Finding a home can be a daunting task for anyone and that is why people look for real estate agents to make the process smooth and stress free.
Needless to say, the real estate business survives on relationships. This is true for all sorts of businesses though. In real estate, however, it is crucial to survival.
Real estate is as competitive today as it has ever been, which means you need to think differently if you’re going to stand out from the crowd.
Everyone is on Facebook, everyone has a website, and everyone markets online. So, what can you do that will catch the eye of prospective clients?
The secret is to market yourself, and not just the homes you’re trying to sell.
To do it you’re going to need a resume that:
- Sells yourself
- Makes it clear how you can help the client
- Makes you approachable
If you can do all 3 of these things, then you will be on the right track to become a top producer.
Do you even need a resume as a real estate agent?
Some people will tell you that because you’re not interviewing for jobs and trying to land a permanent position in an office, that you don’t need a resume. That’s just not the case at all, and LinkedIn is proof enough.
Everyone who wants to be able to persuade people they’re the right person for a job needs a resume, and this is particularly true in real estate.
A large number of potential clients will make their decision on which agent to go with, based on who they find knowledgeable and approachable.
Obviously, you need to be able to come across well in person, but your resume is your foot in the door. It can be the greatest lead magnet you ever had, and all you have to do is describe yourself on a couple of sides of the paper.
What do clients expect from you?
The great thing about having a resume is that they’re not necessarily going to be expected. This means that you can stand out and reap the rewards from being more proactive than your peers. Take the time to get it right, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
10 Essentials Your Resume Needs
Now you’re persuaded by the need to have one, let’s take a look at how you can create a resume that is your ticket to real estate success. There are 10 essential tips that follow, and you’re going to want to work your way through each of them, and put them into practice before you print.
1. Keep the length to 2 pages
Nobody is going to be impressed with a 20-page resume, it’s just going to go straight in the trash.
You might think that it shows how much work you’ve done, and in a lot of ways you’d be right. But no one will think that someone with a finely crafted 2-page resume has done only 10% of the business that you have.
In fact, their resume will be read, and yours will be ignored. People are busy, and to get their attention and hold it, you need to be respectful of their time. If you think that someone is going to spend 45 minutes reviewing your resume, then you’re very much mistaken.
2. Use formal language, but don’t oversell
Ask any of the writers at TopWritersReview and they’ll tell you that the context determines the type of language you need to use.
Take this article for example. You’re reading a conversational style of writing that flows easily, but that maintains that professional balance. Why? Well, because the intention is for you to enjoy reading a long-form article, to find it accessible, but to also see that it’s applicable to your high-level career.
For a resume, you want to use a formal style of language, and not treat it like a sales pitch with dozens of industry-specific terms. Of course, you’re creating and distributing your resume to try and generate more leads, but you’re doing it in a more nuanced way by being proactive and introducing yourself.
3. Precise and concise language works best
If in doubt, keep it precise and concise.
Really we could leave it there for this section, but it’s so important that it’s worth covering in a little more detail. If your resume rambles on and on and on, you’re just going to bore people. Get straight to the point and provide the information people are looking for. That’s what will make you memorable.
4. Let your actions speak for themselves
If you got someone far more money from their sale than they were expecting, then list it in a key achievements section. If you have an average sales time that’s shorter than the competition, then add that too.
The secret here is that you don’t want the figure buried in a paragraph of prose. You want bullet points in a standalone section, where the text used to frame the key numbers and statistics is as straight to the point as possible.
Think of this section of your resume like a factsheet, and you’ll be able to make some great progress with it.
5. Make sure your contact details are always up to date
This one is something of a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at the number of agents that don’t keep up with it.
If you’re displaying your resume online then this is easy enough to do, and if you’ve distributed paper copies, double check they’re all up to date.
6. Tailor your cover letter to the neighborhood
The most productive real estate agents have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves to try and take their output to the next level, and many of them are simpler than you’d think. Tailoring your cover letter to the area is one of the best ways to show you have the knowledge and experience prospective clients are looking for.
Be as localized as possible, and include some of the key facts and figures that you’ve been able to generate. This will give new clients the best means of comparison when they’re weighing up whether you’re the right agent for the job.
7. Have someone else double check the spelling and grammar
Again, this one is common sense, but it still needs to be taken care of.
If you don’t have your spelling and grammar in order, then what does that say about the way you run your real estate business? You want to come across as someone who is abreast of all the fine details because that’s what someone who is trusting you to sell their home is looking for.
8. Testimonials work wonders, but don’t go over the top
The art of real estate marketing is as much about marketing yourself, as it is marketing the properties you’re trying to sell. No one does it better than your previous happy clients.
So add a couple of testimonials prominently near the top of your resume. Below the personal statement works best as they’ll be easily seen. You could even use a 5-star graphic, or something similar so that people intuitively know that’s where your testimonials are.
9. Include a photo so the client can put a name to a face
This one is super simple to do, and it’s the easiest way to build trust that you’ll ever find.
When someone sees a photo of you they can relate to what you’re saying so much better, and they’ll find you that bit more approachable. This is really important because it’s all about making people want to reach out and contact you.
Keep your photo recent, professional, and appropriate. You also want to avoid anything too over the top like it’s been pulled directly from a sales brochure. Be you, and you’ll come across as far more approachable.
10. Always opt for a simple layout
The final tip is that you should always opt for a simple layout.
There are so many complex interactive templates online these days that you can easily get sidetracked and move away from what matters. The truth is that if your layout is so groundbreaking and novel to look at that no one has ever seen anything like it before, the person receiving it won’t intuitively know how to work their way through it.
Opt for a simple vertical flow of information with the following tried and trusted components:
- Name and current contact details
- Personal statement
- A short section of testimonials
- Key statistics and sales achievements
- A brief work history
You’ll notice that the work history comes last here. That’s because we’ve introduced you, sold the client on your testimonials and key achievements, and then added the final proof of your competency and experience at the end. It’s far more effective than starting out by listing every position you’ve ever had.
At the end of the day, people just want to hear how you can make their sale go through nice and quickly without any stress.
The difference between selling yourself, and boasting
Selling yourself the right way is all about having the self-confidence to be able to articulate what you’ve achieved, but without going over the top and boasting.
When you want to improve your self-confidence, it really helps to try and sell yourself on a single side of the paper. This is your chance to tell yourself, and the reader, what makes you uniquely good at what you do.
Here’re three quick ways you’ll be able to spot if you’ve gone too far, and crossed over into the world of boasting:
- Would you feel self-conscious about showing what you’ve written to a previous client? If you would, then you’ve probably inadvertently inflated a few of your claims and accomplishments
- What would you think if this very same resume came through your door? If you would think the writer was a bit of a showoff, then just step back a little, and tone things down
- Are you able to substantiate all of the claims you’ve made? If you can’t, then be sure that the discerning home seller will be able to spot it
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of a resume, and how to craft one, all you need to do is block out an hour and put pen to paper. It might take a couple of drafts to get something that really does the job, but that’s completely fine.
Once you find the right balance, start being proactive in the way you distribute your resume, and constantly localize it so it’s tailored to the specific neighborhoods you’re targeting