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social_media_people_iconsBuilding and growing a Facebook group can become a lot more gratifying than just creating a normal page for a real estate professional, in that it’s sort of like modern-day farming. You don’t just sell a house to someone and move on, you keep them in your network and they can become a great referral source or possibly even buyers of more property. It’s all about becoming the conduit of the conversation.

This was an important tip delivered in a recent Watercooler episode moderated by Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin, co-founders of, and guest host Joe Sesso, national speaker for Read on here for tips from part one of this series.

Sesso, a prominent real estate agent and expert, regularly travels across the country speaking to real estate professionals about the latest trends in marketing, technology and social media.

Reputation Management

One of the things that Sesso gets asked about all the time during his talks is dealing with reputation management, and he considers it one of the most important things for a real estate agent to deal with.

Almost every agent, will at some point or another, upset clients because it’s a high pressure job. “I have heard Yelp horror stories about consumers who felt wronged and left the most horrible review about an agent,” he says.

Smith pointed out that by typing in the simple Google search, “real estate agents are,” the top five results are: worthless, crooks, liars, idiots, and a joke. That tells you right there what people think about those working in the industry.

Mackin cited a study that revealed that 94 percent of people would rather post a negative review than a positive review. The problem is, Sesso says, that people expect a great job and smooth closing, and when things do go as planned, they often don’t get around to writing a positive testimonial.

Sesso suggests talking to clients up front about how important testimonials are, saying something along the lines of if you hold up your end of the bargain on the sale, they agree to write a review. This way when the sale is complete, you can remind them and it won’t seem like bugging them.

Since most people will only write one review on one site, he says to balance them so you have equal amounts of positive testimonials on sites like Yelp, Google Plus and others. This way, if a bad review does show up, there will be a positive one to counteract it.

“I put together a template where I thank them for their transaction and ask them to go to a specific site for the testimonial and I hyperlink it so that it’s easy for them,” he says. “If you give people a road map, they will do it, but if you leave it as a scavenger hunt, it’s hard to get.”

Organize the Chaos

During the Watercooler discussion, Mackin questioned Sesso about how to deal with so much information coming at you on social media sites, especially Facebook.

“One challenge we have in social media in 2014-15 is finding the signal within the noise,” he says. “You can get lost in the chaos of Facebook. How do you create filters so the info you are exposed to is relevant and useful?”

Sesso’s answer made a lot of sense and one that all real estate professionals should practice.

“You need to prune your social media as much as you grow your social media,” he says. “It’s healthy.”

He suggests creating Facebook and Twitter lists so you are only getting the content you want and not letting the sites decide what’s relevant for you. He also says to get rid of any useless feeds.