Boost Your Business Series: Branding
In the real estate industry, the thing that sets you apart is the thing that helps you build your business. There are plenty of people who have their real estate license, but what makes you the special one a home buyer should choose? No matter which agency you work under, you’re the person a buyer is working with – and you need to be consistent in how you present yourself. This is why it’s so important to create a personal brand or branding.
What is personal branding for Realtors?
According to Entrepreneur, branding is defined as “creating a name, symbol or design that … differentiates a product from other products.” When you attach the “personal” element to branding, you are essentially focusing on the things that differentiate you from other real estate agents. The beauty of focusing on your personal brand is that it eliminates competition and comparison; each Real Estate Agent is a different person, which means their branding and their ideal clients will all be different.
If you don’t have a personal brand developed yet, don’t worry. It’s never too late to create these systems – and it’s always OK to re-brand yourself as you grow your business.
How to create a personal brand?
If you’re not sure how to develop your personal brand, start by asking yourself a few questions:
What do I want to be known for?
Do you want to be known as the Real Estate Agent who specializes in New Home Construction? Do you want to be known as the go-to Agent in your favorite upscale community? Or maybe you want to be remembered as the Realtor who gives the best closing gifts. Whatever you want people to remember when they think of your real estate business – that’s your personal brand.
What kind of clients do I want to attract?
Get very specific here; “your vibe attracts your tribe,” as they say. Create a persona of your ideal client and continue to seek ways to connect with people similar to them. You can also consider the kind of clients you don’t want to attract, such as people looking for homes outside of your “sweet spot” or who are outside of your niche.
Do I have a niche?
Your niche is a small, specialized skill set that you provide as a real estate agent, whether that is being the expert in the million dollar house market or being a first-time home buyer agent. The more unique and specific your niche is, for example, A Real Estate Agent knew for knowing all the best brunch spots in the downtown scene, the stronger support for your personal branding. People will know you as the “go-to” agent for specific needs and your reputation will precede you.
Do I have “traditional” branding, i.e. colors, logos, graphics, taglines, etc.?
What existing branding materials do you have? Business cards, a website, a park bench advertisement? Do you like your current branding? If so, great! Use it as a basis for all future marketing materials and use those same fonts, colors, logos, etc. when you create new pieces. If you don’t like them, have fun choosing colors, fonts, logos, designs and more that reflect your personality and how you want to engage with clients.
Whichever way you decide to go, be consistent. Don’t use new colors or different styles when creating new content or marketing pieces; people will see that you’re all over the place and it may hurt your credibility.
Are you highlighting your branding, personality and/or niche when you share content, communicate with clients and market yourself online?
Just like creating a traditional brand, your personal brand needs to connect whatever you create, share or communicate back to you. You want potential clients to recognize your consistency, as this builds trust and helps keep you top-of-mind when it comes time for them to buy a new house or refer a friend.
Once you’ve got the foundation of your personal brand, the most important thing to do is keep moving forward with it. You don’t have to have it all figured out overnight; it’s something that evolves. But you will need to make sure your personal branding is working for you, rather than against you.
Is your personal branding strong enough?
Once you’ve had your personal brand up and running for a while, or you’re reviewing the success of your current branding, it’s important to check in. Ask yourself:
Is my personal brand evident in my messaging, materials and social media?
Is my personal brand consistent? Which areas need to be brought under the new branding?
Can people tell right away from my website/Facebook/LinkedIn/emails/etc? What can they expect from me?
Can potential buyers see how to contact me easily on all platforms?
Does my content reflect my personal brand (personality, voice, passion, etc.) or does it sound like someone else?
What will the last five things I shared say about my brand and business? Does this match my intentions?
Does it sound like the same person is engaged on social media, emailing potential clients and creating marketing materials? Or is it disjointed?
If there’s one take away here, it’s that personal branding is consistency. It’s making sure people know what to expect from you at all times, and that any interaction they have with you (online, in person, over the phone, in content, etc.) feels like it’s coming from you.
In the end, you want potential clients to say, “I want to work with you,” and your branding – the thing that makes you stand out – is a huge element in their decision-making process.