Making a Great First Impression Online
Making a Great First Impression Online

Buyers and sellers now do much more research online as a first step, and you want to make that first online impression a good one.

Before they head into your office or make an appointment with you, they’ve more than likely searched for you on Google, looked at your rp.connect site, your facebook page, your tweets.

So how do you make a great first impression online? How do you make sure your rp.connect site delivers a great experience right from the outset?

I’ll highlight what I believe are the most important aspects in setting up a great looking, functional and useful rp.connect site to grab your potential prospects in those most important first seconds.

Profile Picture

Potential sellers and buyers want to know who they’re dealing with – and having a great profile picture is the first step. It’s the first thing visitors will see when they arrive at your site. You don’t need to have a professional photo, but you should put a little bit of effort into it.

Larry Nelson, an example of a great profile picture and a good tag-line
Larry Nelson, an example of a great profile picture and a good tag-line

A few tips for a great profile picture:

  • You’re aiming to look smart, friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and professional. Not too corporate and stuffy, but not a photo from the Friday night drinks either!
  • Make sure there’s no clutter in the background (books, computers, paper)
  • The photo has to be sharp and in focus
  • Make sure you’re the focus point of the photo – not your office, or the whole team. This is about you.
  • Usually a head and shoulders shot works best, rather than a full body portrait.
  • Make sure the photo is large enough and has enough resolution to scale properly. The profile photo scales to 260×220 pixels, so make sure your original image is at least larger than that.

Your Bio / About Me

A well-written biography is important and will make a big difference in that first impression. It’s aim is to provide prospects with information about yourself and your expertise, and if the client doesn’t read what they’re looking for in that first few sentences, they’ll probably decide that you’re not right for them.

Some tips for how you should write your bio:

  • Keep it short and to the point. Always start with a great first sentence to try and hook them in. This isn’t a chance to tell your life story – if it’s longer than a 3-4 paragraphs, it won’t get read.  Generally I’d keep it shorter than the combined Contact Me / My Agency area on the right.
  • Writing 101. Break it down into shorter paragraphs, don’t waffle, check your spelling and grammar.
  • Including some personal information is usually a good idea. It helps to define you as a person and gives a little away about your personality and whether the prospect is likely to connect with you. But don’t go overboard or talk too much about your family or pets.

Some of the types of information you might include in your bio:

  • Years in the industry
  • Experience and Specialty services
  • Achievements
  • How you can help them
  • Personal attributes – are you Focused? Professional? Passionate? Be honest and don’t use all the buzz-words.
Lauren Neilson, a great example of a site done well. A great bio, great profile picture and up-to-date content.
Lauren Neilson, a great example of a site done well. A great bio, great profile picture and up-to-date content.

Slogan / Tag Line

Slogans or tag lines can sometimes feel a bit salesy or fake, but they can also be useful in saying something about yourself or your services in a few short words.

It could be a motto, some sort of guiding principles, goals or ideals. It could be a value proposition, or a personal attribute.

Contact Details

There’s nothing worse than visiting a site and having difficulty finding contact details. I’m sure some major companies do this on purpose (they want you to email them rather than call them), but as an agent or broker, you certainly don’t want that.

Your Contact Me form will always send the leads to your email address, but make sure you also have your phone numbers filled in in your profile so prospects can call you if they choose to.

Content

I won’t go into great detail here (it’s a subject for another blog post), but timely and regularly updated content is very important. If I visit a site and see it hasn’t been updated in months, I’m less likely to have confidence in the service they can provide.

I’ll link to a few previous posts to get started, but will write more in a future blog post.

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I hope some of these tips help you to make a great first impression online!

Have I missed anything? Please feel to share in the comments below.