How do you set yourself apart from other real estate agents online? These days it’s no longer sufficient to rely on your agency’s website alone. To attract the clients you want, you need to up your online presence – being immediately visible and findable.
Think of your profile as your personal brand
Your personal brand is about self-promotion. It’s a balancing act between authenticity and how you want to be perceived. This is even more true now that home sellers research potential real estate agents online first.
As best-selling author Seth Godin says,
“In a connection economy, what other people think about you, their expectations of you, the promises they believe you make — this is your brand.”
He also goes on to say that “The social networks make it more and more difficult for people to have a significant gap between reputation and reality. The single best strategy appears to be as you are, or more accurately, to live the life you’ve taught people to expect from you.”
Google yourself. What do you see? Are you portrayed the way you want to be? Fortunately, you can influence what others see by creating strong online profiles in line with the right channels.
Don’t think one size fits all
At a minimum, you should create profiles on the following channels:
- Your real estate agency’s website
- Your Facebook business page
- The agent directories on property portals realestate.com.au and domain.com.au
- Referral sites such as ratemyagent.com.au and openagent.com.au
Adapt the tone of your voice to suit the audience in each location and keep in mind that each profile should give a different perspective. For instance, on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn you might want to write your professional bios in the first person, meaning from your point of view. Using ‘I’ or ‘me’ can be very powerful and make you forge a deeper connection with the reader. In other words, it makes you more approachable.
A good example of this is Virgin founder Richard Branson who brands himself as accessible and will often publish articles on LinkedIn in the first person.
However, on your agency’s website you might want to keep it more professional by using the third person instead. In this case, using ‘he’ or ‘she’, will give a different perspective and can make you sound more objective as if someone else had written about you.
Do make your written profile personal
Tell your prospective clients what it will be like to work with you. Add a personal touch by telling them what makes you truly unique. Perhaps you are a great communicator or have a gold mine of knowledge about the local real estate market. Whatever it is, make the reader want to know more about you.
Karen Tisdell, Professional Resume Writer believes stories are powerful:
“Personally, I am a fan of LinkedIn profiles that read like a story, and engage and excite the audience.”
She also notes that it’s important to be authentic, stating that taking ownership of your own authorship makes your words more believable and accountable.
Don’t use industry jargon
Avoid using terms such as honesty, integrity, trust or 5-star service. These are often overused in the real estate industry so loose their meaning when read by potential clients. It is best to stick to plain English that truly describes you and what you do. Remember the importance of being authentic.
Do promote your qualifications or licensed status
Highlight the fact that you are a licensed real estate agent. After all, you’ve earned the title. Showing this adds credibility to your profile and demonstrates your level of professionalism. Don’t be afraid to list any other relevant qualifications. This can make you stand out from the crowd.
You can also list your awards. This will distinguish you from other agents by showing your dedication to the industry and your ability to excel.
“You can influence what others see by creating strong online profiles across all the most visited channels”
Don’t list all your sales statistics
For potential clients, who aren’t in the real estate industry, sales stats such as the fact that you have sold 650 properties to date or $55 million this year aren’t meaningful. These numbers are often too big and bear no direct relation to the vendor’s property price. Instead, promote stats that are closer to your client’s goals. Maybe you want to tell them that you sold a property like theirs in a nearby street at a premium price. Show them the value of what you can achieve for them.
Do include client testimonials
It’s human nature to seek reassurance from others. Let other people do the talking for you by adding positive client testimonials to your profiles. These testimonials can help you seal the deal with a client who may be hesitant. They speak directly to your target audience because they are written by your clients in language free of industry jargon. When a client praises your work, it is a good idea to ask them straight away if you could use their feedback on your profiles.
“Make the reader want to know more about you. Remember the importance of being authentic”
Don’t include testimonials from managers or colleagues
Avoid using recommendations from work colleagues, particularly in your profile video or on LinkedIn. This can look like you couldn’t find a customer to give you a positive testimonial. The more happy customer reviews you get, the better.
Do help the search engines
Now that you have created your profiles it’s time to link them all to one place, usually your website or agency page. This can boost your ranking on Google, especially if the profiles are slightly different.
As search engines become more sophisticated, they are increasingly looking at the quality and value of the links instead of the quantity. What Google wants to see are links to your own agent website from reputable industry channels, and they want the written word about you to be in language that varies between each 3rd party website – so that it looks like others have reviewed you, rather than you writing about yourself. So, writing slightly different versions of your written profile will help achieve this.
Remember, the higher you rank in search results, the more visible you are to potential vendors.
Want help updating your online presence? Contact me for a free 1 hour phone chat, where I will review all your online profiles.