The Curse of Your On-Line Presence When You Change Brokerages

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

The Curse of Your On-Line Presence When You Change Brokerages 

OK, it was not really THAT bad, but when making my recent change from RE/MAX after 8 years to Solutions Real Estate in Carlsbad, I knew there were some issues to deal with. I tried to plan ahead and make my list...extensive, mind you...of all the places I knew I had a profile, signed up for a service, and so on. The obvious ones are easier, but then you start to realize all the others that you decided to join, for whatever reason, don't use much or at all.

The list was waaayyyy bigger than I thought. 

And of course as time goes I realize it was much bigger than I ever anticipated, and I am still playing catch-up with some sites where I need to change a user name, password or the email address. The MLS, the State Licensing Department (DRE), and our Lockbox company were relatively easy. It doesn't happen instantly but it was painless. Really. 

The challenge with all the on-line stuff is multi-layered. And we thought it was soooo simple.

First. Keeping track of where you have a profile, plus your user name, password and email. I know I did not keep a good list until it got out of control and the brain simply would not work well enough on its own. Yeah, I should have but you know how it is. The passwords are, for the most part, all different, and if I didn't have a system to track them I would constantly be submitting lost password requests. 

Anyone use Roboform?

I have heard good things in general but curious about the pros and cons - others likely are, too. I assume it's secure but??? 

My On-line presence is driving me crazy!Issue two. Changing emails and other information is just not that simple. Sure you make the change but then, in many cases, you have to receive a verification email to respond to, and all that takes time. And of course along the way you see other things - address, phone - that need to be changed. What you think is 2 minutes turns into 20. And it's hard to give up an email you've had for 8 years.

And then there is the blog, or blogs to change. 

And all those widgets you added. 

And what about all those videos you branded? Does it matter?

Plus photos and banners that are branded with your brokerage. My AR header, for one, and the one I created for my video email system, My Video Talk. Not hard to change, but again it takes time. And things never seem to go as smoothly as they should. 

And everyone in your database if your email has changed, as mine did. It was a good time to clean out the database and also find out if some folks' emails had also changed. 

Most of it is now done...hopefully. But I sure appreciate anyone noticing that something is awry or I overlooked it

My advice?

  • Keep a comprehensive list of all the sites you are on with all the appropriate information
  • And be prepared to spend significant time updating
  • Or not worrying about whether it makes a difference.
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Rainmaker
563,998
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Jeff -- Great topics as it affects many agents at sometime or another.  I recommend you use your own domain so that way you don't have to worry about the e-mail part of the issue. Jeff@JeffDowler.com or something.

Feb 09, 2011 08:26 AM #39
Rainer
189,075
Don Hintz
2D-enterprises / HAUS Design, LLC - Anderson, IN

Jeff,

Online reputation management is vital.  Great post to remind everyone, even if your NOT planning a move, get your accont username and passwords together ALL in one place.

And even though we are in the digital millenium, still have a paper copy, in a secure place of course and, have a pdf form, password protected, but don't forget the password!

Feb 09, 2011 08:27 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,142,210
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Oh man!! I can't even imagine how much time this must take. Glad I'll never have to worry about changing companies!!!

Feb 09, 2011 09:22 AM #41
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Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

Jeff I can imagine it's a LOT of work.... a LOT of work and time and memory to figure out all the places that need updating.  I just addresses and that was a ton of work and I'm sure I forgot one or two, who knows, mabye more. If I ower them yearly fee they'll find me! 

Feb 09, 2011 09:40 AM #43
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Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

OH BOY!  I switched 1.5 years ago and am still finding remnants from the old brokerage!  This is GREAT food for thought on how to track your online activity.  Never thought of putting it in one tidy excel spreadsheet or anything like that!  BUENO!

Feb 09, 2011 09:46 AM #44
Rainer
66,298
The Elise Bickel Team
ReMax Select Realty - Pittsburgh, PA
Leasing, Property Management and Sales

I changed from keller Williams back to Coldwell Banker after only 2 years and I wanted to rip my hair off. That is when I realized, it isn't about branding my company, its about branding myself!

