The importance of your online profile

It seems so obvious, but in real estate today you need to have an online profile – a webpage / a place on the web which people will go to when they Google your name. It does not need to be a flash website, it can be a single page, just as long as it can tell people about you – what you do, what your great at and how to contact you.

Here are some simple ways to get a profile:

1. We offer everybody in this industry a free web page for their profile – just check out any of your listings on realestate.co.nz and see the link to “My Profile” – that is your profile online – that page is very likely to be a page that Google will direct people to when they search on your name – try and see!

If you want to write some details to add to this page then login to the AgentPro part of the site and write up whatever you want – more details and background to where you work and how you can help. As a guide have a look at other people’s profiles.

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2. Facebook can be a great place to build your profile – it also allows you to connect with friends and colleagues and make new friends and acquaintances. I have noticed a significant rise in the use by real estate agents on recent months (masses of invites!) – the key with Facebook is presenting a professional impression and not mixing too much of your personal life with your business life.

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3. How about a simple website? – here is a brand new service I found last week Flavors.me offers you an instant page to which you can link your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – a place you can encourage people to go to to see what you have to say. I built this site as a test in less than 5 minutes!

Welcome _ Flavors.me

March 11 2010 | Online marketing and Social Networking | 3 Comments »

Featured Agent – Equitability in marketing for an agent

The launch of Featured Agent in April was undertaken after valuable feedback from within the industry. We had been actively testing and discussing it since January.

However as is the case with any new feature you need to be ready to handle situations which may not have been readily visible at launch. It is clear given the take up of the service that there is a growing sense of competing interest vying for the 3 spots – this competition has exposed an issue which arose this week and has as such helped us to learn better how to adapt the principles of the service.

The current booking process is best presented as a “first in – first served” race. However we experienced a situation where a single office has “block booked” all 3 spots which has lead to feedback from other agents in the same suburb wishing to register a complaint that this is not fair, especially of an industry owned website. In their view we should be portraying to the public a balance of options when it comes to agents in an area.

When we set up this service these were the principles:

  1. Featured Agent was established at the request of salespeople who wished to have a means to promote themselves on the site to prospective vendors.
  2. The core principle of realestate.co.nz as an industry owned site is to act in a consistent and transparent manner to serve all professionals in this industry with a cost effective marketing tool
  3. A judgment was made to restrict the number of agents per suburb to just 3 – in that way allowing the public to see a representative selection of keen agents ready to promote themselves in that suburb.
  4. The buying criteria is first come, first serve with no ability to pre-book or blanket book for periods of more than 3 months

With these principles in mind we have made an amendment to the terms of business for booking of Featured Agent which will be implemented at the next release of Featured Agents which will be for the months of October onwards. This will be communicated on this website and through email prior to this date. This then is the situation and solution.

If a suburb is booked solely by one office within that suburb, and realestate.co.nz receives a challenge from other agents in that suburb. Such a challenge will be entertained by other offices who feel that in having an effective block booking attained by one office is not in the best interests of the website as judged by the consumer viewing that page and seeking to assess the capabilities of a range of agents for that suburb. Each case will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and the judgment will be made based on objective and transparent criteria for such an evaluation.

The recommended solution will be to allocate a single featured agent to each office in the suburb (only of those offices that raise an objection). If the number of challenging offices together with the original featured agent office exceeds 3 then the allocation will be based on a random drawing to see which offices will be featured.

In addition prior to the completion of each feature period (the current 3 months for example – Jul/Aug/Sep) an assessment will be made as to ascertain which suburbs were fully booked with featured agents. For all these “fully booked suburbs” with 3 agents a draw will be made from the existing customers of featured agents as well as the invitation of any offices and their salespeople who may wish to buy a feature agent profile in that suburb to participate in a random draw to allocate the 3 slots. These “fully booked suburbs” will be notified well in advance of the renewal date and a draw made prior to the start of the new period.

July 15 2009 | New feature | 6 Comments »