Time For Brokers To Clean Up Online Profiles

by Victor Lund on December 1, 2016

Online HouseReal Estate Agent and Brokerage Profiles Online are a mess. Specifically, agent and broker profiles on the broker website, Zillow, Realtor.com, and Homes.com are naturally in disarray at this time of year. With transaction volume low during December, it is a very good time to clean everything up. Most brokerages audited by WAV Group consulting average 10% inaccuracy, which reduces lead generation and undermines a firm’s online reputation.

Start With Data Collection

It is a relatively easy task to collect the data necessary to update profiles. Start with your offices. “Offices have identities,” says Marilyn Wilson, partner with WAV Group. “When we audit brokerage firms we find that companies who have moved offices rarely put forth the effort to remove the old offices from Association Data Bases, MLS Data Bases, Brokerage websites, and syndication websites,” according to Wilson. There are services that can do this for you. WAV Group has resources that can automate the process on major search sites like Yelp, Google, and others. But the syndication sites require more effort, typically requiring the broker to log into the publisher site to make corrections.

Agent profiles are the heavy lifting. It is vital that you collect the profile image of all of your agents, detail their contact information, and help them curate a reasonable bio of at least 250 words. Here is a quick guide for 5 Best Tips to Create a Powerful Bio (Sherry McCormick)

Audit

December is a great time to audit your syndication websites. Look not only for agent and broker profiles, but you may also want to measure the effectiveness of the sites where you syndicate. “If you are going to share your property listings with third party websites, you should do so with intention,” says Victor Lund, listing syndication specialist with WAV Group. Here are a few things to consider”

  1. Does the website adhere to the fair display guidelines (see fairdisplay.org)?
  2. Do you get leads from the site? Test it – inquire about one of your listings on each site to see if the lead is produced in your lead management system.
  3. Review the terms of use. Many brokers may not be aware of the terms, especially the liabilities related to listing content and copyright.
  4. Check the agent profiles for every agent in your company. If they are incomplete, you may be missing out on leads and lead conversions.

Document

“It is a good idea to create a file on each website where your data appears, and a summary document of all of your administrative passwords,” says Lund. This makes it easier for your marketing department to make periodic updates to profiles as they change. “Brokers are onboarding agents all of the time, and discharging others,” says Lund. “If you do not have someone tasked with making the changes, the firms online profile gets rusty in a hurry,” continues Lund. Developing a document that retains protocol for changes in an organization removes the tribulations associated with looking up user names and passwords all of the time.

Upstream Delivers A Solution

UpstreamRE, LLC, the broker owned initiative to collaborate on data management in real estate has a solution to the chaos of managing the Firm Record. “With Upstream, a broker can manage identity in one place,” says Upstream CEO, Alex Lange. “Brokers entitle publishers to connect to Upstream and gain access to profile information. Publishers access current profiles using an Application Programming Interface or API keeping every connected site updated in real time,” according to Lange. For Upstream updates – visit this page.

Set a goal to clean up your online profile this December. If you need help, contact WAV Group.

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