Today, just about everyone has an “online footprint,” or, can be tracked down online. In fact, it’s hard to not have an online footprint – with Facebook, LinkedIn and Google directories, everyone can be found. And opinions about people and business can be found just as easily. That means everything can be found online – the good, the bad and the ugly.
This is exactly why online agent rating systems are powerful – the ratings and reviews agents receive are out there on the world wide Web, for anyone to see. With clients continually coming from websites and email marketing just as much as it is from in-person referrals, and several visitors seeing every last review on these sites when looking for an agent, it is equally important to make sure what is written about you online is accurate, fair and, ideally, positive, in order to keep your reputation intact.
Agent ratings systems have their pros and cons, as we analyze in our cover story. For example, if clients rate and review agents positively, they’re a great marketing tool – whenever prospective clients search for an agent, those who are active in an agent rating system will pop up in a Google search, along with reviews from past clients. If the reviews range from good to stellar, they act as a referral for the agent. Who wouldn’t want to work with someone who has proven he or she can do their job, and people publicly attest to that? However, on the other side of that coin, one or two negative reviews could turn off potential clients.
How can agents protect themselves against this? We tell you exactly how in our cover story. From how to overcome negative reviews to how to get clients to rate and review you on various online agent rating systems, to maintaining your reputation online, we have testimonials from agents, a how-to from a public relations expert and a brief snapshot of a few of the more popular agent rating systems out there.
According to Survey Says on page 18, only 17 percent of agents are actively participating in online agent rating systems, but 49 percent of agents believe these systems are beneficial to the industry. After reading this issue, I want to know if you think agent rating systems will become more popular among agents. Email me and let me know: Stephanie@chicago.staging312.com.