When I first started my business just this year, I was obsessing for days over what my logo would look like. I wanted to stand out from the other real estate investment companies. I hired a freelancer to design my logo. She probably hated me due to the revision requests I sent over. After it was all said and done, I still wasn't happy. It certainly stood out from some of my competitors, but I was never 100% satisfied. I had this obsession that I wanted a brand that would immediately stand out above the rest. I overcomplicated this entire process. After spending hundreds of dollars on marketing materials with my newly designed logo, it hit me. No one gives a crap what your logo is!
A Change of Direction
Let’s face it, real estate is competitive. Whether you are an agent, broker, or an investor like myself, you have tons of competition. Not only do I have big players in my own back yard, but I also have to deal with the national companies as well. I started my business with the hopes of eventually transitioning into real estate full time and giving a better quality of life for my family (a story for a different day). Trying to figure out how I could get my company (or my logo) to standout above these people was giving me a level of anxiety I have never experienced. I'm talking to the point I had the worst case of imposter syndrome ever!
I'm not sure what changed, but one evening I took my boat out and was just setting on the Tennessee River, relaxing, and sipping a nice cold brewski; attempting to figure out how I was going to get my business off the ground. Then it hit me, stop selling your business logo, and start selling yourself! So, I did. Instead of thinking about me me me, I started thinking about how I could put my face in front of people in order to help them with their issues. I completely stopped worrying about how much money I was going to make off a particular deal, and instead began to focus on the best way I could help a person when they called me to buy their house. I completely revamped my site when I did this. Instead of putting my logo all over it, I began putting pictures of myself and my family to show we were real people, and not some faceless person behind a computer screen.
Starting to Sell Myself Instead of My Logo
I had a seller reach out to me wanting to sell his house in Knoxville a few months back. He was planning to sell his house so he could move closer to Florida and be with his family. I made an appointment to go look at the house. Once arriving, I shook the seller's hand and he stated, "holy sh**", you're that guy from the website." I said, "yep that's me!" It completely shocked him that the person he was researching on my website, and all over the internet is the one who showed up at his house.
I took a tour of the home and made him an as-is offer on his house after analyzing the necessary repairs it was going to need. I think the seller was disappointed in my offer due to the real estate market being so hot right now. I explained that he would certainly get more money selling with an agent, but I would give him the opportunity of having a fast sell for cash and would work with his schedule. I also explained to him that he had no need to be in a rush, to do his due diligence, and to just give me a call when he found a house in Florida to move to and I could work with his schedule or whatever else he needed.
Instead of giving this gentleman a sales pitch to sell his house to me; I simply explained everything I would do if I was in his shoes. I gave him the pros and cons of working with a realtor, and I also gave him the pros and cons of working with someone like me. I even advised him to reach out to my competition!!! Wait, what? You told this guy to call other home buyers in Knoxville??? His response to me was that he would not be reaching out to other home buyers, and that if elected to use a company like mine instead of listing his house on the MLS, he would be contacting me, and only me. I asked him why. He stated that I was the first person that he had talked to that simply offered to help him instead of trying to sell him a service. See, I didn't know that I was the third home buying company that he reached out to. I didn't know that my offer was around the median of what other companies had offered him. I was the only one that advised him to also interview and talk to agents so that he could make an informed decision.
Did I End Up Buying the House?
The short answer is, not at this time. He still hasn't found a house to move to. But he has followed up with me to ask me additional questions and told me that he has recommended my company to people he works with. I thanked him and told him I would be here for advice anytime he needed it. I've began transitioning this approach in other business transactions as well, and it's really starting to gain traction.
I'm not even in the ballpark of being successful at this time during my journey. But putting myself in a position to help people (aka selling me, not my logo) has given me a win internally. It warms my heart and gives me the motivation to keep going every time someone mentions me in a Facebook post or in my community as the go-to guy for help on selling a house that needs a ton of work. Of course, I want to make money too! That's the whole point of starting my business, but it's also given me the chance to give back to people. So, in conclusion, stop selling your logo. Sell your face. Get rid of your shyness (I am an introvert), and plaster your face, not your logo everywhere in the real estate realm. Show and prove to people that you offer compassion and advice over making money. It hasn't paid off for me financially, yet, but I have high expectations that it will. And that’s how I plan to separate myself from the mountain of competition I am currently facing. Me, not my logo.