By Marc Gould
The National Association of Realtors®’ Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics reports that approximately 90.5 percent of REALTORS® use social media in one way or another. As that percentage grows, the need for brokers to manage their online reputation is a priority.
As a broker, establishing a set of social media rules for your agents is recommended. We reached out to Marki Lemons, ABR®, CRB, CRS, SFR® – real estate author, speaker and consultant, for a few tips on how to get started. Lemons suggests that “brokers should establish social media rules for their agents and they should be detailed within the brokerage’s Office Policy Manual. The manual should outline social media do’s and don’ts, how to stay in compliance with license law and, if they are a REALTOR®, the Code of Ethics.” Once that is in place, brokers can focus on actively maintaining a healthy online reputation.
The tools available for reputation management are abundant, and most of them free of charge. As you begin your search for social media management tools, you’ll find that each have their own merits and more than likely thousands of happy users. Since more and more of these tools are introduced every day, the decision to use one over the other is your preference.
A highly recommended management tool that brokers can begin using today for free is Google Alerts, which enables you to insert criteria that can be specific to your business. Google then searches the Internet and retrieves the information you requested. If used, Google Alerts can be your first point of reference for managing your brand in the marketplace. With most social media management tools giving you the option to automate your reports, setting up your criteria will be the most time-consuming aspect. After you have a couple different management tools in place and allot a certain amount of time—every day or week—to review, you’ll be successfully managing social media for your brokerage in a couple steps.
We conclude with Lemons on the importance of using social media as an agent: “The greatest benefit is my ability to connect, engage and grow. For brokers,” regarding reputation management, she recommends, “your social media management should begin with education, and then lead by example.”
Additional education for you and your agents is always a good way to stay current on real estate best practices. Visit training4RE.com to find local or online courses that offer social media training, such as Real Estate Marketing Reboot and e-PRO®.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients.
To learn more, visit REBAC.net.
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