Your agent bio says everything your clients need to know about you – that makes it critically important to your real estate website.
If you took our advice a couple of weeks ago you are now the proud owner of a home page that sings! If not, read this and get to work.
Today we tackle the second most important page on your real estate website: the “About Me,” “About the Team” or “Company Profile” page. Today we’re talking about your agent bio.
Writing an agent bio isn’t easy
If you write your own blog posts you know how challenging it is to come up with decent topics. Then, when you put fingers to keyboard it’s even harder to put the details to the topic. Is it any wonder then that there are far too many lame agent bios online?
We feel your pain, so we’re offering up some tips to write the perfect agent bio. We’ll even show you a few examples of how agents who did it right are getting website visitors to fall in love with them.
The importance of your agent bio
Today’s consumers research much more than they did in the past. Whether it’s a pair of sneakers or a real estate agent, they take the time to visit review sites, such as Yelp.com, and, in the case of service providers, they check out their websites, most specifically, their About Me page.
Jeremy Johnson at rocketspark.com says to “think of your ‘About Us’ page as speed-dating” with a potential client. We prefer to think of it as the staging behind your home page’s curb appeal.
When leads see what’s behind the curb appeal will they hit the back button or be intrigued to seek out more information?
It depends on how well you know your audience, your familiarity with what they’re looking for and your ability to convey that in writing.
Understand the purpose of your agent bio
There’s one in every circle. You know, the guy or gal who blabs incessantly about themselves. There’s a term for those people: self-absorbed. The real estate industry is littered with them, patting themselves on their own back at every opportunity.
While their reasons for doing so may be rooted in a misunderstanding of marketing principles, the effect is still the same as it would be if they were doing it deliberately – they’re boring.
The purpose of your agent bio is to help potential clients get to know you both on a professional and personal level. Self-absorption doesn’t help them connect with you as anything more than just a “salesperson,” and it certainly doesn’t establish yourself as someone they can trust.
Then, understand your audience
There are several reasons a website visitor might click on the “About Me” button in your site’s navigation bar:
- They want to learn more about you, both personally and professionally before hiring you.
- They want to learn what you can do for them that other agents can’t.
- They’re a creepy stalker.
Just kidding on the last one. To get their business, you’ll need to help readers get to know you better, hopefully to at least fall in “like” with you and you’ll need to give them reasons to trust you.
John Doe and his team are the Top 250 Teams in the U.S.A. for volume sold in 2015 per The Wall Street Journal and Real Trends. They have established a concrete 5 year plan that will magnify the business tremendously as well as a tangible strategy to reach a billion in sales per year within the next 10 years.
John is part of some of the most influential mastermind groups in the industry consisting of multiple hundred million dollar plus teams such as the RE/MAX #1 Agent in all of Minnesota, the #2 Keller Williams Agent in the world, the #3 RE/MAX Agent nationwide, the #1 Agent in all of Western Canada and other like folks on a daily basis..
For some reason, this agent feels that his 5-year business plan and his income goals are somehow pertinent to his readers. Then, he apparently forgot to proof the piece for grammar and punctuation errors.
I know this agent personally and respect his work. I also like him. But had I not known him, this business-plan-masquerading-as-a-bio would’ve done nothing to impress me or endear him to me.
Finally, the grammar and punctuation errors are careless. How can I trust him to use more care when handling the sale of my home?
Think about who your likely client is and write to that persona. This may mean you use a more casual tone, or, in the case of luxury agents, a more formal presentation.
Trust is tricky business. When all you have is words on a page to initiate a relationship, every word matters. Every well-placed comma counts and carelessness – whether it is what you choose to say or the lack of attention to detail — will be noticed.
By understanding your bio’s purpose and the audience for it, you can avoid filling it with garbage only your mother will find impressive.
TIP: Ask yourself throughout the writing process, “Who cares?” Keep editing your agent bio until the answer is “my potential client cares.”
Keep your agent bio subtle
It seems almost counterintuitive to have a page devoted solely to you and not be able to toot your own horn, doesn’t it?
Ah, but you can and you will; you just won’t club the reader over the head with your greatness.
The key to subtlety means getting someone else to extol your virtues and that someone else is a narrator. Writing your bio in the third person helps you avoid sounding narcissistic. After all, the praise is coming not from you, but from the narrator. There are plenty of other pages on your site to load up with content that self-promotes.
