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online_reviewEditor’s Note: This is the fourth of a seven-part series from Homes.com on how to manage your online reputation. Homes.com has put together a free playbook on the topic, which can be downloaded here. Watch for this series in RISMedia’s Friday Weekly Business Builder e-newsletter.

On the Internet, word travels at a million miles a minute. When you start delving in to managing your online reputation, you may come across reviews of you and/or your business on the web. Because you’re a great real estate professional, many of these reviews are probably stellar. However, if you’ve ever had an unsatisfied client who (unfortunately) has access to the Internet, you may come across some less-than-flattering accounts of your brand.

So, what do you do if this happens to you?

As soon as you discover a negative comment about you or your business:
1. Take a minute to breathe. A negative comment can knock the wind out of you. Don’t let your emotions take over. Keep your head clear.
2. Respond quickly and consistently. This will help avoid the “snowball effect” of more negative comments piling on top of each other.
3. To avoid false claims, name your products appropriately.

It would be lovely if all of us had ample time to reply to all of the nice comments we get online, but that would take forever. Unfortunately, the squeaky wheel gets the grease in this case. With so many consumers relying on strangers’ ratings and comments on the web about a brand or business, you really need a game plan for when you come across this content. For more tips on how to manage your online reputation, download this FREE eBook from Homes.com.

Erica Campbell Byrum is the Director of Social Media for Homes.com.

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