What’s your favorite brand?
Everyone has one. It might be as simple as preferring Pepsi over Coke, or Nike over Adidas. Maybe it’s Apple over Microsoft, or Starbucks over Dunkin’ Donuts.
Then there are personal brands. Take Kim Kardashian. Or not. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oprah Winfrey. Howard Stern. Ellen Degeneres. Martha Stewart. When you think of these individuals, they aren’t just celebrities. They carry with them certain associations and whether those associations resonate with you or not, they each paint a picture of their personal brand.
Branding helps differentiate the perception and anticipated user experience of similar products and gives people reasons to choose one over the competition.
A brand should be an expression of all of the values, beliefs, and emotions that make up a product or service. It’s a promise from a company to their customers of a product’s quality. Brands are designed to elicit emotional reactions from consumers. It’s an absolutely essential part of doing business today and should be an integral part of your real estate business.
So, how can you effectively manage your brand as a real estate agent to increase your leads, listings, and buyers? Read on!
What Makes You Different?
In a business where real estate agents are a dime a dozen, what makes you different? The answer to that question should be what exemplifies your brand.
As the owner of your real estate business, you are your own brand. You are the public face of it, its “mascot”. Your name represents all of the values and beliefs of your brand and is a promise to your customers, just like with widely-known products. It’s what makes you special and different from your competitors; it’s the reason why buyers and sellers want to choose you as their real estate agent. Even if you have your license parked with a recognizable company, YOU are still your brand. Being connected to a company with positive brand recognition might help your personal brand, but in the end, it still all boils down to you and what makes you unique.
What is Your Reputation?
This is part of the whole “values and beliefs” system that we were talking about above. In real estate, your reputation will be built on the way that you treat your clients and the successes you have as an agent. A great reputation, just like a great brand, cannot be created overnight.
You want to become known for your honesty and always putting your clients first. You need to be able to deliver what you promise, so always present clients with a realistic timeframe for selling their home. With other real estate agents, either those you work with or those with a rival company, you need to develop good working relationships to be successful. One of the most valuable emotions that a brand can inspire is “trust”. This is what you should be inspiring in your clients, coworkers, and competitors.
What is Your Online Presence?
One of the first things that someone will do when they’re thinking about buying or selling a home is go online. They want to see what other properties are selling for, what the market looks like right now, and they probably will eventually use the internet to find their real estate agent or to check up on someone they’ve heard about. If you don’t have a highly active online presence, your name won’t even come up.
To fix this, you should be using the primary social media opportunities that are available today. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram… These are tools that outstanding real estate agents use to develop their brand online and lead clients to their door. By creating content like real estate blog posts, you can create valuable content to share on social media to position yourself as an expert in your field, drawing even more people to you. Most of your competitors will have a web presence but won’t do anything with it. If you’re active online, this will differentiate you from the rest and give your personal brand a solid digital boost.
How Do You Represent Yourself In Real Life?
Of course, no matter how robust your online presence is, eventually your clients are going to want to meet you. Here, you need to present a professional, approachable, and experienced persona. This requires you to have all of the trappings that your clients would expect from a professional real estate agent such as business cards, personalized stationery, and lots of giveaways like business card magnets, real estate calendars, and branded bookmarks and note cards. (SureFactor can help you with all of these items. Click here to get started.)
Another great way to get your brand out there is with branded postcards and direct mailers. These let you directly reach out to your clients through their mailbox. Every time that they see your name and face when they check the mail, your brand will be reinforced in their minds.
Another way you can make sure that you leave a great impression with your clients by presenting them with a closing gift. This is just a small token of thanks for their business and best wishes in their new home. Timed right, a closing gift will leave them with fond thoughts of their experience working with you, which can lead to both repeat business and referrals. These warm feelings can also strengthen your brand.
As a real estate agent, you are your brand. Everything you do impacts it, big or small. Be conscious of this and make sure that you are fully equipped to promote your brand, both online and in the real world. Online, you can use social media and your personal webpage. In real life, you should have professional real estate business cards that you can hand out to prospects and clients alike. At SureFactor, we guarantee a great price on your real estate print marketing products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Just visit our website to see the dozens of products we offer and test out our customization tools to make sure that your business cards and other collateral will meet your exact specifications.