If writing a compelling agent bio was easy, everyone would have one.
Australian and New Zealand real estate agencies are competing in an increasingly saturated and competitive market. Standing out as an agent or property manager has probably never been so difficult. So how do you get someone to choose you?
It sounds cliched, but a big part of the answer is simply by being yourself. Before you close the browser tab, here us out! We are going to show you how to do that in practical, useful, non-wishy-washy terms.
Being yourself is important because when prospective customers sort through the pack of qualified agents and property managers at their disposal, they're ultimately going to pick someone they think they'll like. Whether that person is you depends a lot on how you present yourself online.
This is why writing a killer agent bio can make all the difference. Let's begin.
Identify your audience and your goals.
The first thing you should do before writing your bio is this: write down who you are writing this for, and what action you want them to take after reading your bio. Identifying a small and specific audience will allow you to connect with them more directly, and talk to their specific needs and wants. Likewise, identifying a specific action you want them to take will focus your efforts.
For example, you might answer the first question with, ‘I’m writing this for people in their thirties, living in the Wooloowin area, who are thinking of selling their first apartment or home.’ Or if you’re pitching to a more luxe market, identify who you think you might be talking to.
To the second question, you’ll probably follow it up with something along the lines of, ‘I want them to contact me and consider me as the right person to sell / manage their property.’ Duh. Write it anyway.
Go much broader than these sorts of parameters, and you’ll risk trying to talk to too many people at once, and it’ll come off too scattered. So if you’ve decided your audience is ‘people who want to sell their home’ your goal is ‘to get more listings’, think again.
Too broad means your agent bio is going to be too generic. We call this The Facebook Problem.
If you’ve ever scrolled through Facebook and thought, ‘Well this looks pretty fake,’ you’re probably right. The difficulty with platforms like Facebook is that one person's post has to be written to cover all bases. Unless you are particular about your settings, your post could be seen by your close family, school friends, work colleagues, distant relatives, and your actual friends too.
But how you talk to your family is not how you’d talk to your work colleagues or high school friends. The phenomenon of trying to be one person to everyone in your life is called context-flattening. And it’s effectively the death of your authentic self. It's why so many otherwise genuine and interesting people come across as a bit generic or bland or fake online.
Attempt the same thing on your bio and you’ll come off as generic and unfocused. It’s the kiss of death if you’re trying to stand out.
Who are you, anyway?
It's time for some soul searching. Think about your career history, and who you are as a person, and the relationship between those two things.
What spurred you to join the real estate sector? Why do you love what you do? If these questions don’t yield the sort of answers that makes for a good bio, don't be put off. Find and then ask yourself the questions that will.
Maybe you have a passion to help people, or you’re interested in market dynamics, or you want to see people working towards their financial goals. Think about what makes you tick, and write it down.
An agent bio is not a resume.
As the saying goes, before putting on your agent’s hat, you should be putting on your customer’s shoes. Your bio, in other words, should show what you can do to help your audience achieve their goals.
A common pitfall we see in agent bios is treating it too much like a resume. While of course, you should definitely be highlighting that you are qualified and experienced, if all a prospective customer learns about you is a list of qualifications and stats, they’re going to forget you.
That’s because, counter-intuitively, your bio is not all about you. It should reflect on your customers’ successes, and what you’ve helped them do. Showcasing yourself as the key to others’ success is more likely to get more listings for your agency than showcasing yourself as a hotshot in their own right.
If you're struggling with this one, you could try framing it with this question: who you have helped during your career, and how? What part of your personality helped make that happen? Are you driven? Empathetic? Obsessive over detail?
How to draft your agent bio:
1. Do not draft in the same place you plan to publish
This is a tip from Console's professional writers: one of the easiest ways to pick up your own errors is to see your writing in a different format. Start by drafting your bio either on paper, in a Word document etc.—any place where you cannot hit a publish button. We promise that as soon as you think your copy is ready, you'll paste it into a new window, ready to publish, and you'll spot half a dozen typos and errors that you missed earlier.
It turns out that just seeing your work in a different typeface will help you find them.
2. Plan it out
A good formula for this is to write out as many dot points about yourself as you can before you get into the gnarly business of drafting. Don’t worry whether the dot points are relevant, or whether they present the right image of yourself. Just go bananas, writing out as many points about yourself as a professional, until you can’t think of any more qualifications, skills, experience, personality traits, expertise, opinions, goals, and so on. Empty the tank, and then behold your raw material. You're halfway there already.
3. Build it, sentence by sentence
Any kind of writing, from a book to a blog article (like this one) to your agent bio, comes together by putting one damn sentence after the other. Now that you’ve done all the hard work of identifying who you’re writing for, what your objective is, and the information that needs to go in it, it’s time to draft.
Identify your best points from the dot point exercise earlier and use them to guide your drafts.
If you get stuck, here's an example structure you can use to get the ball rolling:
- Opening sentence: begin the sentence with your name, and that tells your (specific) audience who you are and what you do. E.g. Leigh specialises in [your area of expertise here] in the [your suburb/s] area.
- A sentence about your qualifications, years in the industry, and any significant career highlights. Remember, keep these highlights brief!
- A follow-up sentence that explains a little about your personality and how you use that to help your clients achieve their goals.
- A sentence especially for your intended audience that shows them why you’re the right agent or property manager for them. What knowledge or personality or experience do you have that might help you sell or manage your audience’s property better than a competitor?
- A final sentence about your mission or goals (hopefully aligned to your prospective customer’s missions and goals).
If space allows, and you need it, you might want to list your qualifications, testimonials and other supporting information separate to your bio.
4. Let it rest.
Once you have your draft (if time allows), put it away for 24 hours. Send it to somebody you trust, if you can, to give you feedback on how well it reads. The important thing is not to look at it for a little bit, and not to keep editing and editing and editing. Trust us: this way lies madness. Madness and typos.
5. Edit, proof, publish.
If you were able to get a little bit of distance from your bio, you can come back with fresh eyes and edit and proof it. If you don't have that luxury, print your draft in a different font, go for a walk / get a coffee / look at another email / etc. before sitting down to read the print version. Edit and proof until it's shiny and polished.
Think it’s ready to see the world? Then it’s time to publish.
And that’s all there is to it. With a little extra planning and thought, you too can draft a killer property manager or agent bio that gets more listings.
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