A strong personal brand can bring real estate agents a steady stream of clients and built greater credibility in the industry. It will also make you more recognizable, and increase your perceived value when potential clients are evaluating agents. No one is going to build your personal brand but you, so you need to make a concerted effort to brand yourself properly.
There are four major components to building a successful personal brand in real estate, each of which requires some thought and strategy. Build a name for yourself by following the steps below.
Invest in a Brand Kit
This should include everything from logos and headshots to graphic design rules and font decisions. Having a brand kit, or a brand book, is important to make sure you’re consistently professional with your brand online, in flyers, and on signage.
If you’re not comfortable with Photoshop or graphic design, you should find someone in your area that can assist with simple projects like creating cover photos for your social media pages and designing business cards that look professional. Working with a quality designer on all of your projects will help keep your branding consistent across platforms. Make note of agents across the country that you think are doing a good job in terms of branding and show them to your designer to get things started.
A graphic designer can also help you establish simple rules, like what colours you use in your overall branding and which fonts you use on your website. Agents who brand themselves successfully always make consistency a priority. It builds familiarity and recognition with your potential and existing clients, so applying these rules on your own website is a must. A recent study from GoDaddy found that 82% of people are less likely to buy something from a company if their website looks unprofessional or outdated, so keep things fresh and professional to see your personal brand flourish.
Authenticity is critical when it comes to personal branding. Anything other than the real you simply won’t do. Some agents work hard to present themselves as perfect and without flaws, but that’s not what personal branding is all about. Personal branding should be personal, the truth is that there are hundreds of agents in your area presenting themselves as perfect, and that drowns out their message. If you be yourself, you’ll stand out, and ultimately that’s the secret to successful branding.
Build your brand identity on your strengths (more on this later) and use marketing tools that work for you. If you’re a good speaker, try going beyond scripted videos and do unscripted sessions in front of the camera. Many agents script out their answers on video when they’re really more personable speaking off the cuff. If this sounds like you, let your authentic voice stand out and talk to the camera like you’d talk to a friend. Here are some other ideas if you’re looking to use video to connect with your clients.
If you’re more comfortable with the written word, use it to your advantage. Blogging is a great way to bring in traffic from search engines, so write in an authentic voice that cuts through the noise. Use your website to answer common questions you hear from clients, and don’t beat around the bush. If you answer openly and offer your honest opinions and predictions, you’ll attract an audience. Be bold with your authentic voice and your brand will get recognition.
Have a Content Strategy
There’s an endless number of ways to market yourself and get more eyeballs on your listings and on your brand overall, so it’s important to put together a content strategy to keep you on the right track. Where you choose to brand yourself is just as important as how you choose to brand yourself, so layout a content plan and stick to it.
The early stages of an agent’s career often begin by being of service to friends and family, so social media is a great place to start since they likely already are connected with you there. Create a content strategy for social media that includes regularly scheduled posts with a cohesive look and feel to them. You can transition from entertainment to educational content, but your posts should have a similar tone and feel. The goal is to have content that would be recognizable to your audience as yours, even if it didn’t have your logo or name attached to it. You can do this by incorporating graphic design trends like borders or corner stamps for different kinds of posts and using the same editing tools to brighten or darken your graphics.
Beyond social media, there are plenty of other kinds of content that should be a part of your marketing strategy. Branding your emails with personal touches, updating your blogs so that your personal branding is front and center, and linking back to your personal website whenever possible are a few things you can do to drive more attention to your personal brand.
Be Known for Something Specific
Having a niche is often offered as a way to brand yourself, and it’s certainly a good means to stand out. Carving out a niche will help present you as an expert, which will generate more inquiries and questions on a specific topic.
Beyond focusing on one market segment, like condominiums or first-time homebuyers, it can be even more beneficial to your personal brand to become known for a specific trait or characteristic. Whatever trait you choose to highlight, make it your true north from a messaging perspective. Here are a few examples of traits and qualities that agents could center their branding around.
1. Hardworking: The agent that goes above and beyond for his/her clients.
2. Diligent: Show that you double and triple check the fine print, the strata notes, and everything in between.
3. Helpful: Be the agent that helps not just in real estate but with everything related to the sale.
4. Negotiation Specialist: Show your clients evidence of your sellers that received over-asking, negotiation resources you love or courses you’ve taken, and everything relating to the art of the deal.
5. Design Oriented: Put your knowledge of staging and interior design on display.
6. Home Improvement Expert: Talk about the benefits of renovations for sellers, expected costs for buyers, how to choose new flooring for a space, etc.
When you meet people for the first time, make this your calling card, and don’t assume that just because you focus on one of these traits that your potential clients will mistake you as a one-trick pony. It’s a branding tactic that will make you memorable and give you a chance to show off all of your other skills as a successful agent. Your branding gets you in the door, use it to your advantage and begin increasing your perceived value.