If you needed to hide from someone, could you do it in today’s world?

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

A few weeks ago I needed to find a real estate agent but I didn't know what company she was with and she wasn't listed in the MLS. Even though she had a somewhat common name, I decided to type her name into the Google search engine and see what came up. Well, there was lots of stuff that came up, and every link was preceded by http://www.activerain.com/...

In thinking about what I had done there, it occurred to me how times have changed. When I was young, my mom told me to “Go get the Yellow Pages.” Many years later, we switched to “Call information.” Then they started charging 25¢ per call to call information, and some phone companies even had the gall to charge up to $1.50 per call to information, depending on the time of day. Fortunately, the Internet came along at about the same time, and the most common phrase today seems to be “Google it.” Too bad Google didn't trademark “Google it.” Maybe they did.

Anyway, I remembered that I had joined ActiveRain a year earlier so I decided that perhaps I needed to check it out again. Times change, and perhaps so should I. Today I Googled my name to see just where I stood. Wow!

If you haven’t done a search on your name recently, try it. Go ahead. “Google it” and see what comes up. Are you well hidden from your customers, still playing hide and seek? It might be time for a change.

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Show All Comments
Rainer
21,127
Ed Lopez
Vantage Realty Group - New Bedford, MA

Great blog. I think I'm going to Google myself now

September 05, 2008 02:27 PM #1
Rainer
88,882
Jimmy McCall
TheHappyCottage.com - Cunningham, TN
The Ex-Mortgage Consultant

Jim,  I bet you are glad you came back.  I love Active Rain.  It is great to be a part of the AR community.

September 05, 2008 02:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,332,051
Vickie Nagy
Vickie Nagy, Broker Associate Realty ONE Group BMC Associates | BRE#01363932 - San Ramon, CA
Broker for San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton

There's another "me", almost. 1 letter different...and boy, does she blog on some very diverse topics in risque language. I've known about her for awhile. Google Alert does too. I generally see what she posted on MY alert!

September 05, 2008 02:28 PM #3
Rainmaker
183,754
Sheila Moran
RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels) - New Braunfels, TX
SanAntonioSheila.com, RE/MAX Access, 210-32

Jim,

Good idea!  For those of us that may not be paying too much attention!

September 05, 2008 02:29 PM #4
Ambassador
498,595
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - Our family designs and builds custom homes for your family - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Jim - this is one of the best sites to get your name known!  I think the only other person with my name that comes up higher than I do is an agent in Florida, with a non-AR site.  Wonder how she did it!

September 05, 2008 02:30 PM #5
Rainmaker
620,771
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hey Jim,  Point well taken.  If they can't find you...you're not going to get any new business.  Thanks for the reminder to all  of us!  Great post!

September 05, 2008 02:33 PM #6
Rainer
179,085
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Jim - I constantly monitor google for my key searches.  I want to know not only where I rank, but also who is ahead of me and who is moving up behind me.  Knowing your competition is important.

September 05, 2008 02:34 PM #7
Rainmaker
191,910
Sacramento Grapevine
SacramentoGrapevine - Roseville, CA

Thanks,

I have been trying to get on the irst page of google search for 6 months with no luck after 1 month on Active Rain I made it., 

September 05, 2008 02:37 PM #8
Rainer
9,777
Kye Grace
Sutton Group - West Coast Realty - Vancouver, BC

It is pretty amazing isn't it. At a Realtor meetup this week we were discussing this exact topic in relation to our upcoming Do Not Call implementation (Sept 30).

A story was told about a gentleman who was less than faithful and was shocked when a 'girlfriend' showed up at his house and exposed the affair to his wife. He used a mailbox for all mail, had his phone numbers unlisted etc. Point being, information about you is available on the internet, why not be the one managing what turns up. Bloging, a qaulity (Google friendly) website, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc all are opportunities for you to make sure the first 15 to 20 Google results are your doing and of a positive nature.

September 05, 2008 02:37 PM #9
Rainmaker
271,845
Ron Tarvin
Luxury and New Construction in Katy & Cypress TX - Katy, TX
Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095

Another good idea is to GOOGLE your kids names to see what is going on out in CYBERSPACE....at times, it can be rather eye opening!

 

September 05, 2008 02:53 PM #10
Rainer
207,212
Shane OnullGorman
Eau Claire Realty, Inc. - Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell

When I first started I wasnt listed for my name until like the 2nd page.

Now I am 8 of 10 on the first page! It wont take long to be 10 of 10.

September 05, 2008 03:05 PM #11
Rainer
21,033
Melissa Moore Albert
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Morrisville, NC
Morrisville, NC Homes

Great post Jim - I have been monitoring my ranking in google for several months and I notice that after I post a blog, soon I'm near the top. I have a very common name so I need to be more deligent in my postings.

September 05, 2008 03:20 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,108,139
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Hey, Folks. Thanks for stopping by.

September 06, 2008 09:36 AM #13
Rainer
54,455
Michelle Roland
Phil's Locksmith - Sacramento, CA

It's quite amazing what you can find on Google. I have many different profiles posted on several different sites. I like typing in different search criteria just to see what my stats are. Its interesting to say the least.

The scary thing is, when you are in the public eye like we are you dont really have a way to hide. Changing phone numbers is not really an option for us. We would have to take legal action and sometimes that may not even be enough.

Guess we all need to just remember our ethics?? hummmmm??

September 24, 2008 09:45 AM #14
Ambassador
606,528
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Real Estate Pro

I feel like an idiot that I never thought to google my kids!  I think I better go do that right now. 

September 27, 2008 02:05 AM #15
Rainmaker
236,308
Bill Dean
Worth Clark Realty St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

Jim,

 I guess I'll always be hiding in plain sight, I have tooo common of a name!  A country/Western star uses my name, a retired general, an Author, a medal of honoree etc.  The only time I even make the first page is if I type in my city as well

December 06, 2008 10:15 PM #16
Rainer
20,979
Jim Lee & Janet Holt Edmond Oklahoma Luxury Home Realtors
EXIT STRATEGIES REALTY - Edmond, OK

Great Point Jim! I can tell you how many times I've said to my kids.  "Just Google It!"  Seems we can't hide for the the folks we'd like to hide from like the "IRS" and can't seem to be found by the folks we want to be found " Tons of ultra wealthy cash customers".  I guess we'll just have to keep plugin' along.  Thanks for post the links on your Santa Sighting post.   I might never have found if not!   Happiest of New Years to you and Russell

December 25, 2008 11:05 AM #17
Rainer
72,875
Marian Gregor-Ann
Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Arbor area Real Estate

Hi Jim, Thanks for the tip. I checked it out. It's pretty neat.

January 25, 2009 10:00 PM #18
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Rainmaker
1,108,139

Jim Frimmer

Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist
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