Everytime that I make a little switch to what I am doing, I have to go back in and change my bio a bit. I need to make some edits this week because now I’ve started writing a column for Trulia, and I wanted to add that to the bio.
As far as writing agent profiles and biographies, there is no one who knows better than Marte Cliff. Formerly a real estate professional, Marte has been doing copywriting for real estate professionals for many, many years. She is my go-to gal when it comes to generating a brochure or text for a website when I don’t have the time, energy, or competence to do it myself.
So I reached out to Marte to see if she could share some of her experience with us when it comes to generating an agent bio or editing your current bio.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Can you give us three pieces of advice about writing an agent bio? Rather, can you give us three tips that we can take home and use to edit our bios today?
Marte: Stress the personality traits, attitudes, and work habits that make you stand out. For instance, one agent focuses on extensive research, one on exceptional listening skills, and another on patiently guiding and educating her clients. Still others might attribute their success to strong negotiating or problem solving skills.
Be gentle and restrained in talking about how good you are. Nobody wants to be around a braggart, so all those good things have to come across as just being part of your personality—not something you’re especially crowing about. It’s almost like you’re saying “I’m happiest when I’m doing this for my clients.” It’s a balancing act to strike the right tone.
Give your prospects something personal to connect with. We humans tend to think that people who are “like us” must be good people, so give them reasons to see that you are like them in some way. It could be a shared hobby, a shared love of animals, a shared passion for some charitable cause, or a shared educational or employment background. It could even be that you both grew up in the same city or state. You never know what will resonate with a client, so I believe in offering (or weaving in) a short but informative overview of who an agent is as a person.
Also (sorry, #4)… While the bio is about you, go easy on the “I.” Avoiding an “I” overdose is one reason why many agents prefer third person, but even then it’s important to turn some sentences around and try to focus on the service or the client benefits part of the time.
Me: Is it okay to use the same bio throughout the Internet?
Marte: I think so, although some websites restrict the amount of space an agent has, so they need a short version for those sites. I try to write bios in such a way that the agent can remove a few paragraphs without losing the message, but do sometimes write something entirely different and condensed. When an agent needs a short version for inclusion on a company site, I check that company site before writing. Some have specified word counts for what they want want their agents to share.
Me: Okay, so I’m curious. What is the biggest mistake that agents make in their bios?
Marte: That’s a tough question, because there are a few big mistakes. But the biggest… failing to have a bio at all. Others include: mistaking a resume for a bio (presenting a cold, factual face with no personality), the “I” overload, and assuming that prospects know the importance of all those alphabet designations. Because the information isn’t at all exciting, and it can be long, I suggest including a sentence that says something along the lines of belief in education to better serve clients, and then: “Thus Joe has earned 22 designations.” Then link to a completely different page to explain the importance of each. And, finally, forgetting to proofread!
Me: So, what do you think about telling people about your personal life (your kids, your hobbies, etc)?
Marte: Quite frankly, I think a bit of history about who you are when you are not working will give people another reason to like you and trust you. It’s a great addition to a bio. For me, I love dogs and have a new puppy. So, maybe that fact will help me connect with dog lovers!
Me: Thanks Marte. I need to go back and check my “I” overload. I just love all of your tips!
If you are seeking some help on your bio, feel free to reach out to Marte directly. She’s got a wealth of information and can be very helpful to you when generating real estate related copy.