Online bio tips

Most agents have their own website and if you don't have one, you should. The National Association of Realtors reports 88 percent of buyers start their home search online. Potential clients are on the web looking for homes—and for real estate agents to help them through the buying and selling process.

Additionally, 82.5 percent of internet users watch videos (according to internet reporting company comScore). Taking all of this into account, don't you think you could spice up your site with a video bio? It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, so you need to do everything you can to separate yourself from other agents. An online video bio is one way to be unique and engage your audience in a medium that other agents might be ignoring.

This short guide will walk you through the why and how of creating an online video bio that will engage your online visitors in a unique and effective way.

Let your personality show

Be yourself. A video bio should be a good representation of who you are. This isn't a commercial for your audience. You're not acting for this video. Relax and be yourself. You don't have to change your mannerisms or your voice. Be the person your friends and family know. Your passion and sincerity will show through.

Keep it short

Some studies show that online video viewers make the decision to continue watching a video within the first 10 seconds. Start with a hook when you shoot your video. Let the viewer know why he or she should keep watching.

Scripting your video before you shoot is a great way to make sure you get your message across in a short, organized manner. Time your script to make sure you are clear, energetic, and straight to the point.

What to say?

Each agent has his or her own unique qualities. The content of your video is really up to you. However, one crucial rule for scripting your video bio is establishing rapport. Buyers and sellers hire agents they know, like, and trust. Typically, the best way to establish rapport is by talking about yourself personally. Don't be afraid to open up and discuss your family, hobbies etc.

But remember, make it short. Convey to the viewer why they should use you and not the 10 other agents they know in the area. Give a quick pitch on your Unique Selling Proposition , marketing strategy  or anything else that makes you a real estate rock star.

You can scroll to the bottom of this page and see some good examples of video bio.

Plain speak

You're speaking to the general buying or selling public, so try to avoid using real estate jargon. Most people don't know what MLS, GRI, ABR, CMA, units sold, or REO mean, so those sort of terms should be avoided. Use layman's terms throughout your video.

Look and demeanor

Again, be yourself. But also make sure you look like you would look when meeting a client for the first time. I never wear a tie, so I wouldn't wear a tie in my video bio, either. That being said, look trustworthy and professional, and exude confidence. Having a confident and competent delivery is important. A video bio could actually hurt you if not done right. This is your chance to create a first impression.

OK, but how do I actually create a video bio?

There are several ways to go about shooting, editing, and publishing your video. Thanks to YouTube, the standard of online video isn't set incredibly high. Viewers are used to seeing video online that is shot by a 10-year-old with an iPhone. The production quality of your video bio can run the gamut from home made to a professional production.

If you're doing it yourself, find a nice quiet location to shoot. You can shoot your video with an inexpensive device, such as a Flip Video camera or a Smartphone. And if you shoot your video in one continuous take (take a few swings at it and choose the best one) you'll minimize the editing process.

For editing, both Windows-based and Mac computers typically come with free, basic editing software. Here are some great tutorials for Apple's iMovie, and here are some tutorials for Windows Movie Maker. YouTube even has its own video editor.

Your video can be uploaded to YouTube (tutorial), Vimeo tutorial, or any other video hosting site and linked to your personal real estate website. You can also embed your video onto your webpage, so visitors can watch it without leaving your site.

Spread the word

Once you have your video on YouTube, people will be able to find you on one of the most popular sites in the world. YouTube and Vimeo help with search engine optimization, and you can actually see how many people have watched your bio. Post a link to it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media websites. Put a link on your email signature. Use your imagination and utilize your video to get ahead of the pack.

Example videos

Looking for additional tips on how to write the perfect bio? [Here's a great article][10], courtesy of [FitSmallBusiness][11], that highlights how to write a short but sweet bio, and gives examples from the pros!

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