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Manage your brand online

With Imogen Ball, realestate.com.au

How does your brand fare online? Branding specialist, Imogen Ball from the realestate.com.au group, shares how you can define, create and distribute your brand to accelerate success.

1. Do a digital health check

Imogen says, “Consistency and continuity across your brand is vital. Seventy eight per cent of sellers research online. That is a hard-core fact. Why let them research a space where you look terrible? Make sure that you set digital targets, so that every time someone experiences your brand online - it's seamless and it's exceptional. Define, create and distribute across platforms and you'll accelerate success.” Refine your brand. Imogen says, “You cannot be here and there and everywhere. One of the best portals in Australia, for agencies, is LinkedIn. 10 million Australians are registered for LinkedIn, but only 4.5m login every month.” If you do not have an active LinkedIn profile - delete it. It does more damage being inactive.

As part of your digital health check, make sure you control how you are represented on Google. Life-changing decisions are made on Google. Imogen says, “Last year the number one search term on Google was ‘good'." What comes up when you type in your name in Google, with ‘good’ and ‘real estate agent’? Make sure you truly understand your digital footprint. Type in your name into Google, with some keywords, such as your local area or ‘real estate’ and ‘idiot’, and you will see the most true and authentic version of yourself. Clean up your profile if necessary. Agents, says Imogen, “...focus on our next listing and our next sale, which is what we need to do, because that pays the bills. But if you want to create a world-class agent brand, and you want to be that attraction agent business and have raving fans on and offline, you really need to work at that brand online. Constantly. Google yourself and work with Google to make sure that every time I type your name in or 'real estate' in that area, you start to serve and pop up, and you'll find business will naturally attract to you because that's how people are researching."

2. Create, do, distribute

A lot of us spend a lot of time creating but we don't actually go and do. "Create", says Imogen and then “learn to distribute it really well. Use the portals that you are engaged with such as realestate.com.au, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Google Business App. I use Google Business App as a portal. I can get 60,000 views on my brand alone just by ensuring I upload it to LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and any other current portal I'm using."

3. Engage clients with reviews

People have always had opinions about real estate agents. We are always being reviewed. The massive change is, people can now review us online. Imogen says, “We've gone from wordof- mouth to word-of-mouse. The online review landscape for agents is very, very powerful because we actually know what people are saying out there about us and we have the ability to mitigate that because what we can do is respond to that review."

Reviews are essential for your online branding. Therefore, you must ask for reviews.

Imogen says, “Asking is key, asking is absolutely key. You need to have a world-class process within your business to ask and manage reviews.”

Develop a world-class template that says: 'It's been an absolute pleasure to work with you through your property journey.' 'I really want to connect with clients on their devices, would it be possible if you popped a review on these following platforms for me?' (Ask them to pop it on the platforms that you want to work with).

Further, you can also involve a customer in reviews when you first meet them. You can post a review that says, “This is what other people have said about me” and direct clients to the portals that you are using. Imogen says, “You'll find at the end of it, they may even ask you, 'Can I give our review?'."

4. Reviews build trust, expectations, and perceptions in someone's brand and experience

Selling a home is a life changing decision – it can be a family’s biggest financial asset. Imogen says, “Think they're not going to Google you? They are going to look for the best and worst experience. How are they going to do that? Through reviews. Whatever portal you're engaged in or you want to engage in, set yourself a KPI of doing a digital health check every month and ensure you've got an updated review on that platform."

And when someone reviews you, Imogen says interact and engage! She advises, if an issue arises, ...'really show that person you care. Say, 'This is so important to us. We'll be back in touch with you as soon as possible'." If necessary, you can also address a fake review. Imogen says you can say, "Hey, we have searched our entire database. We cannot find any name or anything from you. Please contact us immediately. This is so important to us.' And then if you can imagine if a customer's reading that, it's going to build authenticity, trust and likeability in your brand."

Realestate.com.au are entering the review space. They are going to share their power with their property-based audience. Imogen says, “Specifically, it will be a great place for agents to get authentic reviews and have their vendors and their potential customers or buyers research their experience. We're very committed to making sure that it's authentic." The way that they will make the space authentic is by verifying reviews. Imogen explains, “There will be a 24 hour grace period in place for agents. If they get a review and someone's hot off their heels and just angry, the agent then has the ability to ensure they've got enough time to rapidly respond and make sure they've got a world class response to them as to why that mistake or happened."

Define, create and distribute across platforms and you'll accelerate success.

 

 

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