Having a client contact you to do business because she already feels like she knows, likes and trusts you after seeing you online is the dream, right? One of the best ways to establish that rapport is to create video.

  • To warm up potential clients with your video bio, look your best, focus on your UVP and stay away from sounding scripted.

Having a client contact you to do business because she already feels like she knows, likes and trusts you after seeing you online is the dream, right? One of the best ways to establish that rapport is to create video.

Even though most buyers and sellers still find their real estate agents through referral, a growing percentage are looking for real estate agents online. So when you’re building your online presence, don’t just think about selling houses — think about building your personal brand and selling your services too.

Of course, an engaging bio is a key part of personal branding. A written bio can get your point across, but for online content, nothing is more engaging than video. Put your best face forward with these tips for creating a stellar video bio.

Highlight your UVP

According to the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, both buyers and sellers name responsiveness, trustworthiness and local market knowledge as their top three considerations in evaluating agents.

For a highly engaging bio, show buyers and sellers what they want to see. Highlight the unique ways you meet their primary needs. If you’ve lived and sold homes in your neighborhood longer than your competitors, for instance, that’s both a unique trait and an indication of superior local knowledge.

Of course, part of your unique value proposition (UVP) may have nothing to do with your trustworthiness, responsiveness or market knowledge.

Maybe you stand head and shoulders above other agents because of your tech-savviness, tenacity in negotiations or ability to guide buyers through a difficult transaction with humor and grace.

Know your own strengths and (more importantly) how they meet buyers’ and sellers’ needs, and find a way to communicate them through your video.

Look your best

Looking your best is not just about making a positive impression on your audience. It’s also about feeling comfortable and confident, which will help put you at ease in front of the camera. (And let’s face it, who couldn’t use a little help feeling at ease on camera?)

Start with a good night’s sleep the night before, and remember that what you eat or drink will affect your appearance.

Make sure your hair and makeup are done (men, I’m talking to you too), but go for a natural, approachable look. You’re a competent, friendly real estate agent, not Kim Kardashian.

Keeping your target audience in mind, dress in the kind of clothing you would wear to a showing or an open house.

Remember that over-dressing can sometimes be as detrimental as under-dressing — when in doubt, go for a polished business casual look. Dark neutrals paired with solid jewel tones will show up best on camera, but at least stay away from busy prints and flashy jewelry.

These can cause strange optical effects in the finished video and will distract your audience from your message.

Use a script (but don’t be too scripted)

Always, always, always have a script.

I don’t care how confident you think you’ll feel on camera, there is something about a blank camera lens that has the power to deflate even the most gregarious agent.

Take some time before your shoot to write down at least an outline of what you want to say, and practice it a few times until you know it by heart.

The goal is not to recite your lines on camera — that’ll likely come off as wooden — but to eliminate a level of discomfort and uncertainty. If you’ve memorized your message, you’ll feel more relaxed and speak more naturally, and you’ll be less likely to forget anything important.

Version it

Shooting a video bio is a significant project. Make the most of it by shooting some additional footage that gives you flexibility. You can use the extra clips on their own (as Facebook Live videos) or have them edited into alternate versions of your video.

Your primary agent bio should be less than two minutes long, but you can use shorter or longer versions of it on various platforms.

For instance, swap out clips of various neighborhoods or amenities, and use the versions in targeted digital ads.

Post a 30-second version on Instagram. Or make a longer version to send directly to highly interested buyers and sellers who want to know more about you.

Hire a pro

There are plenty of situations where do-it-yourself video is appropriate and effective. Shooting your primary agent bio is not one of them. Think of your bio as the video equivalent of the resume you would bring to a job interview: there’s room for some creativity, but it needs to be flawless.

A polished video is the result of a two-step process.

First comes production — the shoot itself. Then comes post-production — the process of editing the raw video clips and sound files into a seamless piece of art.

Both stages require a level of skill (not to mention equipment and software) that an amateur just doesn’t have. Save the DIY video for Facebook Live, on-the-spot virtual showings or casual, light-hearted marketing.

Creating a video bio may sound intimidating and expensive. It can be an involved project, and you’re not likely to get a good result if you do it on the cheap.

A professional-grade video shows prospective buyers and sellers that you’re a professional-grade agent. Make the investment of time and money for your business, and you’ll be thankful for the marketing value you receive in return.

Kathryn Royster is the marketing director for HouseLens, Inc. You can follow Kathryn on Twitter @kathrynroyster. HouseLens is on Facebook.

Email Kathryn Royster.

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