Friends Dont Let Realtors Design Crappy Myspace Pages

by : Kevin Bilberry

If you're a realtor who has a MySpace page to make contacts and generate leads, good for you! You're joining a growing number of business people who are using this to connect with colleagues and potential clients. MySpace, along with Facebook and other social networking sites, has a fast-growing adult demographic that uses the networking capabilities for business as well as for keeping track of friends.

Enough people are using MySpace for business that 'professional MySpace designers' are popping up all over Google. Add to that the tutorials for professional MySpace layouts and you have some pretty compelling evidence that there is interest in business MySpace pages and, more, they work. Do a search for 'social networking' and 'real estate' if you want some more information on this growing trend.

This article is not a tutorial; it's a bunch of advice on what NOT to do to capture the interest of your fickle public. You want people to visit an attractively designed, well laid out page, which is easy to navigate.

First, you may want to register a separate MySpace account for your business profile. This way, you won't have to worry about your friends posting inappropriate messages, or people looking askance at the photos you posted of that time in that bar. If you have a personal profile where you lovingly enshrine your victories in wet T-shirt contests, set it to private. The Internet works both ways and clients may check you out on Google - you don't want anything unprofessional popping up on another profile you have.

I'm surprised that I have to mention this, but otherwise professional looking realtors have MySpace pages that make you want to claw your eyes out. Shocking pink is not a color to design your page around. Unless, of course, you're selling nothing but Disney Princess castles or life-size replicas of Barbie's Play House. Do a search for a tutorial on color and contrasting colors so your potential clients won't have to leave your page in seven seconds to prevent a change in their contact lens prescription.

Anything glittering, pulsing, flashing, sparkling or scintillating is the kiss of death to a professional MySpace layout. I shouldn't even have to mention hearts, skulls, and any design that you would see in a skate park. For the love of God, don't plaster the site with crosses, stars of David, pentacles or anything else that jams your religion into the eyeballs of your reader. If you want people to know that you follow the tenets of Islam or are a devout Christian or worship the great mother Goddess, a couple of tastefully designed symbols placed within your page will get the message across.

It's nice that you love your husband, kids, dogs, naked mole rats, etc. However, your clients most likely have little interest in them. Place one small photograph in the About Me section. Don't put them into your profile picture, since the client wants to know what *you* look like, not your family.

Don't use big text. It looks like a cheap ad and is very annoying to read. TYPING ALL IN CAPS IS ANNOYING TOO. IT ALSO INDICATES 'SHOUTING' ON THE INTERNET. SHOUTING AT CLIENTS IS BAD. Also don't make text so tiny, your client will have to magnify it several times to read it. They won't. And they will leave. Use a maximum of two different fonts on your page and don't merrily switch in between them among the paragraphs.

Learn to spell. Worship at the altar of grammar. You may think that a few typos is okay, but I tell you that when I see someone trying to advertise themselves with poor grammar, I wonder how much attention they will pay to the details of a property transaction. Grammar and spelling are important. Get a friend to look over your text before you put it up. Hire someone if you have to. Having a MySpace page with sloppy spelling and grammar means that some people are going to think twice about your services.

Just say no to huge paragraphs with no line breaks. They are also hard to read and many people give up after the first few sentences. This is especially sad when you have good information on your page, which would benefit them to know. Break up these huge amounts of text into paragraphs that focus on one or two ideas.

Clients appreciate that you have represented successful sales, but be circumspect. If you're going to use a picture of one of the houses you handed off to a deliriously happy buyer, don't let it spread across the page, don't constantly repeat the image, and don't use it as your background - this compromises the readability of your text.

Learn to make widgets work for you. Widgets are small blocks of code that can be plugged into webpages. MySpace pages support widgets and there are many to choose from. You can use widgets to list the properties you represent or put a mortgage calculator on your page. They are a clean way of putting your real estate information on your page without having to go through one listing at a time.

Having a MySpace page to promote you to the millions of MySpace users is important. However, to keep them interested in your page as a useful part of their real estate transactions, you must portray yourself as professional and with good attention to detail. Taking some time to find a layout that works to present you in this capacity will be well worth the effort.