I’ve spent a lot of time talking to real estate businesses about the need to monitor the web, with the growth of public forum sites and social network sites in Australia and on the web, there are lots of opportunites for disgruntled consumers to write about you or your business. Refer to my earlier post about the impact of social media on word of mouth as a refresher, and what I call the “Silent Business Killer”.
Property management is one of the most popular targets for consumers and so is the integrity of real estate agents, so you need to be aware of what is being written and published, because it stays there longer than a press article does and is searchable by your prospects. You don’t want these comments being found about you or your business on the front page of Google.
During my discussions and presentations I suggest, you set up Google alerts for your name, business and area of operation,so that you are able to monitor what is being written or posted about you and others in the area. It’s very simple to do and will give you a wealth of information on your market and what is happening daily in your area. I have one set up for my blog and it is amazing where my name and blog turn up, and my only internet presence is this blog.
So here’s how you start: Go to Google.com.au and set up an account, heres the link to get you started: https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount, Complete the information and you’re on your way.
On the right hand side of the accounts page, you’ll see a menu, click on alerts and you’ll get a screen which asks you to set up a search term, here you would enter your name & business and area, because these are the key words you want to search. Click on create alert and then you’re done. Once a day Google will update you on information relevant about your search alert, if a comment or your name or business is mentioned you’ll be advised. You’ll also pick up a lot of interesting news happening in your area. Whilst this is not foolproof, at least you’ll have a system in place, as well as monitoring sites in your area that carry consumer comments. Sites such as www.womf.com.au are worth monitoring as well as consumer blog sites.
Also check out for a bit of fun www.outrageousagents.com, and you’ll see what I mean about the growth of these sites.
Set up multiple alerts for different search terms and sit back and let Google do all the work. If you do find a comment or blog about you or your business that needs to be removed, contact the blog publisher and let them know you’re aware that negative comments have been published and at least get the right of reply or try and get the offending comment removed.
Good luck and as always, let me know if you need help.