With thousands of newcomers relocating to the DFW area each year, the traditional standby of selecting a REALTOR® through recommendations by relatives, friends, and co-workers is null and void. In most cases, these individuals relay on a stranger—you—to help them plant roots in their new surroundings. This is why having an impressive online profile is critical. Establishing an initial impression that exudes professionalism and competence goes a long way in starting to build trust with that potential client. Here are six steps to creating a well-crafted, succinct profile that will help you put your best foot forward and market yourself.
1. LEAVE YOUR PHOTOS TO THE PROFESSIONALS. Yes, your Maltese puppies are cute, the images from your last vacation look inviting, and that Parent of the Year Award your child gave you is adorable. However, the first and most prominent image your potential client should see is you, so make it count. Your profile photo should reflect the person with whom your clients are hoping to do business with—you. A professional headshot is worth the investment. The photographer will know the best angle to make you look your best, the aperture setting to ensure you are the focus of the image and not your surroundings, and the ideal light to even out your skintone. While a session usually costs $100-$250, some photographers offer styling and make-up for an additional fee.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Avoid a full-length image. Instead, opt for a traditional bust shot (from the chest area and up) or a three-quarter length shot.
- Don’t allow accessories to overpower your image. Keep it simple, and par it down. Remember, you are the focus.
- When your clients meet you for the first time, they shouldn’t question whether or not they are meeting the same REALTOR® whom they originally contacted. As important as it is to have a professional headshot, it is just as important to update it every couple of years.
2. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE. The thought of writing your profile might leave you feeling a little anxious. You’re not a writer; you’re a REALTOR®. Take a deep breath. It’s not as difficult as it appears. Like everything else, it takes preparation and practice. On a sheet of paper, begin to list all of your designations and certifications, accomplishments, awards, and organization affiliations. Do you specialize in historic houses or commercial real estate? New to the real estate industry or is real estate a second or third career move? Then find ways to highlight your previous background. Were you in sales or customer service? Were you responsible for negotiating financial matters? How many hours of educational classes have you taken? Use the knowledge and experience gained to your advantage by highlighting them.
3. SHARE, BUT BE WARY OF OVERSHARING. Take your hint from the saying: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and apply it to your profile. What happens in your personal life should remain in your personal life…kind of. The main goal of your profile is to make connections. Whether you are a new REALTOR® starting out or an experienced one, one way to connect with potential customers is to find things you might have in common with them. Give them a glimpse of who you are because those details might be how they relate to you. Are you a volunteer for community organizations? Are you involved in a sports league? Are you an avid golfer, gardener, or beekeeper? Have you lived in other states? What traits do you have that can be an asset to them if they pick you to represent them in the buying or selling process? By nature, people are drawn to those whom they feel they share similarities with. Use this to your advantage and make a personal connection with them.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Did you graduate from the local high school? Have you lived in the community for most, if not all, of your life? Can you give them an inside scoop into the area because you are a resident yourself? Use this opportunity to emphasize your connection to the area and establish that you are an expert.
- Know where to divide your personal life from your professional life; it is ideal to have social media accounts set up solely for your career so you do not unknowingly bleed the line between the two worlds. Use caution with what you choose to divulge about yourself. Your information is easily accessible since it is on the internet.
4. KEEP IT SHORT AND CONCISE. As you view your list and start to write your profile, continually edit it. Your potential client isn’t looking to read pages from your autobiography. Value their time by creating a concise profile that doesn’t surpass 400 words. Ideally, profiles should be between 200-300 words. Make every word, phrase, and sentence count.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Stay clear of industry-related jargon. You are not writing your profile for other REALTORS®; you are writing it to win over new clients. You want to avoid talking over their heads.
- Check your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Any glaring error will detract from the professionalism you hope to exude.
- Enlist the help of co-workers and friends to read your profile and offer your input.
- One of the common questions asked, is whether you should write in a first-person or a third-person point-of-view. While there is technically no right or wrong answer, most REALTORS® write their profiles in the third-person to maintain an air of professionalism and formality.
5. PROVIDE POINTS OF CONTACT. It should go without saying, but other than your image and an insight into who you are, potential clients should know how to contact you. List your telephone numbers, business address, and email. Also, note which method is your preferred method of contact and note what times it is best to reach you. The person shouldn’t feel as if they are participating on a scavenger hunt to reach you. Make it easy for them. If your number or email changes, update it immediately.
6. STAND OUT WITH MINOR TOUCHES. Think of ways you can enhance your profile that makes it even more attention-grabbing. In addition to your profile, consider including a “Get to Know Me” or “Why Choose Me” short video clip. You can also include honest reviews from prior buyers and sellers you worked with and allow their testimonials to help solidify your credibility.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Update your profile to keep it current and relevant.
- Add active, professional social media accounts as they are marketing tools you can use to promote and also showcase your accomplishments. If you are not consistently updating your social media accounts, forgo adding it.
If, at the end of the day, you are still struggling with your profile, seek a copywriter or skilled writer to compose one for you. The ultimate goal to creating an effective profile is to get you results by adding value to your business. There is an abundance of real estate professionals who potential clients can procure on their behalf. With your profile, you can tell them exactly why they should choose you.