6 Tips for Creating an Effective Online Profile
In today’s world, the first impression you make as a real estate professional on potential clients is likely to be your online profile. As the old adage goes: “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. So you need to make it count.
While there are many marketing ideas for real estate agents out there, you need to understand that your real estate agent profile is a great way to market yourself in a business where likability and trust really matter. According to one survey, 62 percent of agents spend at least an hour a day on marketing their listings as well as themselves. However, with your agent profile, you have the opportunity to truly connect with people on both a professional and personal level, which brings that likability and trust into play.
Furthermore, as more people turn to the internet for all their real estate needs, your online profile becomes essential. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 89 percent of recent homebuyers used a real estate agent and 75 percent of buyers approached only one agent before deciding who to use for their real estate needs. To ensure you are that one agent, you need the most outstanding profile you can create.
Below you will find six of the most important elements to create an exceptional real estate agent profile. While the emphasis will be what goes into your biography – also known as your bio, remember that you need more than that to craft the perfect profile.
1. Grab your audience immediately.
You can do this in three primary ways with your profile:
- First, start with a professional and up to date photo of yourself. People want to see you as well as read about you. A good, appealing photo also helps visitors remember you.
- Second, have a great headline. A unique headline that speaks to your specialties is effective because it appeals to the individual and implies a close, client-focused relationship.
- Third, write an intriguing first line of your bio. This way your audience is compelled to keep reading and will feel like they are already beginning a personal relationship with you.
2. Tell your story.
Your real estate bio, the meat of your profile, is where you tell the story of you, not only as a professional, but as a real, relatable person. People want to find someone they can connect with, perhaps someone with similar interests, or with qualities they admire. That’s why it’s important to let your personality shine through in your bio. A little tidbit about your involvement in local activities can say a lot about you, as can talking about your family. The first ties you to the community and gives insight into how you spend your free time and the latter can show how devoted to family you are. Both can help others relate to you.
Some agents tell part of their story through pictures of them doing their favorite things, or with their families. Others are starting to use videos, either as their bio, or to enhance their bio. A video can increase understanding of a service by 74 percent versus still images and can also increase the probability that viewers will purchase the service by 64 percent.
The professional part of your story should include your expertise, including any specialties, your experience, skills, education and awards. Be sure to narrow it down to just your finest achievements. It is also essential that you not overwhelm your reader with too many dry facts. You want to keep them reading, after all.
You want to write a clear, but succinct bio in language that is easily understood. Avoid using industry jargon. Your story should be written in the third person and generally not exceed 3 paragraphs. You can even break up the text with section headings to make it more reader-friendly. Just make sure your headings continue your story and don’t take away from it.
3. Highlight your connections to the community.
The more you link yourself with the area in which you do business, the more trust you will engender in those potential clients who want to buy or sell in that area. In fact, the NAR study referenced above found that, when choosing an agent, 52 percent of buyers found it most important to have an agent who could help them find the right home.
Demonstrating that you have local knowledge is paramount in real estate. However, if you haven’t been in the area long, talk about what brought you there and why you love it. If possible, use pictures and/or video to tell your story and create a connection with potential clients.
4. Use testimonials.
There’s a lot of research out there to support the use of this type of social proof in your profile. In fact, 76 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from their family or friends. And, 93 percent of consumers spend over a minute (43 percent spend over 10 minutes) reading online reviews before they will make a decision. So, clearly, testimonials and other reviews are very powerful tools to use in your real estate profile.
5. Give contact information.
Make sure your contact information is obvious and clear in your profile. You may even want to put it at the top of your profile right under your name and title. Another thing you may want to try is to make your contact information downloadable for Skype and email contact lists. Just make sure your contact information is easily accessible. Within or near your contact information, you may want to add a call to action as well. A simple question or clickable button designed to motivate the viewer to contact you is enough. But get creative. Remember, you want to connect with your audience. Let them know you have their interests at heart.
6. Edit and update.
This is critical. You are a professional and every word you write should reflect that. While you don’t want to sound stuffy, you can’t afford grammatical or spelling errors either. The last thing you want potential clients to think of you is that you are sloppy. After all, they are looking for someone they can trust with a complicated and sometimes scary transaction. They need to be able to trust your attention to detail. Also, it is imperative that you keep your profile and photos current. Give it a good once over at least every six months. Remember, this is your story and it should accurately reflect who you are today. The bottom line is that your online real estate agent profile matters – so dedicate time to it. Tell your story with confidence and verve. You’ll be glad you did.