4 Critical Steps to Building Your Personal Profile Online

I was looking in the window of a real estate agency the other day & noticed that they had no listings available to sell. This got me thinking about ways that a real estate agent could market themselves & build their profile without even having any properties to market.

These online marketing foundations could be adopted as a good start up strategy for any new agent or simply a way that agents can build their profile & generate more business.  Either way, to begin building your online profile these first 4 steps are probably the best place for an agent to start.

1. Personal Domain Name

Secure your personal domain name. eg.YourName.com or .net.
To order your domain name, there are lots of domain name providers to choose from & the cost for domain names seem to be getting cheaper all the time. There are sites like GoDaddy.com, PlanetDomain.com, Intaserve.com & CrazyDomains.com just to name a few.

If your domain name has already been taken you can try putting a hyphen into the domain name. eg. Your-Name.com. There are lots of hyphenated domain names that are still available.

At present, there doesn’t appear to be any real benefit in securing the .com.au or .net.au unless you really want to. Your TLD, (Top Level Domain) YourName.com is better to secure if it’s still available.

Simply register the domain name & don’t sign up for the hosting packages because in a future post, I’ll show you ways that you can get your hosting for FREE.

2. Twitter

Secure your personal name on Twitter.
Once a Twitter username is registered then no one else in the world can create the same username. That’s why, even if you don’t want to use your Twitter account for a while, it’s still better to secure your username.

If Twitter.com/YourName isn’t available then you can use ‘underscore’ to create Twitter.com/Your_Name or you can even have the underscore at the beginning or the end of the username, like _YourName or _Your_Name.

The reason why it’s important to have your name within the username is that it forms part of the URL and this can help somebody find you easier on Google, Bing & other search engines if they type in your name.

3. Google Profile

Register your Profile on Google.
Having a Google profile enables you to provide a biography/profile of yourself on Google’s site. You can also include links back to your company website & links to any of your other profiles/websites.

Simply go to www.google.com/profiles and register today.

The same applies with Google Profiles, once the username is gone it’s gone, so it’s worthwhile going & securing your Google profile before someone else in the world with your name does.

4. Facebook

Register your profile on Facebook
Facebook has recently announced that as of this Saturday, June 13th at 12.01am New York time (2.01pm Sydney time) Facebook users will be be able to choose a username URL for their Facebook account.

It’s designed to make it easier to direct friends, family, and coworkers to a Facebook user’s profile.
This move by Facebook will also mean that people’s Facebook profiles will start to appear a lot more on personal name searches within the search engines.

For example, the new Facebook URL will become Facebook.com/YourName which can make it a lot easier for people to connect with you on Facebook.

Usernames will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis for your profile and any other Facebook Pages that you administer by visiting http://www.facebook.com/username/.

Facebook Pages are designed for your business. There appears to be are a lot of agents & businesses that have started registering Facebook fan pages for their businesses & it may be a good idea to secure the Facebook username for your business at the same time. Eg. Facebook.com/YourBusinessName

Whilst there are lots of others sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, etc that you may want to register with, these are the Top 4 things you should do first.

agent profile, facebook profile, google profile, personal profile, real estate profile, twitter profile

SEO For Real Estate
Listing Leads
Agentpoint Real estate

About Greg Vincent

Greg Vincent The Online Guy for Real Estate Professionals is a Speaker, Trainer and is a highly respected online strategist. As a real estate professional with Internet and Social Media nous, Greg Vincent presents the how-to on getting the most out of the internet and social media without the “geek speak”. His insights into on-line real estate marketing are sought throughout Australia and valued for cutting through the confusion that locks many out of gaining full value from the web. After 20 years as a real estate agent, Greg now has multiple web-based businesses and works with some of the best agents in Australia.

14 Responses to 4 Critical Steps to Building Your Personal Profile Online

  1. Robert Simeon June 12, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Greg,

    Great to see you writing here on B2 – I concur with everything you suggest. I believe Twitter should be a number one priority as it is fantastic for branding and learning too.

    Looking forward to reading more contributions from you.

    Cheers

  2. Glen Barnes June 12, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    I would put LinkedIn up as a top level property. I think it is far more important than Facebook for business. I guess it is everybody’s personal preference but I don’t friend people on Facebook I am not friends with and instead used LinkedIn for these connections.

    I have a hunch that LinkedIn is still in its early days in terms of usefulness but it is only going to get better.

  3. Glenn Batten June 12, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Great first post Greg and welcome to the team.

    Something worth noting relating to your section about personal domain names. You don’t have to host your own website to use a domain name and for many salespeople that really wont be an option. You can redirect any domain name to any other website or page on the internet.

    A salesperson could redirect their own domain name directly to their personal profile on the agency website. They could even redirect it to a list of just their own property for sale if there website allows this.

    I think you will find that some franchise groups will restrict individuals and even offices using their branding outside of the corporate site. So even if they wanted to host their own site they probably couldn’t unless they did not use any of their agency details, branding and colours… and thats pretty pointless.

  4. Glenn Batten June 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Another important thing to note is that Facebook usernames for pages (ie. for businesses) will only be open for those that have more than 1000 fans. That is going to rule out virtually all real estate agency pages.. (interteresting point.. is there an aussie real estate page with more than 100 fans???)

    There is also a restriction that the site has to have been created prior to the 31/05/09 so if you have not had a business page setup by now, then you will be out of luck, at least for the moment.

