Making the Right Digital Impression

by Brian Delaney

Last week I was speaking to members of the Outer Banks Board of Realtors in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The OBX is a beautiful place and the Realtors there are a tremendous amount of fun to work with. We spent two hours working specifically on listing strategies and the importance of effective communication with sellers and prospective sellers.

For years the NAR has reported that the number one fear that home sellers have is that their agent will not stay in touch after the house is listed. This situation is especially challenging in a resort market where sellers are often hundreds of miles away. In the Outer Banks there are often times when an agent lists and sells a property without ever meeting the seller physically. In what has historically been a relationships driven business this is certainly a unique situation.

One of the specific challenges that the distance creates is in the listing process itself. As an agent working with a prospective seller you really have to make a great “digital impression.” There are specific strategies that will help make you look your best to prospects hundreds of miles away.

First we need to remember that prospects have the ability to “interview” us without our knowledge. There is considerable information available online for anyone who cares to look. Agents that do not take the time to manage their online identity do so at their own risk. Social media may be all the buzz today – but agents can shoot themselves in the foot if they are not very careful about what is posted to social media sites either by friends and family – or even by themselves.

One of the characteristics commonly found in high producing agents is that their business and personal lives are often closely intertwined, so their efforts in social media outlets needs to straddle a fine line. Some personal information but not too much…some business, but again, not too much.

Your mother probably told you that there are three things that you are not supposed to talk about in “polite company:” politics, religion and sex. Your social media efforts would do well to follow that simple time tested truism!

We live in a time of little tolerance for conflicting opinions, just tune to any cable news channel and you can watch a pointless shouting match between “experts” that only share one similarity; they don’t listen.

Remember that you are trying to make yourself appear professional not just to people that you have done business with but also to people who you have not yet met. Even the smallest mention of a religious or political view that a visitor to your Facebook Page does not share will be enough to send them elsewhere. As for the sex part, well that’s TMI under any circumstances so just don’t do it…

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