. Once you know what’s out there, you can tell your side. If the reviewer has a legitimate concern, do your best to make it right. That way anyone who reads the review will be able to see that you did what you could to resolve the problem. Even if their problem is not something you can help with or could have controlled, a sincere apology can go a long way toward reestablishing client confidence in you.

The Great News:

There may be tons of review sites out there, any of which could have you on them, but you don’t have to click through page after page, scouring the internet for your reviews. Homes.com offers a social reputation management system designed to track down any reviews or social mentions you have so that you can take control of your reputation.

The Homes.com Reputation Manager can also help you determine what keywords are making it easier for people looking for an agent to find you. We can also help you find out where you appear online so that you can target any gaps in your coverage. Contact us at 888-510-8795 or email us at productinfo@homes.com to schedule a free demo. For other tips on reputation management, download our free guide: Maximizing Your Online Reputation.