Reputation often plays a huge role in a Realtor’s business. Think about how much damage an unhappy client can do to your income. Those clients tend to blab to more friends, more often and with more emotion about a bad a real estate transaction than a happy client who talks about a good one. Unhappy clients can cause damage even though it may not have been your fault.
The measure of your reputation is not only what you do but what others might say about you as well. Your reputation is earned whether you like it or not. Here are some tips to managing your online reputation.
It is good to know what is being said about you. I use Google Alerts to monitor anything written or said about me. Google will email you when they find out a webpage, newspaper article or blog that mentions your name or what ever search phrase you want to track. It is a great way to continually monitor yourself, family members, stories or anything else you want to keep track of.
Delete or Compete
If you do find some embarrassing or inaccurate information about you on the web contact the website owner and ask them if they would be willing to remove the content. It is probably best to not get ugly and start a war. This usually just fans the flame and creates more controversy.
If you can not get someone to erase wrong or embarrassing material then you can try to crowd them out of the first page of the Google search results.
Take Carolyn Capalbo for example. She is an agent in northern Virginia who happens to have the same name as the mother of Ashley Dupre. She is the escort who was linked to former Governor Eliot Spitzer. Two weeks ago if you searched her name in Google it was dominated with stories about the scandal. However, if you search it now you will see how the results have changed. Carolyn is in the process of cleaning up her online reputation. She and a bunch of her associates are blogging positive things about her to drown out the stories of the other Carolyn Capalbo.
The internet has taken away some of the power and influence held by the mainstream media. Twenty years ago if your local newspaper wrote an inaccurate article about you harming your reputation there was not much you could do it about it. Today, people have more control over there reputation.
As the internet grows I imagine you will see more companies pop up providing reputation management services for a fee. Your reputation online will only grow in importance. How often do you hear, “Did you Google them?”