The mainstay of building a respected brand on the web is online reputation management. In today’s tech-driven marketplace, an established, well-maintained web presence continues to be a significant driving force for real estate investors, as a positive online profile can produce a profusion of benefits like new contacts, relationships, leads, referrals and sales. While nothing has the power to vitalize a business quite like a dominant online reputation, if not properly regulated it can become a brand’s undoing.
As a real estate investor, maintaining your digital reputation is equally as important as building it. That said, the following outlines the importance of online reputation management in real estate and the benefits that come with managing your online persona.
Online Reputation Management 101
Online reputation management (ORM) has become a prerequisite for today’s investor. Brand identity has always held a lot of weight in the business world, but never has it been more evident than in real estate. Because the majority of investors fail to adequately monitor and maintain their online presence, resulting in untold damages to both their public image and bottom line, an investor’s online reputation can serve as either an asset or a liability.
For real estate investors, the basis of online reputation management entails three components: customer review, social media and SEO. These individual elements represent a commonplace for past, present and future customers to preview your brand. To better manage your digital footprint, investors should focus on the following:
Manage Online Reviews: What people say about a brand online is a focal point for many businesses, and for good reason. According to Search Engine Land, nine in 10 consumers will read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business, with 39 percent doing so on a regular basis. In fact, 85 percent of consumers will read up to 10 online review for one business. For investors, online reviews have not only become more impactful in terms of having an affect on a business, but their importance has become a keystone in online branding.
Along with regularly managing online reviews, investors will also need to follow up on feedback. This business management practice will include reaching out to the customer to resolve a complaint or following up to thank them for their response. Either way, online reviews need to be managed carefully and swiftly.
Monitor Social Media: While Facebook and Twitter continue to become a dominant force in online marketing, social media sites can also be a trap for bad publicity. The uninhibited atmosphere of social media can create a dangerous setting for online reputations, as it provides an open and real-time platform for users to voice their displeasure. That said, social media monitoring should be implemented on a continual basis to ensure negative reviews and comments are dismissed right away.
Update SEO: One of the harder parts of online reputation management is search engine optimization, also known as SEO. This factor is especially important for real estate investors, as potential customers can search your name to reveal positive, negative or false information about you. Developing a prestigious online reputation requires a significant investment of both time and money, and SEO is a component real estate investors should concentrate on.
Real estate branding is a two way street: Investors must not only strive to build their reputation, but manage it as well. Because an investor’s reputation online can grow like wildfire if not properly maintained, the need for supervision is apparent.
3 Ways Reputation Management Will Improve Your Business
The online reputation of an investor isn’t just something — it’s everything. The Internet has morphed into a central destination for determining a business’s worth, filled with real-time consumer reviews, opinions and comments. For real estate investors, the benefits of online reputation management are second to none, as the capability to control and influence your online persona will benefit both the success and longevity of their businesses. To gain a better understanding of the importance of online reputation management, the following breaks down how it can improve the overall health of your business:
Builds Trust: Because real estate is very much a relationship-based industry, one of the biggest assets an investor can earn is trust. Even with a single client, trustworthiness goes a long way in the real estate industry, and establishing a solid brand identity can help to benefit investors not just today, but for years to come. In addition, a reputation laced with trust can further lead to referrals of your services, which can also serve as a critical piece in building credibility.
Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Is Improved: Another benefit of online reputation management is word-of-mouth marketing. The spread of your good name can be equally beneficial to investors. This could potentially lead to new contacts and partnership opportunities, which would have normally not been available without word-of-mouth marketing.
Identifies Opportunities: A well-manicured online presence has the power to provide great results for investors. In addition, it also has the potential to turn opinions into opportunities. Although you may disagree with some feedback, by closely monitoring your online profile and what people are saying about you, investors can locate new opportunities to improve their business. That said, investors need to take the time to read what their customers are saying about their business, as well as consider how those suggestions may enhance the overall success of their company.
The online reputation of a brand holds great power to the success and failure of their business. That said, online reputation management continues to be an essential component in not only building a business, but branding it for the long haul. Although unwarranted comments and material may surface during the process, the use of online reputation management is imperative for real estate investors.