Whether it was Oscar Wilde or Will Rogers who first said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” they were right.

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First impressions begin as soon as someone clicks on Google search. Prospects start forming opinions right away, which is why it’s imperative to do everything you can to ensure those opinions are positive.

The good news is that it’s not a mystery to see what other people are seeing; all you have to do is Google yourself. Try your name alone, then try it with “Realtor” or “real estate” to see if the results are different.

Ideally, you want your own sites to come up first, including your website and social media as well as a Google Business profile.

As prospective clients scroll through the search results, they’ll be clicking on those links to find out more, so here are a few things to pay attention to.

Social media

I see many Facebook Business pages and LinkedIn profiles with out-of-date information. This does not reflect well. If you recently changed brokerages, or if real estate is a second career, or things change, update your profile.

Are your banner photos sharp? The banner sizes for Facebook and LinkedIn are specific. If your photo is too small, it will appear blurry. If it’s too large, only a portion of the photo will appear.

Here’s a handy guide for this year’s photo sizes.

Are you using a recent professional headshot on both sites? You want people to recognize you in real life.

Do you have social media profiles you don’t use, such as a Twitter account that’s been dormant since 2015? Time to delete it. Even if you’re not posting regularly, if your information is current, it tells people you’re paying attention.

Google Business profile

If you don’t have one, it’s time to start one. It’s free.

If you do have one, are your photos and contact information up-to-date? If you’re not collecting reviews, there’s no better time to start than the present. Having recent five-star reviews builds your reputation in the mind of a prospect. Finally, have you responded to your latest Google reviews?

If you want any help setting up your Google Business Page, I’m happy to help.

The same guidelines apply to any other sites that collect information like Rank My Agent; make sure your profiles are up-to-date and complete.

Your website

Is your website mobile responsive or at least mobile friendly? The simplest way to check is to pull out your phone and go to your website. If it’s easy to navigate, you’re fine. If not, call your web company and have them update it.

Having a website is a great way of building credibility. Think about the last time you searched for a business, and it didn’t have a website – what sort of impression did that leave with you?

There are a number of reputable companies that specialize in websites for Realtors. Each is a little different, so choose one based on your needs.

You may not get a second chance to make a first impression. But, you do have a second chance to invest a little time to maintain your online presence and ensure it is giving the first impression you want. Trust me, this will pay off in the long run.

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