Protect your online reputation!

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Protect your online reputation!

What, you don't think you have one?  Think again!  You have one... I hope it's what you want. All of this stuff that you post online, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Trulia, Zillow, blogging, whatever and where ever your post, comment, etc... all of that stuff is seen by someone.

And what's more notable, it's not just local!  Really, it's not just on your friends Facebook page, that they've posted the photo of you, dancing on the restaurant table with a rose in your teeth (and not much else) holding the ubiquitous red plastic cup.  That photo is easily copied, and pasted around the world.

It's global baybeee!  And what's more... it's forever, ever, ever, ever... (wow, that's a heck of an echo!)

That's right. Forever.

That nasty comment that you left, that ad-hominem attack on so-and-so's recent blog post... or that sarcastic comment you made on Trulia when someone asked "how do I sell a home without a Realtor"... you replied: "well, first you have to find a house that doesn't have a Realtor in it... then sell it"... bwaahaaa haaa... you're so funny!

Problem is, that not everyone thinks you're so funny.  Intent and tone-of-voice are almost impossible to discern online. The guy two blocks over from you, who happened to be searching for a Realtor to sell his $700,000 home (which, of course he thinks is worth $770,000), thinks that your comment was mean-spirited and smarmy.  Instead, he's going to list with the guy who commented: "There are lots of ways to sell by-owner, call me for any of the required paperwork, so that you're protected."

Your friends have tagged you in compromising photos on Facebook... you know those will show up in the folder of the woman talking to you at your next job interview.  Go to your friend and ask them to take them down, or at the least, UNtag yourself.

Don't put anything online that you wouldn't want your mother, the people whose home you're listing, or any potential buyers or sellers to see.  Don't put anything on Facebook that you wouldn't be comfortable with your managing broker reviewing with the regional manager, when they call it up on the Jumbo-tron at the regional meeting. 

"And here is a web page from our own George Realtor, who has a blog on Wordpress... let's see what his post is today... uh oh... it says "Our Agency Sucks Eggs, and so does the Regional Manager!!, and there's a photoshopped photo of me sucking an egg...  Where is George today?" he says scanning the crowd, as George tries to sink further and further into his chair.

Everyone you know, and their brothers are reading every single thing you write out there on the web.  Or at least you have to treat it that way.  Protect your online reputation... it's worth protecting!

(251  -33)

Look ma, I'm balancing!

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Rosemary Brooks 06/29/2011 12:00 PM
  2. Cory Barbee 06/29/2011 12:10 PM
  3. Praful Thakkar 06/29/2011 03:48 PM
  4. Rob Arnold 06/30/2011 03:26 AM
  5. Jennifer Prestwich 06/30/2011 03:29 AM
Topic:
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protect your online reputation

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Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Christine - I used to be surprised... no more.

Marte - you always want to be careful what you 'put in writing'.

Jun 30, 2011 06:37 AM #89
Rainer
34,083
Steve Barker
Movement Mortgage - Bel Air, MD
Steve Barker

Mr. May,  I think you have just convinced me to leave my current 20 year position as a loan officer and seek employment in an HR department...it will be so much fun interviewing the youth of today in the coming years.

Jun 30, 2011 06:52 AM #90
Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Steve - now that's funny!  Recreational interviewing... the new hot upcoming pastime.

Jun 30, 2011 06:54 AM #91
Rainer
63,772
Diane Morales
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty - Saint Charles, IL
MOVIN' WITH MORALES!

This is what I preach to the FB-fearers.  It's the internet, baby.  Anything you write, can and will be held against you.  ONLY post what you're not ashamed to say.  Cuz somewhere, somehow, someone will see it -- EVEN if you delete it.  BUT you can have fun with it, if you keep your words wise.  =) 

Jun 30, 2011 07:13 AM #92
Rainmaker
1,271,508
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

It is extremely important for professionals who work with the public, but it is truly just as important for everyone else.  You never know when a future employer might have a look at what you did online.  Like you said, it's there for everyone to see, FOREVER!

Jun 30, 2011 07:35 AM #93
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Very good advice. It is amazing how anyting that someone posts can show up anywhere. I usually try to be very careful, and always remind myself that anything I post is open to the public.

