At this point, we can safely assume that the internet is not a fad. It has ingrained itself into our daily lives, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Since the internet is clearly here to stay, the people who are investing their efforts in using it to build their businesses are being rewarded exponentially. But while the internet offers tremendous power for building businesses, it can also rip your existing business to shreds if you aren’t careful.
Online etiquette is a real thing that can have a real impact on your business. For that reason, we pulled together a list of seven common habits that many agents don’t realize are hurting their business.
You can be the life of the party by telling inappropriate jokes to the right people in small circles at dinner parties, but that approach just doesn’t fly on the internet. The online audience is simply too broad to ensure that you won’t be offending someone.
While many people online will still find your dirty jokes to be funny, you will also be exposing that side of your personality to plenty of people who won’t be laughing. They won’t be hiring you either.
Politics & Religion
These are the most polarizing topics you could ever think to discuss online. And while you might feel compelled to profess your love for Trump or Clinton, keep in mind that there are always going to be people on the other side of your viewpoint who will could possibly avoid hiring you just because of your views.
With touchy subjects like politics and religion, it’s always best to avoid the topics altogether. This shows a level of respect for people who have different beliefs from you, and ensures that you don’t alienate them or keep them from doing business with you down the road.
Sharing Sensitive Client Information
Another area where you need to be very careful about what you can and cannot say online is sensitive client information. No matter how comfortable you feel about putting your personal information out on the internet, always keep in mind that your clients might have very different thoughts in that area.
For example, you might be extremely proud of the fact that the mortgage broker you work with was about to get your client a mortgage despite their poor credit, but sharing your client’s credit status online is a recipe for disaster…and maybe a lawsuit.
Abandoned Social Media Accounts
While sharing inappropriate jokes, political and religious opinions, or sensitive client information can get you in a whole lot of trouble online, having social media accounts that haven’t been updated recently is a sin of equal magnitude.
Much of the power that lies in social media comes from getting your message out to local buyers and sellers in a consistent way. If you go weeks, months, or even years without updating your status on any of the major social networks, you run the risk of looking like you aren’t in business anymore.
Just like having social media accounts without any recent updates makes your business look sketchy, so does having zero reviews on any of the major real estate sites. Make sure you are stressing the importance of reviews to your clients and helping them complete those properly.
Generic Email Addresses
If you’re still rocking that old AOL email address, you are definitely giving off the impression that you aren’t too serious about your real estate business. At the very least, you should be using an address from your broker. All of our Carrington agents receive a free email address that is their first name and last name @carringtonres.com. Much more professional and shows clients that this is your business not your hobby. Additionally you could spend the $10/year to have your own domain, even if you just use it for email purposes. This would mean your email address would then be firstname.lastname@example.org
Outdated Profile Pics
We have previously discussed how having an outdated picture on your business card is a big red flag for many buyers and sellers. Well, the same principle holds true when it comes to your online presence.
If potential clients are expecting to meet the 20-year-old version of you and the 40-year-old version shows up, things are going to be awkward right from the start. So keep those profile pics current!
The bottom line for any type of online activity is that you absolutely have to remember that there is no limit to the people who can see the things you put out there. That means you need to be ultra-careful to make sure you conduct yourself in a way that reassures potential clients rather than repelling them.