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10 January 2011

3 Ways to Make a Great First Impression Online

When a new Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate partner launches, we host a number of welcome events for agents sharing more about the brand that stands behind them and some of the new tools they’ll have access to.

During the welcome events, I often highlight our agent profiles on BHGRealEstate.com and talk about making a great first impression. The first impression we used to make when meeting in person is now made when a prospect is researching the neighborhood and learning more about who we are.

To make your best first impression, consider these three aspects of your website and business profile:

Revamp Your Website (or build a new one) – A little ‘Googling’ in your local market will show you that many agents bought into having their own website in the late 90s and early 2000s, but haven’t updated them since then.

Start by moving your website over to a more modern website management system like WordPress and buy an inexpensive, professional design from a company like WooThemes.

Want to learn more about how to use WordPress to manage your website? Check out WP101.com, which offers free and low cost video tutorials on how to use WordPress.

Update Your Photo(s) – I’m not sure when it became acceptable practice for us to take photos with pets or cell phones in hand but many people I’ve spoken to outside of our industry are always puzzled when they see agents portrayed this way.

Pets and cell phones aside, consider updating your headshot once every 2-3 years. Using outdated headshots will quickly destroy any rapport you have built with a prospective client online after you meet with them in person.

Read Your Website and Profile Again – Does your website or profile read like a eulogy? Prospects want to engage with you on a personal level, but if your prospective clients walk away knowing more about your family and travels than they do about your valuable local knowledge, you should consider rewriting your profile.

Websites and profiles should present a balanced synopsis of who you are and how you can help the buyers and sellers you want to do business with. It should be engaging but keep in mind that your client’s needs come first. Consider talking about things like:

  • Your commitment to client privacy
  • Availability and response times
  • Recommended online resources for prospects to learn more about the buying and selling process

The goal with any first impression is to convey authenticity, ability and a preview of what prospective clients have to look forward to when working with you. Stick by these three points, and you’ll have a website and business profile that stands apart from 99.9% of agents.

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