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6th of Series Building Your Credibility Online

By: Genevieve Flores Bonquin
Real Estate Broker PRC No. 2309

 Equipping ourselves as Real Estate Service Professionals

 6th of Series     Building Your Credibility Online



When you see a real estate ad online that matches your requirement but with only phone number indicated, will you call the number without second thought? Ever experienced client whom you haven’t met personally, sent you a million peso to pay for the house he is buying? Or a unit owner you only talked over the phone to entrust the keys to her unit? Or simply buy that lot without them having seen the actual site?


Traditionally, when we were trying to establish ourselves in the business, we would join associations like Rotary Clubs, Lions, Jaycees among other association even real estate associations to gain network, find referrals and bring business to us in addition to print advertisements and signages in front of our offices. That is one way but we are limited within our community and friends. But how do buyers from far communities or places  know us?


Nowadays when the internet has become the primary means of communication for many, all kind of scams, using fake identity or even stealing your identity also proliferates over the internet, it is very important for us in the real estate industry to be credible both online and offline.  According to NAR-USA, ninety per cent of buyers now shop over the internet. And for homes that cost millions of peso, the buyers or sellers need to know who they can trust with their investments or for their dream homes or for their properties they want to dispose. And if they found us on the internet, they want to make sure we are trustworthy, credible and are knowledgeable in what we are doing.


How do we then establish our credibility online? How can we show to strangers looking to buy their dream homes to trust us with their hard earned money that we will give them the best value for their money? How will the public choose us among thousands of agents and brokers online where the greater majority placing advertisements are not even licensed?


Buyers and sellers are now more educated and sophisticated such that many of them are already doing background check before they even hire us to help them sell their homes or inquire from our listings. It is very easy now to find information about us in the internet. Even with the information they saw from the internet, they will call to meet and talk to us personally before they entrust to us their properties to sell. These kinds of buyers or sellers who take time to know us are the best clients. It is like you are applying for a very sensitive job  the way they interview you. Although, taking the listing or finding a house for them is really what our job is all about and every buyer and seller becomes our boss or employer. But these clients when you have proven that you met their expectations, they usually give you exclusive authority. If not exclusive, only a few others they approve of.  I cannot forget an experience that a client whom I have spoken only once over the phone sent to me P1M to pay for the house he is buying for the girlfriend. Not meant to surprise but the buyer thinks I can handle the money better than the girlfriend. Not a few times I heard my clients over the phone I look trustworthy. (Choose a friendly profile photo to display)  Many clients have bought and sell properties without me meeting them personally. That is because I have a professional looking website, (www.greenhuts.net)  my pictures are there, my listings are presented well in professional manner. They can search me online and probably see the other side of me apart from being a Real Estate Professional. I am sure some colleagues in the business also experienced these things  and its heart-warming to know that people trust us even if we just met them online. Since I discovered the internet, I have been marketing online and it has revolutionized my selling. I can afford to be a stay home mother, home school my kids and still earn well enough as a bread winner for my family.


To be credible online, you must have a website that looks professional. Your important business information should be there and your profile picture should also be professional looking. Your listings should be properly presented at least with the basic information on the property that catches the attention of the buyers. If you find having your own website is expensive and you do not have the know-how to maintain it, best to join this site : http://brokers.philrealestatedirectory.com/ where you can subscribe for minimal fee, you can have your business card online, post your listings in Directory-MLS site where only duly licensed Real Estate Service Professionals are allowed to post listing.


 If you are marketing on Social Network sites like Facebook, make a separate account for your personal friends and one for your business. If you have one account, avoid posting your pictures in bikinis or shirtless photos while you are posting your listings or requirements. Remember that we don’t only establish our credibility to our clients but also to our colleagues. It is fine from time to time that people can see our normal nature, as we are, as we communicate with our friends and colleagues but be very cautious in revealing way too much.


For some who are afraid to make their profiles published online for fear of identity thieves, there are some precautions you need to observe. And those risks should not stop us, in the selling business, to reach as many clients as we can reach through the internet. There are millions and millions using the internet for their business, and while there are some risks, they can be easily handled and far outweighs the benefits of building our credibility online.  



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