When most people hear the word “branding,” they’re probably envisioning a cereal commercial or an advertisement for a new sports drink rather than a real estate professional. But branding isn’t just for consumer packaged goods companies – it’s something every agent needs to build and grow as well.
According to NAR’s Real Estate in a Digital Age 2018 Report (PDF), more than 90 percent of real estate firms have websites. Social media use by agents is also pervasive. All of those voices represent potential competition; having a brand that will position you as the expert in your market area is essential to make sure your voice is the one that truly speaks to potential clients.
But branding is more than just building an online presence. To grow your brand requires thoughtful consideration of your skills, your personality, your interests, your market and your clients. Think of your brand as your story and your clients as your readers: What can you tell them to get their attention?
To help you put your story together, here are five questions to answer.
How did I get here?
Most people join the real estate industry for more than just financial reasons. Often, the decision to help people buy or sell their home comes from a much deeper place. If that’s true for you, share it with the world! A few sentences mapping your road to real estate can make for an incredibly persuasive touch as you begin to build your brand.
What do I stand for?
People like to hear that their agent is motivated in their work by meaningful reasons, like a love for their community, a special appreciation for architecture or a passion for helping people achieve the American Dream. When it comes to standing out from the crowd, it’s often not enough to “only” be the expert on your market. Demonstrate your commitment to a higher value in your work and don’t be shy letting others know about it in social media and elsewhere online.
What sets me apart?
It’s clear that in whatever market you’re in, you’ll be competing for mindshare with many other agents in the area, each vying to claim the same clients you’re looking to serve. To stand out, you’ll want to get into the nitty-gritty about what you offer over others in your market. For example, maybe you have a particular affinity for interior design and you can help clients visualize during a showing exactly how their décor will fit. Or perhaps you have a green thumb and you know just the right tweaks a seller can make to a yard to add more curb appeal. The more specific you can get, the more likely it is that you’ll be seen as a uniquely qualified individual.
How do others describe me?
Beyond the fact that client testimonials can be a great tool for lead generation, they can also be a great tool for building your brand. If you’ve served clients in the past, what words have they used to describe you? Have you noticed any commonalities in the attributes or skills that they tend to appreciate? Show prospective clients the quality of service they can expect when working with you by letting your previous work speak for itself.
If you’re just starting out in real estate, you can also look to how your colleagues have described working with you. All it takes is a few good quotes spoken on your behalf to get started on building a strong brand that demonstrates that people are confident relying on you.
How do I stay current?
Your success, in large part, is determined by your ability to stay current on the latest real estate trends, both in terms of your local market and with respect to industry best practices. There is no shortage of avenues to keep current; from local trainings, courses and conferences, to ubiquitous online resources and market analysis tools, today’s real estate professional is awash with opportunities to stay at the forefront of the industry.
So, the question you must be able to answer is this: How are you demonstrating your grasp of the hot topics in real estate? Some agents make it a point to offer themselves as thought leaders, hosting webinars on important topics in the industry. Others make themselves available to local media, becoming quotable expert sources who can contextualize monthly market data.
There are no shortages of resources available to you to learn and to share. Just make sure others are made aware of your mastery of the latest trends and new industry insight by making it a part of your brand.
Your brand is only as strong as your ability to seamlessly handle the day-to-day operations of your business. To learn more about how ShowingTime’s industry-leading showing management solutions can help streamline your workflow, click the button below.