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More than 10 percent of real estate brokerages' online data is believed to be inaccurate or outdated, prompting a reminder from audit company WAV Group that the slow winter months are the perfect opportunity for such firms to perform a digital clean up.

The WAV Group said in a blog post that brokerages are mostly guilty of failing to update their profiles on popular sites like Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia and Zillow, as well as social media. It recommends that brokerages begin a clean up by first identifying all of their profiles online, then systematically updating them all with the correct info, which includes addresses, email, phone numbers, the names of agents URLs, social media links and anything else.

“When we audit brokerage firms, we find that companies who have moved offices rarely put forth the effort to remove the old offices from association data bases, MLS data bases, brokerage websites, and syndication websites,” explained Marilyn Wilson, partner with WAV Group.

In addition, brokerages are guilty of failing to update agent's profiles with recent photos, bios and contact information. WAV Group warns that many brokerages have probably missed out on leads due to their failure to update key contact info.

Victor Lund, listing syndication specialist with WAV Group, says it's also a great time to audit your syndication websites to measure effectiveness. “If you are going to share your property listings with third party websites, you should do so with intention,” he said.

Lund recommends testing the site by inquiring on one of your own listings to see if a lead is produced in your system. Be sure to review each site's terms of use to ensure listing content and copyrights are being followed. Also verify that the site is adhering to the fair display guidelines, the WAV Group suggests.

Lastly, keep a file of each website where your information appears, Lund says. Include administrative passwords so your company's marketing personnel can make regular updates going forward. “Brokers are onboarding agents all of the time, and discharging others,” says Lund. “If you do not have someone tasked with making the changes, the firms online profile gets rusty in a hurry.”

Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.

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