Building a strong online reputation is critical to your business. If you think potential clients won’t Google you to find out all they can about you and your business, think again! When you’re looking to generate leads online, you have to cultivate your online reputation. The good news: it doesn’t have to be a time-intensive endeavor. If you devote just 15 minutes a day to the task you’ll create a record exuding expertise and goodwill that will follow you for years to come.

1. Monitor Your Results

Potential leads will search for you online, so you should too! Make sure you know what’s being said about you. You may not be able to remove unfavorable information, but you can respond to clear up misconceptions or provide your side of the story. Providing a fair and balanced reply can deflect a complaint and show others that you’re a class act.

Use several search engines to monitor your results, and leverage tools like Google Alerts, Hootsuite, and Social Mention to make the process quick and easy.

Time commitment: a few minutes daily.

2. Demonstrate Your Expertise

Creating a good reputation isn’t just about reacting to negative press. In fact, a more powerful way to make a great impression is to your own good press and put your real estate and local expertise on display. You don’t have to commit a lot of time to blogging every day or have a presence on every social network. Pick one or two of your favorite places and focus on consistency and quality.

Whether you create a Facebook page or group, share content on Twitter, or answer questions on Trulia Voices, make sure you’re producing high-quality content that shows you to be the helpful professional everyone is seeking. No one likes a hard sell and no one is going to respond to a canned sales pitch, but people will respond to thoughtful, relevant information that is truly helpful to them. Approach the task as if you’re doing a favor for a potential client upfront and they’ll be much more likely to return the favor and offer you their business.

If you’re not answering questions on Trulia Voices, now is a great time to get started. March is Top Questions Month and we will be posting a new top question in 100 new locations every day. If you take a few minutes every day to answer the top question, by the end of the month you’ll have a strong foundation that puts your value and good character on display for serious buyers and sellers to see now and in the future. Follow Trulia Pro on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll keep you posted with each day’s new question.

Time commitment: 10 minutes daily.

3. Ask for Help

A little help from your friends will go a long way to help you look great and stand out to potential clients. Did you know that someone is four times more likely to use an agent recommended by a friend or family member? Don’t overlook word-of-mouth online. Make sure to get great recommendations from your clients, colleagues, friends, and family and post them prominently where buyers and sellers are looking.

You can request recommendations through Trulia in mere seconds, and all recommendations you receive will be shown on your Trulia profile and in our Find a Pro directory powered by Social Search. What’s more, if your clients connect their Trulia accounts to Facebook, their recommendations will also show up on their wall so everyone in their network will know that you’re their favorite agent.

Time commitment: less than five minutes daily.

As you can see, if you set aside just a few minutes each day to spend on these activities, over time that small effort will grow large in scale and you’ll see your reputation build significantly. It’s not unlike building a house – just lay one brick at a time and soon you’ll have a strong foundation, well on your way to creating a home!

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