Feb 09, 2011 09:50 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,402,493
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

I just posted about the same thing! I changed a couple of weeks ago and am still dealing with disruption

Feb 09, 2011 10:04 AM #46
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

We have used Roboform for the past few years. Even when we reload machines you can save the data. We have no security issues and have had great success. Considering the amount of sites/passwords...i myself recommend it. Save time, hassles etc.

Feb 09, 2011 10:39 AM #47
Rainmaker
479,929
Kevin Kueneke
Caliber Home Loans - Encinitas, CA
San Diego Mortgage Banker

words to live by.  i changed companies just over a year ago and i still stumble on old sites, etc, that i haven't updated yet.  looking forward to hearing you speak on friday!

Feb 09, 2011 10:42 AM #48
Rainmaker
669,428
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Hi Jeff- when I received your email notice that you had changed companies I thought oh my...what a job that is going to be. I have slowly been changing everything over to my branding and not my broker and I am so glad I have. I have all my sites and log in information in word on my computer and there are dozens of sites thats for sure. I should probably check into Roboform as it sounds safer. Much success at your new company.

Feb 09, 2011 11:30 AM #49
Rainmaker
1,542,375
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I'm like Belonger doing it the old fashioned way in Word, back to back on 2 pages.

Feb 09, 2011 11:56 AM #50
Rainer
106,968
Josh & Dawn McKinley
Peoria, AZ

I've changed brokerages three times in the last year - and believe me, after the first time, I decided to buy a domain so I didn't have to go through nearly the amount of changes I did.  The fun part is, like most people here have said, running across old sites and logins that have the old info, and having to remember how to access them to change them!

Feb 09, 2011 01:25 PM #51
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff every Realtor that I have talked to that has changed companies tells me the same thing.  None of them realized the amount of work involved, even those that had gone through it before.  It seems that there is more and more involved each time.

Feb 09, 2011 02:19 PM #52
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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Jeff,

This is certainly food for thought.

Working for myself, I don't give a lot of thought to this situation but I can sure see where it would be a hassle and time consuming chore to get it all changed..

Hope the move works out great for you.

 

Feb 09, 2011 02:21 PM #53
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

That sounds like a lot of work, Jeff.  And, I know I don't have a comprehensive list. 

Feb 09, 2011 04:10 PM #54
Rainmaker
637,283
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Jeff, I feel for you. I changed brokers a couple of years ago and it was a nightmare. Like you say, 2 minutes turns into 20 and then you find one more thing...

Feb 09, 2011 04:52 PM #55
Rainmaker
716,608
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Jeff - I feel your pain.  When I first started at a brokerage - I picked the "top-producing" office.  NIGHTMARE.  Not knowing any better at the time I put up a web page on the brokerage site.  So - it got taken down when I couldn't take it any longer and left.  I changed brokerages to a Mom & Pop that didn't last the crash.  It was bought out by a brokerage that I hated. So I had to change everything three times in about 2.5 years.  it's a lot more than you think and the last switch was the worst because the more i was established - the more complicated it became. Only one of those first three brokerages is still in existence - and that one is now having difficulties.  Sign of the times.

Feb 09, 2011 04:55 PM #56
Rainmaker
1,560,731
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Congratulations and best of luck at your new place!!  It's the same situation when we go to update our photos.  That's why so many agent look ten years older in person . . . LOL

Feb 09, 2011 06:19 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,948,462
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If you know the move is coming, and done slowly, you can start putting effort in to the new brand on line / off line image easily. And often lots of overhaul was needed on your old brochures, website, forms and procedures any way. So much is accomplished with the total new look caused by the shift to Country 22 or Brand X.

Feb 09, 2011 10:01 PM #58
Rainmaker
420,748
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease

Jeff, 

Yes, that would be daunting.  Excellent advice to keep a list with all the sites.  

Since, I am with my husband as my broker, I sincerely hope I won't be changing, but we could sell the business, or something and it always helps to be prepared. 

All the best, Michelle

Feb 10, 2011 01:34 AM #59
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