Is Your Real Estate Agent Bio Just a Little Bit Confused?

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Is Your Real Estate Agent Bio Just a Little Bit Confused?

Quite often when reviewing agent bios I come across a few lines that tell me the writer got “just a little bit confused.”

The bio might start out in 3rd person – talking about the agent. Or it might begin inconfused monkey first person – with the agent talking directly to his or her web visitor.

But somewhere along the way, the writer forgets who they are, and they switch voices. It goes something like this: “Sally Sue has been living in Seattle her entire life, and I’ll be glad to share my knowledge of the city.” Or it might say “Joe Jones has successfully closed more than 200 short sale transactions. So if you need to short sell, call me today.”

Sometimes there will be just one switch. Other times, the voice switches from one paragraph to the next or one sentence to the next within a paragraph. Then later, it switches back again. 

The confusion can also come about when the writer forgets whether the sentence is about the agent or the prospective client.

For instance: "As an expert negotiator, you can be sure of getting the best possible price for your home." 

You mean the client is the expert? No - that's not what the writer meant, but it's what the words say. 

Switching voices and/or subjects does get a bit confusing for the reader.

Before you write - decide whether you're writing as you, about you, or about the prospect. Then stick with it! 

 

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  1. Patricia Kennedy 06/02/2016 06:36 AM
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Rainmaker
1,779,747
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Area Realtor

Great advice, Marte. I've caught myself doing that and changing "the voice" to be consistent when proof reading.

May 31, 2016 01:03 AM #10
Ambassador
2,357,695
Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Thank goodness I hired a professional to write my bio - Marte Cliff !

Jun 02, 2016 09:55 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,047,764
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Oh man.  Now you have me worried, Marte.  Definitely going to check if I committed this error.  Great heads-up!

Jun 02, 2016 10:38 AM #12
Rainmaker
140,786
Janice Hope Zaltman LEED AP
Keller Williams Partners - Hollywood, FL

Marte: Really good point.  Noticing more and more that people are expressing themselves in the  first person vs. third person. Still important to watch the grammar. Oh, that grammar!

Jun 02, 2016 10:48 AM #13
Rainmaker
99,218
Melissa E. Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Writing in the proper tense and person is very important, but it's easy to "get confused" if you aren't careful. When I was in college, I took a composition course (trust me, it wasn't my idea, it was a requirement for my major). I hated every single day of that class, and I hated every single assignment the instructor made us write. I loathed every time she returned a graded assignment, with red ink and discouraging comments strewn about my carefully written pages. But you know what happened? I kept striving to improve my writing, in hopes my instructor would leave fewer red marks. Now, many years later, I appreciate her tough standards, her constant pushing, her discouragements. When the semester finally ended, I felt like I learned nothing. Now, I realize I learned so much more.

Jun 02, 2016 11:54 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,461,446
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

You are so smart, Marti, and you help us look smarter, too. Thanks!

 

Jun 02, 2016 02:25 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,260,304
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Lottie Kendall I don't know about being smart - I just happen to be interested in words and in the psychology of marketing. 

Jun 02, 2016 03:03 PM #16
Rainmaker
446,157
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

So True! I tend to go back and forth on past tense present tense.... that is why you should always edit and proof what you write too! Or even better.... have someone like you do that!  Really good post!

Jun 02, 2016 05:39 PM #17
Rainmaker
613,829
Jennifer Mackay
Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Thanks so mmuch for pointing this out - we see this now not onliy on profiles but in blogs on TV for commercials - what has happened to education?

Jun 02, 2016 08:22 PM #18
Rainmaker
3,420,737
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the great tips and advice. I love your posts.

Jun 02, 2016 09:08 PM #19
Rainmaker
2,964,143
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Marte Cliff ,

As always you have highlighted a very important tip! It is easy to slip back and forth and why it is so important to edit and proof read before publishing!

Jun 02, 2016 09:31 PM #20
Rainmaker
362,348
Marie Story
Keller Williams - Pinecrest (Miami) - Pinecrest, FL
Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist

Marte, this is something I have often thought about.  Do you prefer bios to be written in 3rd person or not? 

Jun 02, 2016 11:02 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,359,335
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

So what you are saying is that unless you have multiple personalities, don't write in multiple voices?  My other personality says Gary agrees.

Jun 02, 2016 11:50 PM #22
Rainmaker
819,980
Corinne Guest, Managing Broker
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals

What a great post and yes you got me, I had to pop on over to mine and while I don't general mix tenses, yes I found one sentence where I had one mistake, or change. 

Jun 03, 2016 01:27 AM #23
Rainmaker
679,112
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

That's why I always have someone else proof read that kind of stuff for me. Just in case I messed up like that. 

Jun 03, 2016 01:45 AM #24
Rainer
133,533
Theresa Akin
CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP - Corpus Christi, TX

I see this often and wonder who wrote it. ANd I have looked and thought "Theresa what were you thinking? "

Jun 03, 2016 01:53 AM #25
Rainmaker
936,849
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

For one of my online profiles, someone suggested I write in the third person. Kat this, Kat that. So I did, but when I was proofing it, there were all sorts of inconsistencies. I deleted the entire thing and did it my way. Much better result.

Jun 03, 2016 04:03 AM #26
Ambassador
3,074,882
Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Marte

Uh oh, now you have me worried. I think speaking in first person mode is much more conversational and friendly, but perhaps I have not been consistent with that. Better check

Jeff

Jun 03, 2016 09:54 AM #27
Rainer
405,248
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Good stuff and a very good reminder to help us communicate more effectively.

Jun 03, 2016 10:24 AM #28
Ambassador
3,283,063
Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Marte Cliff - that happens so often - I wonder who this person is talking about.

They start with 3rd person because everyone said so - however the thought process is not congruent with the writing so slipping into first person is natural for these agents.

Jun 03, 2016 01:21 PM #29
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