Are you an online oinker?

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

It's a brave new world, for those of you who were unaware.

I learned, from my daughter, that most people who are younger than I am (and that covers MOST people, these days) will turn to the internet when considering whether to hire you, or not.

They'll conduct a Google-search.  Searching the internet for any occurence of your name.

What will they find?  Have you been a good caretaker of your online reputation?  Will they find you bickering with someone on a website, like Active Rain?  Will they find negative, or positive review discussing you on Zillow, or Trulia or Yelp!?

If you're not sure, you should try searching for your name yourself.  If you put your name into Google's search engine... surrounded by quote marks... [  so... like this:   "Alan May"  ]  It will conduct what's called a Boolean search finding each and every occurence of the word Alan followed by a space and then May.

Now, in my case, that's problematic, 'cause it will find every occurence of a sentence that says "Alan may decide to travel next week...."  or "Alan may want to check his reviews"... see what I mean.  And then, of course, I get several Google pages about a Canadian Hockey Player.  So I need to search "Alan May" + Realtor... and then I'll show up.

Try your name. See what shows up... this is what your potential clients are finding. Are you pleased with what you've found?  Will they be likely to hire you after reading what they've found?

If they've found nothing... (or very little)... and they found a lot of good stuff about your competition... who do you think they'll hire?

It's eye-opening, isn't it?  Protect your online reputation... it's becoming more and more important each and every day.

Have you seen the little piggies, crawling in the dirt?  (oink, oink, oink)

Posted by

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

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email:

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

So I'm poking around the net last night and what do I find...some knucklehead we've never heard of nor ever done business with left us a 1 star review on Google.  No actual review, just a click of the star.  Reported to Google and hopefully they'll remove it.

Mar 08, 2018 08:44 AM #31
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I do this periodically, but it's been awhile, Alan May ... so need to do that immediately.  I know that a good many of my clients check me in this manner, as they tell me so.  That's tipped their decision in my favor.  I'd like to keep it that way ...


Mar 08, 2018 08:55 AM #32
Constantine Isslamow
Century 21 United Realty Inc. - Peterborough, ON
"Training and Accountability"

Awesome post.

Truthful and right to the point.

Wishing you continued success

Mar 08, 2018 08:59 AM #33
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

What a great post title!    Over just the past couple of years, I too have reached the point where most people are younger than I am - GASP.     And yes it's a great idea to periodically check on our on-line presence.

Mar 08, 2018 09:01 AM #34
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I use Google as my other business card. I just tell people...'google me" to know more of me and then I stand by for Q & A or come what may. Blogging, commenting, posting and all the rest just make for a nice online library

Mar 08, 2018 09:10 AM #35
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Great post, Alan. I am working on this. Thanks for the reminder!

Mar 08, 2018 11:56 AM #36
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Alan- first of all, I love saying "boolean" and I do miss George Harrison!  I did Google myself and even found some post in German. 

Mar 08, 2018 12:31 PM #37
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Alan, when I saw your title, I did not know whether to be offended or not.

So, I decided to read your post.

I have never found anything bad about me on the internet, and I will take your advice and keep checking to make sure it stays that way.


Mar 08, 2018 12:39 PM #38
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Well, "Alan May", the piggy part fails me, but the idea is of course highly necessary. I do ALWAYS ask how people found me. What I love is when they quote some of my blogs, my website or mention that they've seen this or that YouTube video. 

But, to your point: it's time to check again! 

Mar 08, 2018 12:40 PM #39
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

It is always a good idea to keep up with what your search is saying.   And if you can be found at all.

Mar 08, 2018 01:44 PM #40
Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed.
Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC - Oklahoma City, OK
Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence

Thank you for the tips!  And for the "Boolean" lesson 

Mar 08, 2018 02:13 PM #41
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Hmm, I should do this as I know pp do it to me! I do have a private FB page so hopefully that doesn't show up. I am very careful as to what I say online..thanks for the tip!

Mar 08, 2018 02:37 PM #42
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

I find it interesting that there are people with my first and last name that are carpenters, artists, and REALTORS, all professions I have worked at.

That is, people aside from me.

It was interesting to think of doing an Alan May search... wow.


Mar 08, 2018 03:07 PM #43
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I'll give it quick try and see what comes up!

Mar 08, 2018 05:15 PM #44
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Something to think about!!!

Have you been a good caretaker of your online reputation?  Will they find you bickering with someone on a website, like Active Rain?  Will they find negative, or positive review discussing you on Zillow, or Trulia or Yelp!?

Mar 09, 2018 03:54 AM #45
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Great post and well deserved for a feature- I think Yelp is the most difficult to defend against - 

Mar 09, 2018 05:02 AM #46
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Congratulations on the feature Alan May. Most of what i find when i search are my Active Rain Blogs 

Mar 09, 2018 06:12 AM #47
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Alan, thank you for the reminder... I do check myself once in a while, but should make it a more regular activity!

Have a great weeken. Aloha!

Mar 09, 2018 01:56 PM #48
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Alan,

Good idea. Not that everything is under your control, but you can try to avoid the big bloopers. Or oinks, to quote your daughter.

Mar 09, 2018 09:12 PM #49
Janice Zaltman
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL
South Florida Residential Real Estate

Hi Alan May . I do check online and think the search comes up different when google knows it is you searching your own name. May be better to search from another computer. Also would love to get off old brokerages that still linger there 10 years later. 

Mar 12, 2018 06:40 PM #50
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