Jun 30, 2011 08:49 AM #94
Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Diane - exactly.. it's okay to have fun... just be a little circumspect.

Donna - that's right... for-ev-er!

Steven - that's a good thing to remind ones self!

Jun 30, 2011 09:31 AM #95
Rainer
275,383
Ray Waisler
Finance of America - Atlanta, GA
NMLS #6621 - Specializing in Jumbo FHA & VA

Alan, oh man I'm toast. I wonder what I did with that...........uh never mind. Sorry I couln't resist AGAIN. Seriously though, this is something I try to impress on my kids over and over again.

They need to understand that when they ready for job market (soon I hope) most employers will view their social network sites and that goofy picture of them doing something they shouldn't will have consequences.

It's a really small world these days and getting smaller by the minute.

Jun 30, 2011 11:30 AM #96
Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Ray - it's a small world after all.

Jun 30, 2011 11:34 AM #97
Rainer
247,800
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

Alan, this can not be stressed enough! Too many people really don't think about the consequences of their actions when it comes to social media. Once it's public it can be very difficult to keep it from being found. Think before you act!

Jun 30, 2011 01:33 PM #98
Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Gerard - wiser words were never spoken.

Jun 30, 2011 02:43 PM #99
Rainmaker
411,442
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Very true Alan, you have to be aware of how you are presenting yourself.  

But, there is really no point in me trying to hid my sarcastic streak.  Without sarcasm, I couldn't really be effective at working short sales after all. 

Jun 30, 2011 07:02 PM #100
Rainmaker
259,192
Ellie Shorb
Compass Real Estate - Chevy Chase, MD
Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert

I love the comments above about being authentic. Also, great points by agents about VIDEO too. I love your blog because you are honest, funny and you let your personality come through. It would be a mistake to be so over-protective about what one puts "out there" that the process becomes sterile. That said, you offer great advice- especially important for young folks who many not "get it" about tags, etc.

Jul 01, 2011 12:39 AM #101
Rainmaker
279,145
Jennifer Manchester
Suburban Properties of Charlotte, LLC - Mint Hill, NC
GRI, ePRO, ASP - Broker/Home Stager

Great advice about your on-line reputation. I never really thought about it being your postings and replys (although I try to be professional in my postings and replys).  I always thought is was more about reviews someone made about you on-line. 

Jul 01, 2011 01:37 AM #102
Rainmaker
1,428,654
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

This is for life not just for real estate.  I try to give this message to my kids.  There were no camera phones or video phones when I was a kid.  Be careful.

Jul 01, 2011 05:39 AM #103
Ambassador
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Tni - a little bit of sarcasm can serve you well.. it just has to be delivered in a good humour... mean-spirited sarcasm won't carry you far... at least online.

Ellie - right, you still have to be YOU... merely a sanitized version, because it's very difficult to discern tone-of-voice in typed comments... and you don't have the advantage of seeing the readers reaction... so you don't get the opportunity to say "oh, no... I didn't mean it THAT way!".

Jennifer - what you say... counts too.

Gene - right you are... it carries over into real life, as well.

Jul 01, 2011 05:54 AM #104
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

I've unsubscribed to bloggers because they've shown pictures of themselves drunk, or talk about their excessive drinking habits. I've also unsubscribed from bloggers who post what I consider offensive and obscene information and material, evn if they didn't produce it. They may think they're cool, they may even be considered top notch in their niche, but it doesn't inspire confidence in wanting to follow what they have to say (for me anyway). Great post for reflection. Thanks!

Jul 01, 2011 07:55 AM #105
Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Pamela - they just don't think it through.

Jul 01, 2011 12:07 PM #106
Rainmaker
129,617
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Really good blog.  People don't seem to realize the implications of this.  I constantly talk in my meetings about there are risks and you really have to be coherent in everything.  It inspired me to write a blog ... will I follow through.  I hope so because what you are talking about is step one.

Jul 04, 2011 08:28 AM #107
Ambassador
1,505,364
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Mike - in this particular topic... there really is only one step.

Jul 05, 2011 01:28 AM #108
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