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Why your online profile matters more than ever

Real estate agents risk losing potential clients if they present outdated, unprofessional online profiles, warns a top US-based real estate marketer.

Christy Murdock, of Writing Real Estate, said an agent’s online presence is one of the first thing prospective vendors look at when they research agents, but agents often overlook it.

She said conveying professionalism started with creating the right type of profile online.

“There are many times when what I look up is less than flattering,” Ms Murdock told Inman.

“Maybe I look up a website and there’s not one single photo of the agent there. 

“Maybe I look at a social media profile and it’s outdated and seemingly abandoned.

“These do nothing to make them look like the active and engaged real estate pros I know they are.”

Ms Murdock said the first thing agents must do is only use high-quality images of themselves.

“Your headshot is often the first impression potential clients have of you,” she said.

“Using an old, outdated or low-resolution photo sends a message that you don’t care about your professional image.”

She said an agent’s biography also needed to be well written as it formed a crucial part of their personal branding.

“A poorly written bio, full of jargon, acronyms or irrelevant information, can turn off potential clients,” she said.

“Make sure your bio is clear, concise, and highlights your expertise and achievements.”

She said that it’s also vital to have a strong online presence.

“In today’s digital age, having no online presence is akin to not existing,” she said.

“Potential clients often search online before making contact. 

“If they can’t find you or your information is outdated, they might move on to someone else.”

Ms Murdock also urged agents to have an updated website and active profiles on major real estate platforms. 

“Engage with your audience through blogs, social media and online reviews to build credibility and trust,” she said.

According to Ms Murdock, relying on outdated methods or underdeveloped marketing materials could make agents appear ‘behind the times’.

“Invest in modern marketing techniques such as social media advertising, email marketing and virtual tours,” she said.

“Keep your materials fresh and engaging to attract and retain clients.”

She said agents’ branding should evolve with their business. 

“Using outdated logos, colour schemes or slogans can make your business appear stagnant,” she said.

“Periodically review and update your branding to ensure it reflects the current state of your business and appeals to your target market. 

“Consistent, contemporary branding helps maintain a professional image and keeps your business relevant.”

Ms Murdock said social media with vulgarity, drinking, low-resolution memes or other off-brand communication could destroy an agent’s brand.

“Social media is a powerful tool, but it can also be a double-edged sword,” she said.

“Posting content that is vulgar, shows excessive drinking or includes low-resolution memes can severely damage your professional image.

“Always ensure your social media content aligns with your brand and maintains a professional tone. 

“Share valuable insights, success stories and engaging content that resonates with your audience while avoiding anything that could be seen as unprofessional or off-brand.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.