by Michael L. Baker, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer
Have you ever wondered EXACTLY what your clients think about you BEFORE you even meet them? Would you like to have clients understand who you are and what you do before you even say one word to them? Would you like to have a crystal ball that would you let you see what they see about you before they even know that they will use your services. Would you like to control the perception of you and your brand with 100% certainty that the information that your potential clients are getting about you is the RIGHT information?
In this blog post I’ll show you EXACTLY how to do that. How to gain more clients by controlling their perception of you and showing you exactly what your clients see and know about you before you even meet. It’s really so simple too, and is something you can accomplish in 15 minutes or less!
FYI… I am going to ask you to do something at the end of this post that will help you improve your business. Stick around and follow through, it’s all about the follow through!
I know you are thinking… Michael, how can you claim to know what my potential clients think of me before they even meet me, that’s impossible… isn’t it? It’s actually not and it’s actually REALLY quite simple to find out exactly what your clients think of you before you even meet. But you have just been blinded, or perhaps better said is technology has masked what you see about yourself and what your clients see about you on the internet.
What do I mean?
According to the National Association of Realtors 91% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent. 24% of clients will contact an agent the SAME DAY after starting their online searches for a home. Meanwhile 57% of buyers state that using the internet was there FIRST STEP in starting their home search. When the California Association of Realtors asked sellers and buyers where they found their Real Estate Agent 70% of buyers and 75% of sellers said they found their Agent on the Internet. When you combine that with the fact that 74% of sellers use social media in some form or another (you probably see where I am going with this)… you get to my ultimate point: 60% OF BUYERS GOOGLED THEIR REAL ESTATE AGENT BEFORE THEY EVEN CONTACTED THEM!
Wait what? Yes, sir… you can rest assured that whether that potential client found you on your website, through Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, SnapChat, Periscope, from a friend, an open house flyer or your highway billboard the very FIRST thing they did was do a Google Search for “Sally Smith realtor”. BUT, here is the catch… what THEY see isn’t necessarily what YOU see!
Here’s the secret sauce
Yes it is important to constantly be doing a Google Search for yourself to see what comes up. Your clients are doing it, so you need to be doing it too. But over time Google, Bing, Yahoo or whatever search engine you use is warping what you see based on your search habits and your location you search from. Also what your Facebook or Twitter Feed or (most importantly) your LinkedIn page looks like to you is NOT what it looks like to your clients. But there is a tiny little trick that most people don’t know about that YOU can do, that NO other Real Estate Agents are doing to find out exactly what your potential clients see about you, and therefore you can control their perception of you before you even meet, and I’m going to show you EXACTLY how to do it!
On Chrome you click the hamburger menu (three bars) and then click on “New incognito window”:
Internet Explorer calls this “InPrivate”. When using Internet Explorer you click the three circles and then click on “New InPrivate window”:
Safari calls this “Private Browsing”. When using Safari simply go to File, then “New Private Window”:
Okay so now you have gone “Icognito”, “InPrivate” or “Private Browsing” on your favorite internet browser, now what do you do? It really is simple. Follow these steps;
Step 1) The very first thing you should do is some internet searches for yourself. Most people use Google, so I start there. You should do a number of searches to see what comes up. This is when you get to think like your potential client (or even better if you have a client you just closed a deal with ask them what they Googled about you). Try things like “Sally Smith Realtor”, “Sally Smith Real Estate Agent”, “Sally Smith Kansas City”, “Sally Smith XYZ Realty Company”. Do as many searches as you can think of, and then see what pops up. Generally the first things that will pop up is your companies website if you have your own/specific page there. Next will be things like your Facebook page (personal and business if you have one), your personal website (if you have one — and if you don’t, you really should — go buy www.sallysmithrealestateagent.com), your LinkedIn profile (this is huge I’ll go into more depth below on this), Twitter… so forth and so on.
Now you can see what your CLIENTS see when they perform an internet search for you! How do things look? Are they similar across the board and across the various websites and Social Media you frequent? I know personally I struggle with some things showing up as “Mike Baker” and somethings showing up as “Michael Baker”. It’s something I have to fix personally.
Step 2) Now while you are in Incognito mode go specifically to your Social Media Sites. Now you get a chance to see what a potential client sees of your Facebook page (again personal and business if you have one). Trust me when I say this, it WILL look different than what you see on a daily basis. Over time we have shared some pictures PUBLICLY, while others are PERSONAL (for our friends, family and acquaintances only). What do you see? Pictures of you partying in college? Pictures of you doing the “ROCK” fingers at a Def Leopard concert back in 1992 that one of your friends posted and tagged you in? Does it look professional? What are your posts that anyone can see?
LinkedIn is a huge one! It is one of the Social Medias that ALWAYS shows up first when you Google search someone. I go into MUCH more detail on LinkedIn and how YOU should be generating leads from your LinkedIn page here (click the picture below). This FREE website will give you the ABSOLUTELY FREE 6 Steps you need to clean up your LinkedIn page to look professional and start generating leads for you today!
Step 3) Check and recheck often! Things change over time. You get sloppy over time on Social Media and post some pics publicly when you were out slugging margaritas with the girls, maybe you made a public post about your politics that you don’t need your potential clients reading. Listen I’m ALL for you standing up to your politics… but ultimately if it is keeping you from getting business because someone does a Google Search and sees how you are all for “HARRY POLITICIAN AND HOW HE’S GONNA’ CHANGE THE WORLD” and those views don’t line up with your potential clients views they are going to move on to the next Real Estate Agent and they are no longer your potential client.
Make sure your websites (personal and business) are fully mobile!
— Michael Baker (@affinityloans) April 6, 2016
Here’s the Challenge for you today
I know it is hard to keep up with everything. I get it. I struggle with it too personally and professionally. Doing it all?! Being a Dad, a husband, an active member of my Church, a friend, a brother, a son, an uncle… oh yeah and a Mortgage Loan Officer too! But I bet you money you are losing out on clients RIGHT NOW and you don’t even know about it based on how you come off on a Google Search or what your potential clients see about you on Facebook, your website or LinkedIn. So here is the challenge for you today. Go through my 6 step program on cleaning up your LinkedIn to get it generating leads for you today. I have laid it all out for you with detailed instructions. If you sign up on the website with your email you will get weekly emails reminding you what to do and how to take the next step. Action is the key. All you have to do is:
Don’t over complicate things. Get started today. It’s FREE (did I say it’s FREE yet?) However, there IS a cost… a little bit of your time! Let’s be honest though, if you don’t have 15 minutes to fix your clients perception of you, then are you even in the right business?
— Michael Baker (@affinityloans) April 6, 2016
PS, If it sounds like I can help you, please contact me directly through Linked In, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text me at 913-735-5363. If you’re not yet ready for a conversation, but you’d like to learn more about me and how I can help you or about the mortgage process in general, including great blog posts to send out to your clients, check out my website at http://www.michaelbakerhomeloans.com.