    If you have less than 1000 fans and just register your business page now (which will be virtually everhone) then you will be able to pick up a custom username from June 28 instead.

  5. Greg Vincent June 12, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    Thanks for the warm welcome Robert, Glen & Glenn.

    I look forward to contributing to this blog.

    I agree Glen, LinkedIn is definitely right up there as a site that real estate agents should embrace, but I wanted to focus on the 4 profiles that agents should try to establish first.

    Glenn, the team at Altitude Real Estate have over 1800 fans at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1378566005&ref=profile#/pages/Subiaco-Australia/Altitude-Real-Estate/84055230979?ref=ts

    I haven’t noticed any others within Australia as yet. These guys have done a great job of building a huge fan base on Facebook within a very short space of time.

  6. Peter Ricci June 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    Welcome Greg, great start, look forward to hearing some more gems 🙂

  7. Greg Vincent June 13, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Thanks Peter. I appreciate the opportunity. 🙂

  8. Sean Wyld June 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Greg,

    Great article, managing your online profile/reputation is definately becoming both more important and more difficult.

    I came across an interesting service recently called Step Rep (http://steprep.myfrontsteps.com/) which is dedicated to helping you manage your online profile. It helps you keep track of info on yourself online and helps you promote positive articles etc.

    I’ve only had a quick look at it so i’m not sure how useful it is, but definitely worth a look. The company which owns it, myfrontsteps.com, is doing some interesting things in the local search space as well. Looks like they are trying to bring together local search and social networking to allow people to do things like search for a local real estate agent and be able to see who in your social network has used them and what their impressions were etc.

    Sean

  9. Greg Vincent June 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    Thanks Sean, I agree with your thoughts that “managing your online profile/reputation is definately becoming both more important and more difficult.”

    So much about an agent is interpreted about an agency before a client even makes contact & with the internet providing the platform for a stronger consumer voice their is a stronger need for agents to start building greater trust with their potential clients online.

    Social media has opened the door for potential customers to seek out recommendations about previous clients service experiences within any industry. This will become even more widespread as we move into web 3.0 & especially within a service industry like real estate.

    Here’s an excerpt of a study done about the top 3 reasons why clients choose a real estate practitioner. Source: Realtor Magazine

    “A study by researchers from the Keller Center at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business determined that consumers use social influences, market sources, and reputation to select a real estate sales associate.”

    You can read the rest of the article here http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009052801?OpenDocument

    Whilst this is a US based study I think you’d find that a survey done over here would return very similar results.

    PS: Thanks for the link to myfrontsteps site. 🙂

  10. The Insider June 18, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    Greg, welcome aboard!

    This is a great website http://domai.nr/ to help you secure your personal domain name. Type in your name and it maps out what domains are available. It also includes Country Code Top Level Domains ccTLDs which is great as most people don’t know what ccTLDs exist.

  11. Ian Ballantine June 20, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Hi Greg, you may recall our meeting at the Smart Online Profit Systems seminar in Brisbane in early May 2009 where you presented the Twitter Monetization Strategies session.

    Thanks for the tips in this blog (and from the seminar in May). I’ve now set up my profile pages in Google and in Facebook as you suggested. Already have three usernames in Twitter.

    Thanks to Twitter, my own personal name is on the first page of Google. Life is grand!

    Thanks again for all your help.

  12. Greg Vincent June 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    I’m pleased that I could help you Ian.

    There are a number of ways that any business can benefit from creating profiles on each of these platforms & Twitter is by far the easiest one of all to implement & spread your message.

    Unlike with facebook, Twitter allows you to create multiple accounts, but it doesn’t matter how many accounts or profiles you have there is one fundamental law that you should never overlook ~ ‘Your content must be compelling enough to build interest, trust & encourage interaction.’

    Whilst it’s great to hear that you are now appearing on the first page of google, can I make a suggestion? The Twitter profile you linked your comment back to has no updates at all currently.

    Before you go out there trying to build a following, there needs to be at least 7 – 15 interesting updates (tweets) to engage & entice followers.

    With no updates on your Twitter page people will feel disengaged.

    If any agents are starting out on Twitter don’t just fill your Twitter updates with your listings, tweet about things that are happening in the market or your neighbourhood. If you’re finding it hard to come up with something to tweet about include a couple of positive quotes.

    Also Ian, within your Twitter bio you’ve used a number of keywords which is good to see, but I wouldn’t include ‘Affiliate Marketer’ because people won’t search for you on that term & they will be very reluctant to click on any of your links within your tweets.

    In an upcoming post I’ll be covering some of the basics of ‘How To’ create an effective Twitter account for real estate agents.

  13. Greg Vincent July 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    Twitter has now updated their home page & have integrated their search function onto their home page like Google do.

    http://www.Twitter.com

    Instead of asking people the question “What are you doing?”

    They’re now promoting “Share and discover what

  14. Greg Vincent July 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    This Search Tip from Twitter will help agents localise their search…

    “Use near: immediately before a location (or a zip code) plus within: immediately before a distance measurement to find tweets sent within a certain distance of a location. Example: near:NYC within:15mi will find tweets sent within 15 miles of “NYC”.”

    eg. a search on… real estate near:Sydney within:15mi uses the IP address to identify people who are talking about Real Estate near Sydney.

Leave a Reply