When writing your agent bio, start strong
Jane Doe, ABR, CRS, CDPE, e-PRO, MRP, MA, REALTOR® is a second-generation REALTOR®
Thus, begins the not-very-interesting agent bio from an agent we will call Jane Doe. Is there anything in this intro that compels you to read on?
The alphabet soup after her name is guaranteed to cause confusion. Studies show that not only do real estate consumers not know what these letters mean, they don’t care.
Neither will they care that one of her parents is an agent. Would you care if your plumber’s dad was also a plumber?
The first sentence of your bio is critical to keeping the reader from pressing the “back” button. If you lose them here, you’ve lost them forever.
We’ll point out some strong opening sentences in the examples that follow.
Shane Jorgenson – The Jorgenson Group, Jacksonville, FL
Story-telling, if done right, draws in the reader. Eager to find out what happens next, they continue reading.
The writer obviously felt that Jorgenson’s plane crash story is compelling enough to lead the bio. And, he/she was right if you, too, click over to read the rest of his story.
Kris Lindahl – Kris Lindahl Real Estate, Twin Cities, MN
Minnesota mega-broker Kris Lindahl’s agent bio immediately establishes him as a down-to-earth guy who is happy to share his secret fishing spots with us. Whether an angler or not, this is a guy many would like to get to know more.
The narrator then deftly segues into a focus on his work ethic. And, if you read on, you’ll notice his credentials are cleverly woven throughout the narrative.
By the way, did you notice how the first sentence of Lindhal’s agent bio also sneaks in that he is “the leading Realtor in the area?” Done subtly, it cleverly gets the message across without making him appear boastful.
But, the real genius behind his bio are the family photos. If those don’t help a reader to trust him, nothing will.
To keep your readers from hitting the “back” button before they get to know you, start your agent bio strong. Remember your goal and use that information cleverly to reach out and grab the reader by the eyes and give them something that forces them to want to read on.
Whether that’s a tidbit from your personal life or an amazing sales statistic, THAT is what the first paragraph of your agent bio should do
Items that must be worked into your agent bio
Some information absolutely must be made part of your agent bio. For instance, homebuyers are particularly interested in using an agent that is familiar with the area they’ve chosen.
1. Your agent bio should showcase local expertise
If you were born and raised in the area you serve, use that for all it’s worth. This is how Augie Neno, broker/owner of Rosa Agency, Inc. in Kearny, NJ worked his native New Jerseyan status into his agent bio:
Augie is a local boy through and through. He was born and raised in Kearny, New Jersey and attended St. Stephens Grammar School in Kearny and Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington.
Reading this, the potential client gets a clear picture that this guy is a bona fide Kearny, New Jersey expert.
2. Impressive sales statistics should be a part of every agent bio
If your sales statistics are truly impressive, never leave them out of your agent bio. Although this was taken from an interview of Silicon Valley’s Ken DeLeon and not a bio, it would work well in the latter.
Here, the reader learns that this is one powerhouse of an agent, with impressive credentials, but he’s also a person – a living, breathing “crazy dancer.”
One in a million – that’s what Ken DeLeon is, according to the Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends, Inc. Well, that’s not all he is – he’s a crazy dancer as well, but we’ll touch on that a bit later. DeLeon, with $275 million dollars in sales volume in 2011, is the country’s number one real estate agent, out of more than one million agents.
Even if you aren’t a top producer, if your stats are respectable, mention them in your agent bio. Panelists in a NAR survey of consumers who were asked to read agent bios said these numbers are important to them.
“They wanted to see more profiles that included information such as how many properties you’ve sold, how close your sales are to list price, the typical price range of your listings, and how long you’ve been working in real estate,” claims Graham Wood at magazine.realtor.
3. Exceptional community involvement makes for a great agent bio
Millennials are particularly notorious for checking a company’s “social responsibility” before doing business with them. But they aren’t the only ones.
Ninety percent of consumers say they are “likely to switch to brands that support a good cause.”
In an industry where professionals have an undeserved reputation as “sharks,” and given no higher regard than used car salespeople, social responsibility goes a long way to polishing your image. It also helps consumers trust you.
If you are among the growing number of agents who give back, consistently, to your community, it’s definitely worth a mention in your bio.
Real estate can be a cutthroat industry and standing out from the masses is beyond challenging.
Your agent bio on your real estate website is the one place that you can show potential clients that you aren’t pushy, you aren’t phony, you aren’t just in it for the commission – a place to dispel all the common assumptions real estate consumers hold about agents.
Be the agent the consumer wants to get to know.