Are Clients on the Menu?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Keller Williams Cal BRE 01325265

When you have a new prospect do you look them up online?  Do you "Google them"?  Do you look for them elsewhere online?

Little Italy

Don't feel guilty if you do.  It is no different than looking up a restaurant in Little Italy before you sit down at a table.  Being familiar with the menu before you commit is a nice feeling. Your clients and potential clients are doing this sort of research on you too.  Be very aware of your online presence.  It is one layer of your interview process with your sphere.

My main sources are:

1.  Google

2.  FaceBook

3.  Linked In


An interesting tip about FaceBook is to paste the client's email address into the open bar on the top of FaceBook.  Search there for the person.  If they are on FaceBook you will be able to learn where they live, if they have plans to move, if they are in a relationship and interesting topics to bring up when you actually meet.

Recently I had a call from a woman that misrepresented herself.  Looking her up online helped me to realize this.  Sometimes a little stalking is healthy.


Colleen K. Cotter @ 619.804.6840

Managing Partner of

Broker Associate of Keller Williams Realty

DRE #01325265



Comments (24)

Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

Colleen,this works pretty well for me too. Thanks to Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook  - finding people will no longer be a headache.

Mar 21, 2013 02:51 AM
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

This is a suggestion I'm going to implement when a stranger contacts me.  But that's pretty rare for me, and so far they've been the nicest people and great clients.  Still, it's worth it to take a look.

Mar 21, 2013 02:54 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

This is just the way the world is now. They have obviously found you on the Internet somewhere (or, most probably). It actually helps you. They already know you because of your Internet presence, seems actually lackadaisical if you haven't taken the time to check them out.

Mar 21, 2013 03:45 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Now there's an idea, I wouldn't have thought about!  But as Debbie says, "They check us out, why not check them out?" 

Mar 21, 2013 04:12 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I do it - and it's sobering to think they are doing the same to us.

Mar 21, 2013 04:15 AM
Charlie Dresen
The Group, Inc - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Good point. This is the way our world works now. They probably all googled me first!

Mar 21, 2013 04:46 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Well, I would hate to be compared to a dish of Fried Calamari or Linguine smothered in Pesto . . . I've Googled people before, etc., but I never thought of them as a menu item.  Potential client, yes.  Column "B" no.

Mar 21, 2013 05:29 AM
Mark Horan
Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC - Saint Cloud, FL
"The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &

Colleen, I always check on buyers and tenants for both businesses. Google is sometimes very interesting what comes up. I once had an offer come in and the buyers wanted to move in while we were negotiating a short sale. Google told me they had been arrested in NY for defrauding Sec 8. They also had a bogus company here in Florida. Info is out there.

Mar 21, 2013 06:01 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great point... but I must say most of the time I don't have a whole of time to do this type of sleuthing. I've found that most times once I've spoken and/or corresponded with people significantly I've sussed out a lot of their information and motivation. Clearly there will always be those con artists out there, but I would go crazy if I felt all of my contacts were potential con artists.

Mar 21, 2013 07:22 AM
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

I do it everytime. Always start with facebook. Nice to go in knowing a little about the person.

Mar 21, 2013 08:23 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I always do this but I don't let my clients know I do this. Recently, while speaking with a prospect who called, I searched the tax records to see where his house was located. He was surprised I had done that but I just explained that it gave me the ability to serve him better.

Mar 21, 2013 09:03 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Colleen, I don't look up everyone. But, if they're a new potential client or they seem "weird" on the phone, I'll do my research. I'd hate to meet up with a serial killer or something.

Mar 21, 2013 10:14 AM
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

I do background checks on a lot of my clients.  Unfrotunately in this day and age people will lie like crazy to get their way.  I'm checking the prothonotary, the court system, Facebook, Google, etc if something doesn't sound right. 

Mar 21, 2013 11:14 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A little stalking can really pay off.  I have done this and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I always meet my new clients at the office first.  That way I know that they are serious buyers and sellers.  If they will not meet me face to face, and they just want to see a house, not happening.  Getting to know me and letting me get to know them is important, buying a home is huge investment, they should take the time to interview the person that they are choosing to represent them.

Mar 21, 2013 11:40 AM
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

My curiosity always gets the best of me - I always google anyone I don't know personally it's priceless info.

Mar 21, 2013 12:16 PM
Colleen K. Cotter
Keller Williams - San Diego, CA

Thank you for the thoughts, everyone.  It seems that most of us are looking each other up.  It is where we are today apparently.


Mar 21, 2013 02:01 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I do it every single time Colleen.  I'm sure my clients google me, so why not google them?  Good post.                                       

Mar 21, 2013 11:13 PM
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
Real Estate | Done Differently

We recently Googled a client and found out she was arrested for having pet tigers, no joke!

Mar 21, 2013 11:16 PM
Ron Tissier
Chapman Hall Premier Realtors (404) 580-9069 - Atlanta, GA
Defining Homes. Defining Lifestyles.

Great advice Colleen!  I do web searches on prospects all the time.  As real estate professionals, we should always be in "investigate" mode.  

Mar 22, 2013 12:21 AM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

You are not kidding. . everybody is online nowadays's. .

information is power!

Mar 22, 2013 02:44 AM