Marketing yourself and your business starts with your bio. Part 2 of this 5-part series shares what to write and how to ensure you look your best.
In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, Realtor.com and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.
Developing a content plan for your real estate business means optimizing a host of online and real-world platforms. In our Content Marketing Gameplan, we bring you the rules to use to generate five different types of foundational content: your website, bio, blog, PR and self-published book.
One of the foundational pieces of content that every real estate professional needs is a well-written, up-to-date bio. You can use it in a variety of ways on a variety of marketing platforms to build credibility for your business.
As someone who writes a lot of real estate bios, I know that this is the one piece of writing people worry about (and complain about) most. It’s also the one piece of writing that, done well, can make a huge difference in the way you see yourself — and the way others see you as well. Here’s how to create a bio you’ll love.
Where are you in your career?
The scope and scale of your bio depends, in part, on where you are in your career.
If you’re a new agent, you’re probably concerned about what you’ll write since you don’t have much experience. In this case, you can lean on your brokerage’s reputation to add to your credibility and highlight your prior professional or academic accomplishments until you further develop your career.
At this point, you’ll have some transactions under your belt and may have some certifications and designations as well. If you’ve started to establish a niche for your real estate business, you’ll want to dedicate part of your bio to describing your qualifications and how you serve that market segment.
If you’re a top producer, you’ll need a bio that helps you stand out. Honors and awards will go here, along with advanced training. You’ll probably have some fairly impressive numbers to share, so include your performance stats.
Where will you use your bio?
You’ll always find places to use your bio, especially if you have several versions to choose from. Here are some of the possibilities.
On your website
One of the places you’ll definitely want to use your bio is on the About Me page of your website. If you’re an established or all-star agent who has been featured in the media, you may want to use a Q&A or interview either in place of your bio or prominently linked.
If you have a video bio or have been featured in a podcast or TV show, you might want to embed any of these on your website as well, either in place of or in addition to a written version.
On your social media platforms
Most of your social media platforms include a place for a short bio and many allow you the capability to pin a video version at the top of your feed. In addition, you can link out to the About Me page at your website for those who are linking for even more comprehensive information.
On your marketing collateral
A short bio is a great idea on flyers, postcards and other marketing materials. Include it at the bottom of your email blasts or direct mailers so that you remind people about your qualifications.
If you conduct training events, serve on committees at the local association or speak on occasion, you’ll want a version of your bio that’s useful for brief intros, meeting agendas or other materials.
What should you include in your bio?
When you’re gathering information for writing your bio, here are some of the elements to take into consideration:
- Your name
- Your team and/or brokerage name
- Licensure information
- Certifications and designations
- Awards and honors
- Markets served
- Outstanding statistics
- Niches and areas of specialization
- Education and relevant prior professional experience
- Quotes from reviews and testimonials
- Family and personal information like hobbies and interests (if you decide to include them)
Some people find it difficult to write about themselves and don’t realize how much they’ve accomplished. Consider sitting down with a trusted friend or colleague to talk about your career thus far and see what takeaways they find most interesting and compelling, then highlight those in your bio.
Often, we fail to consider how far we’ve come in a professional sense. If you’re an established or all-star agent, make sure that you take note of where you are now and that your bio reflects your present-day status.
EXTRA: Looking for real-world examples of great agent bios? Check out these:
What else should you keep in mind when writing a bio?
Writing a bio may feel intimidating, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure that the hard work is worthwhile:
- Once you’ve written your bio, turn it into multiple versions simply by creating both long and short versions in first and third person. First-person is more casual and works well for social media or an About Me page. Third-person is more formal and works well for marketing collateral or introductions.
- Get past the fear of sounding “arrogant” or overly salesy with your bio. Outlining your accomplishments is not the same as bragging — it’s simply giving people the information they’re looking for to ensure that you’re qualified to help them.
- Revisit your bio frequently, especially when there are changes in your business or when you’ve achieved something noteworthy. If you’re an established or all-star agent, keep it updated with awards and new certifications and designations as you earn them. Your bio should be a living document that accurately reflects your professional growth.
- Longer doesn’t always mean better when it comes to your bio. Some of the most accomplished agents in the industry don’t have overly long bios. They have short bios that provide a snapshot of their most impressive accomplishments.
- Avoid pat phrases and generic platitudes. Everyone listens. Everyone cares. Everyone helps. Make your bio more interesting and meaningful by focusing on your differentiators and on what you do, not just what you feel.
- Don’t think of your bio as a sales piece. Think of it as a tool to reinforce and nurture leads — a way to convince people who are already aware of you that you’re the right person for their real estate needs.
If your bio isn’t perfect yet, keep working at it. The more you rewrite and gather input, the closer each iteration will get to your ideal version.