Whether you’re a new agent needing a real estate bio for the first time or a seasoned agent whose bio is out-of-date, you need to take a little time to think about the information that goes into it.
- Some agents use only dry facts that include schooling, designations, and the territory where they work.
- Some forget to talk about themselves and instead talk about the importance of having a good agent to handle “the largest financial transaction of your life.”
- Some talk in generalities – saying that they’re top agents but without ever mentioning anything that makes them a top agent.
- Some focus ONLY on the personal side – talking about family, hobbies, volunteer work, etc.
- Some include specifics and a pleasing mix of information – and that’s what you should be striving for.
As a real estate copywriter, I have opinions about what belongs in a bio that might differ from those of other writers and/or trainers. You might not agree with me at all, but here’s what I think belongs in a real estate bio:
- An introduction that includes some aspect of your work that your past clients and/or peers would recognize as “you.” It might be your listening skills, your expertise in negotiations, your dedication to returning every phone call within 30 minutes, or even your knowledge with regard to a specific niche.
- A bit of history – what led you to real estate as a career. (And hopefully, it is something more than “I love people” and/or “I love helping people.”
- Your past careers – and skills you’ve transferred from them to real estate. For instance, you may have been a lender so have expertise in helping buyers prepare for a loan application. You may have been a contractor or a home inspector so have construction knowledge to share. Almost any past career could have given you expertise that will benefit your work as a real estate professional.
- Real estate experience – whether as an agent or as a person who has purchased and sold a number of homes.
- Your education, including real estate designations. The designations can either be an addendum at the end of the bio, or included as part of the narrative IF you explain what they are and why they’re of value to the client. The average consumer has no idea what GRI, ABR, CRS, etc. mean.
- The factors that make you stand out from your competitors. Usually there are 3 or 4 reasons why your past clients coming back and/or referring others to you.
- Something personal. This brief paragraph is the “Hook” that allows potential clients to see you as somehow “like them.”
We humans tend to put more trust and faith in others who are like us, so sometimes having something in common is the key to being chosen over another agent.
This could be a brief mention of your hobbies, your volunteer work, where you grew up, cities or countries where you’ve lived, where you attended school, or your love of dogs, cats, or horses (or even chickens!). Military service should always be included.
- Your past careers, by the way, are also “hooks,” because they’ll catch the attention of those are following or have followed that career.
- A wrap-up that links back to the opening paragraph: “When you want an agent in (city), call (you)” followed by a brief promise stating why that prospect will be glad they did.
When you’re working with a writer…
Your writer will have numerous questions. Answer every question as clearly and completely as possible. As I note on my questionnaire, not every answer will go into the finished bio, but every one helps the writer get to know you, your personality, and the value you bring to clients.
So don’t write a 2-word answer if you could write 2 or 3 sentences in answer to a question.
- Do watch for email and/or a phone call from your writer. Sometimes in spite of your best efforts, something won’t be clear. The writer may not be able to go forward until you clarify.
- Do respond promptly and let your writer know if you need changes. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Most real estate copywriters are just like me – we want our clients to be happy with the finished product and we don’t mind making revisions in order to refine and perfect the copy.
- Do ask your family to review the bio to see if it is a true picture of you. If not, do let your writer know.
- Don’t ask friends or peers to review your bio – especially if those friends or peers have taken a course in journalism or majored in English. Too often they want to change the necessary conversational tone to something stiff and formal.
When you’re writing your own bio…
The most common mistakes I see are:
- Being too stiff and formal
- Switching back and forth between first person and third person.
- Beginning sentences with the word “I” far too often. Yes, it’s about you, but do try to relate back to benefits to the prospect and/or switch things around so the “I” ends up in the middle of the sentence or paragraph when possible.
- Too much modesty: Failing to recognize and write about the things you do that make you stand out.