Creating Your Personal Brand Within A Real Estate Office
Some things in this life you just can’t take control of, like the corporate branding of your real estate office. That comes from the principle or franchisor and you just tag along under the umbrella. What about your personal branding? That is something you can definitely control and master.
Some agents move from office to office over the time of their real estate career, whilst others may be loyal to the corporate brand but your personal brand should stay true to who you are and become the reason for the repeat business. When people know, like and trust you (and it is possible), then they are more likely to want to do business with you.
So how do you build a personal brand within a real estate office? What does all that mean? It comes down to the way you conduct yourself at every breathing moment, that’s right, every breathing moment you as a professional are on view to the next potential client. That helps to build the respect you will gain and therefore start to create the trust in the brand of YOU.
A first step to building your brand is to identify the traits you’d like to be known for. And that brings us to a point that can derail your branding efforts if it’s not addressed. So does your brand actually stand out for all the right reasons? You may have a strong personal brand but if it doesn’t separate you from the pack it’s not going to be much use. Effective personal branding is all about highlighting the traits that make you unique. I like the branding of a local guy, Mark McGill as a former architect now stands out from the crowd as ‘a sales architect’ drawing sales or creating sales. Clever thinking that is clearly working for him.
You surely have something that sets you apart from the rest of your field. Whether it’s an incredible ability to listen and empathise with others, an ability to focus relentlessly until the job is done, or even family connections that give you an advantage over others in your line of work, sporting interest etc. each of us has something that makes us unique. That becomes your USP (unique selling proposition) to stand out and be original.
Then aim to be amazing at one or two core focuses rather than skimming through multitudes of different aspects of your business and just doing OK. Find some innovative and maybe quirky ways to deliver value i.e. going the extra mile at Open House with drinks on the deck or a red carpet roll into the house that will get your clients remembering you for your unique points of difference.
To build that brand is going to take some investment of time and effort but with the range of technology available today it is achievable without a massive blowout to the budget. Take social media with two hands and run with it but remember to keep it social and don’t try to be the sales person. That will only create a negative effect. Use your camera at every opportunity and sprout about it on social media i.e. look at the line up of shoes at my open house in XYZ suburb, or the drinks on this deck will be amazing with views that last forever and the classic shot of pasting the ‘sold’ sticker on a sign board with your new buyers welcoming them to the neighbourhood. You get the idea. It’s subtle and engaging for your friends on social media especially for Facebook.
One of the strongest ways to increase that personal brand is with your own website with some basic information that builds your strength as an expert through blogging, includes your profile, a link through to your corporate website with your current listings and a point of contact. I would highly recommend a WordPress site to improve with the search engine optimisation ability with Google. I can build your website for a small investment. Take a look at an example from Tim Heavyside http://timheavyside.com/ and Mark McGill http://www.salesarchitect.com.au/
Here’s a great video from Uncut where Tim Heavyside is being interviewed on the massive benefits of personal branding.
Blogging is another powerful tool to create you as the expert in your field. Whilst you don’t have to be the person that writes every blog, I believe it should be coming from you as to the concept idea you want to purvey. A smart sales agent will have a team surrounding him or her and delegate this task.
So is it branding or bragging? If you are sincere then it surely can’t be harmful. Gather testimonials and third party endorsements that will assist in others building your brand and making you the trusted agent in your area. You are as good as the team and the company you keep so work on it.
Prioritise your time but don’t discount or ignore people who you don’t immediately think will be valuable to your business and brand because they can all be your client ‘one day’ or at least a point of referral. Every daily contact has value and this includes getting out and networking. People will remember your impression you left long after your introduction pitch.
Building your personal brand and loyal following takes time and needs to be nurtured to ensure the end result is in line with your values, personality and style. The investment over time will pay dividends and create YOU the brand with your loyal followers making for a great real estate career and the best part of all is that nobody can take YOU, the brand away no matter what office you work in. Now that’s a winning thought!