There’s a mistake I see a lot of real estate agents make, especially early in their career.
It’s an easy one to make, honestly. Here it is:
They rely on their broker to be their brand.
They don’t worry about making a personal Me, Inc. brand. Instead, they focus on being a Keller Williams agent, or a Century 21 agent, or a BHG agent.
What’s wrong with that? Simple – if (or more accurately, WHEN) you change brokerages, you have to start completely over.
The Importance of a Personal Brand
Realtors® change brokers/brands on a regular basis. You might decide that your broker’s commission split isn’t up to par, or that you like the training program that another company has.
Regardless, there are a lot of reasons to move around as your career grows. Almost no one stays with the same broker/company their entire career.
That means it’s much more important to focus on building your personal brand than to build strictly around your brokerage.
How to Build a Personal Brand
A personal brand is how you communicate why working with you personally is better than anyone else in the same industry. You want to have a unique identity that is linked to the specific value you provide.
Here’s what a personal brand can do:
- Highlight your strengths
- Establish your reputation
- Build trust
- Communicate the unique attributes you bring to real estate
How do you build a personal brand? Here are some tips.
Define a Real Estate Niche
Unfortunately one mistake Realtors® make that hurt their ability to build a brand is that they are afraid to niche. They try to serve everyone, and as a result they never truly stand out.
Define a real estate niche that you have particular strengths, experience, or expertise in. Or, choose a group you love working with. Be known as the “first-time homebuyer’s expert,” or the “real estate investor’s dream agent.”
Even better, having a niche will help you save money on marketing. You won’t be targeting so many people, and you’ll get better results with the information you DO send out!
Create Your Own Value Statement
Many companies have their own tagline that defines what they do in a nutshell. Sometimes these become iconic, such as Nike’s “Just do it,” or Coca-Cola’s “It’s the Real Thing.”
What would you create for yourself? Find a catchy way to describe one of your key attributes. “A perfect home at the perfect price,” for instance, if you’re a great negotiator.
Keep in mind that you can change your tagline if you find something you like better, or if your original idea doesn’t work out. Nike has had the same one forever, but Coke has changed theirs regularly throughout the years.
Just try one!
Build Your Presence Online and Offline
The final tip is to be sure to build your personal brand both online and offline. You can do this in a variety of ways.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Advertise under your own name and use a (current!) photo of yourself
- Share your niche and tagline regularly
- Talk about other things that make you unique in your niche, industry, and in real estate overall
- Build on your strengths by taking classes, reading, and learning new skills
- Share what you’re learning so folks know you’re always growing!
- Share personal details about your life (pets, etc) so folks see you as a real person they can relate to
These tips will make you into a person people relate to, which is the essence of a personal brand, and help you avoid simply being a local agent of XYZ broker.
The Number One Secret
There’s one more thing I have to share about the process of personal branding…
It’s not permanent!
Many people fail to make a decision on branding because they don’t know what they want to “be for the rest of their career.” Take a step back. This is not forever, this is just NOW.
Decide after five years that you want to change your niche? Go for it! Yes, you’ll have to rebuild somewhat, but you’re “not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.”
Your personal brand is a living, organic thing that you can change at any time. It’s not a prison you’re building or something you have to get perfect from the beginning.
Ready to build your personal brand? We’re ready to help. Take a look at customizable marketing materials today!
Do you have a personal brand? We’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments.
This post originally shared on PrinterBees' Real Estate Marketing Magazine.