Your First 12 Months: How To Build Your Brand in Real Estate
We all know brands. I bet after seeing this word, your mind already connected it with brands like, Google, McDonald’s, Coke and Apple. That is because they have taken their time and effort to market their brand to be as globally recognizable as possible. That is the whole point of branding- to be recognized.
This is not only important for big companies, but individuals as well. Your brand for your real estate business, whether personal or for the whole team, is what will get you recognized in the industry and eventually, sought out.
Building a brand might sound like a challenge, but it does not have to be. Below is a quick “How To,” guide on building and growing your personal brand for real estate.
BUILDING YOUR BRAND
First, you must determine what your brand is. Do so by simply answering the 4 questions below. As always, you are not limited to the outcome of your answers, as long as you stay true and authentic, however, these questions might provide you with a solid structure of what your brand could be.
WHO ARE YOU?
The number one thing to consider when building your brand is to make sure you stay true to who you are. Sure, building yourself up and portraying your influence as bigger than it might be is not a bad thing. HOWEVER, do not be someone you are not. You want to be authentic and give people a glimpse of the real you when marketing yourself. Think about your main personality traits and emotional appeals. How would others describe you? Are you organized? Are you fun? Are you particularly spiritual or religious? Think about your answers and how you can use these traits in your business!
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
Like with being, “authentically you,” in your brand, you should also include what you are passionate about. Your passions might not be related to real estate at all, but branding is about more than business functions anyway. The whole point is to make yourself recognizable and memorable, and what better way than to include your hobbies and passions in your brand. Perhaps you are a sports guy, or a family man. Maybe you are intrigued by photography or traveling around the world. The main thing is to use your passions to make yourself more approachable and personable. You are not a real estate robot, after all.
WHAT IS YOUR NICHE?
Do not confuse your passions with your real estate niche. Sure, your passions might play a role in what your niche is, but a niche is the specific target market you are after in real estate. To find a niche, think about your neighborhood/community, study the market, and find where the need is. Some examples are: Waterfront Homes, International Buyers, Farm/Ranch Houses, Luxury Homes, etc. Narrowing in on your expertise will elevate your status as a realtor for that market and respectively, help your brand.
WHAT CAN YOU OFFER?
Arguably the most important part of your brand is determining what you can offer to your clients. Obviously, finding or selling a home is what you offer, but think deeper than that. Think about the unique ways you can serve your clients based on the answers to the three questions above. If you are known for being organized, perhaps offer binders and checklists for your clients. If you are known as the “fun guy,” perhaps include them in a vlog or throw them a really exciting open house. If you are religious, offer to pray for their buying/selling process. Sticking to and acting on your brand is a sure way to be remembered and talked about. Just what a brand is supposed to be used for!
GROWING YOUR BRAND
So now you have your “brand.” What next? A brand is useless unless you put it into action. Here are three tips on how to engage with and grow your brand.
EMBRACE YOUR BRAND
Take your brand by the horns and run with it! Create a tagline and use it in your posts, blogs, and bios. Take it a step further and create a logo that portrays your brand and use it in your marketing. The possibilities are endless, but what is important is that you do not let go of what you have created. This brand is what makes you unique and sets you apart from competitors. Always stick with it!
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
Regardless if you have a brand or not, you should be connecting with as many people as possible because it is the most essential way to generate leads. With a brand, however, you can connect with a larger circle and have more meaning behind it! Connect with anyone whose interests or industry is related to any part of your brand. Your brand is a perfect way to leverage conversations and meetings with potential leads/referrals. Connecting and networking with people through the lens of a brand gives you a little something extra as compared to your competitors. Because of your brand, you have more to offer and more reason to form a relationship, regardless if a transaction will happen or not (always think about referrals!).
PORTRAY YOUR BRAND IN EVERY INTERACTION
Lastly and most importantly, portray your brand in everything you do and every interaction you make. It is important for clients to get what they see through the brand you market online. It is also important for them to confidently say you are true to your brand when they are referring you. Creating a brand on a surface level with logos and taglines is great and all, but is absolutely pointless if you do not not also live it. Go the extra mile and confirm that every interaction you have coincides with what you have created for yourself before the words have even come from your mouth (or before clicking send!).
You have all the tools to create a unique, and useful brand, but it would be irresponsible to leave you without some examples. A “Brand Mantra,” is like a tagline used to sum up what your brand is in as few words as possible. Here are some quick brand mantras and descriptions to give you the right idea.
-Nike: Authentic Athletic Performance
-Betty Crocker: Homemade Made Easy
-Disney: Fun, Family, Entertainment
-Realtor A: Organized Family-Man Finding Farm Homes (This agent’s brand would include being highly organized, family focused with an emphasis on farm/ranch homes).
-Realtor B: Fun Photos and Luxury Homes (This agent is known for being the “fun,” agent and has a personal interest in photography. Their niche is in luxury homes).
-Realtor C: Spiritual Sports and Spacious Back Yards (This agent wants to market their religious side, as well as personal interest in sports and a niche in spacious backyards).
It is by no means required to create or publicize such a “mantra,” and perhaps these examples are trivial and silly, but you now have the right idea as to how you can tie everything together to create something unique to you. Never trade in personality for business, instead, market it!
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