On the eve of welcoming in a new year, there are a couple of Digital Life Clean Up items that you may want to consider.
Update your Social profiles
If you are like me, you probably have accounts on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc. It is a good idea to look at your profile on all of these social networks and update them to reflect the things that happened in your life this year. Start with updating your photo.
There are new features, called SECTIONS on Linkedin that have been added this year when you are updating your profile, you may want to take the time to add these. Some of the items that I added to my profile included a Blog Section, Publication Section, and Skills Section.
The Blog Section lets you pull in the RSS Feed of your blog which is a handy way of letting people who know you or who are doing a background check on you to see the types of information that you write about. I also noticed that it pulls the blogs of your connections into a separate tab.
The Skills feature is pretty cool. You can outline the things that you do, and place an experience level like Expert, along with the time that you have been doing those things.
The Publications feature is probably not going to be a very important feature for many, but allowed me to highlight some of my favorite papers that WAV Group has produced over the past few years.
I also noticed that there are some legacy features on my profile that I had not updated in awhile for example, I use SlideShare to post WAV Group presentations to my Linkedin profile. I did not spend much time putting up presentations, but added one so that the content looks somewhat fresh.
Look carefully at your professional bio for information that is out of date. I found that the RE Technology part of my profile only said that it reaches 250,000 agents a day. As of December, RE Technology reaches 530,000 agents through MLS partners big difference.
Lastly, take a look at your recommendations. I deleted a bunch and requested a few more. I tend to place more weight on the recommendations that highlight the types of services that we provide rather than the clients we have worked with. Consulting is as much a service business as Real Estate and we pride ourselves on being professional in the areas of responsibility and timeliness.
Like Linkedin, take a look at your profile and see if it says what it should say about you. A feature that was expanded upon this year was “Featured People” it allows you to add your spouse, family members, and you can feature your friends. Sports is relatively new too. I noticed that I had sports listed under Activities and Interests. I removed a bunch of stuff thinking that nobody really cares what movies or music I like. Take a very close look at your contact information make sure it is correct.
Look at your friends list carefully. When Facebook was new and did not have so many plugins, I was not very concerned with privacy. But now that it has evolved, privacy is becoming and increasing concern. Sharing information about your life is effective at building stronger relationships with friends, family, and business associates but it can go too far. Unfriend anyone that you dont really know.
My twitter account is out of hand. So much so that it is almost impossible for me to use it as a tool to stay connected to the people I enjoy staying connected to. Like Facebook, my policy needs to evolve. I like to go through my Twitter profile and unfollow anyone who posts rubbish it just clutters your life.
For Business Owners
As someone who looks at broker websites constantly it always pains me to see so many blank agent profiles. We coach our broker clients to check these quarterly. Be sure to look at the MLS profile of your agents too. If you are syndicating listings, it is also a good idea to update agent profiles on Trulia and Zillow too.
While you are at it, as a broker you are also responsible for everything on agent websites. Check all of the agent websites to insure that they are in compliance with IDX rules and regulations check for HUD violations, etc. An annual audit is your minimum responsibility. You should articulate your policies in your company handbook.
For Technology Companies
All of your employees reflect your company and its culture. If employees indicate that they work for you on their social profiles provide them with some suggestions for protocol. Your employee handbook should have your policies clearly articulated.
Read your website every page. Pay special attention to your product descriptions to insure that they reflect all of the new product features that you have launched during the year. Check RE Technology too.
Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.