Branding is an essential part of building a business. No matter what industry you are in, your employer will look you up on Google before you are hired. After searching for awhile they will develop an impression of you. You want to be in control of those impressions and decide what information is out there about you.
What is branding? Branding is “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” Entrepreneur explains it as what you are promising to your customer – “It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
From a real estate standpoint, you are making a promise about the quality and type of work you provide for clients. There are several aspects of developing a real estate agent brand. The most effective agents have an effective marketing plan and have branded themselves well. Your real estate solutions for your clients are unique, valuable, and need to be communicated.
8 Components of a Successful Brand:
1. Identify your Target Client
Who are you selling to/for? Have a person in mind when you develop your brand. Do you primarily deal with first time home buyers or families of 5 who are looking for a bigger/smaller house? Each will have different needs and selling points. Knowing your target client will help you anticipate their needs and market yourself in a way where your clients will be drawn to you.
2. Get Personal
Appeal to the emotional side of people. You may have all the logical reasons why someone should go with you, but lets face it, trust and commitment are based on how a person feels more than what is in their head. “Let me help you find a place to call home” is way more effective than “I get the job done.”
When showing homes in person or through video, people are drawn to how the house could work for them – is it a place they can make into a home and build memories in? Think about the reasons why your clients would want to buy or sell a house and market that to them. Share your personal experience, be real and open and you will build a connection with your clients.
3. Values and Beliefs are Key
What you value and believe in life will come out in your brand. Your reputation is big part of this. Things like integrity, consistency, and honesty really do stand out. Are you someone to be trusted? That is the basic question everyone asks before they hire someone. Clients want to know you will be responsible with their time and money. That is why they do research on you to see what others’ experiences are. They look up reviews, testimonials, and ask around – your actions speak louder than words. Its takes moments to kill your reputation and months even years to build it up. There are no shortcuts to success.
4. Become an Expert
Knowledge about the market, how to navigate certain real estate problems and situations takes years of experience. Until then, read up. Take those classes, do your research, ask for advice – the only person holding you back is you. Getting clients is tough on new agents – this is where the “wow” factor comes in. Clients want to know you know what you are doing. Reassure them with what you know – pull out all the stops. Client testimonials are a huge help here. Do the extra work of gaining knowledge – it will only pay off in the end.
5. You are Special
What makes you unique? There is something that makes you stand out from the crowd. You are the “only” agent that ________. You offer these specific skill sets and that is why home buyers and sellers should pick you. Even if you don’t have an “only” quality, you still have a lot to offer a client. Highlight your good side.
Its ok to brag a little here. You are good at what you do and this is the time to shine the spotlight. You consistently sell ___ amount of homes in ____ amount of time. If you have sold a number of homes tally up that number and give a shout out to the number of clients you have successfully helped. Whatever it is, don’t be shy about it.
6. Create a Catchy Slogan
“Selling homes since 1957!” “Selling solutions, not promises.” “Dedicated to all your real estate needs!” are all great examples of taglines to use for your real estate business. When offering real estate solutions to clients the key is to present a united front. Having a consistent theme throughout all of your branding will create a sense of completeness and will communicate to clients that you know what you are doing. You’ve put a lot of thought into your presentation and it looks good. Create a slogan and stick to it – it will catch on if you use it in enough places. Remembering can be an interested thing – the human brain remembers information better when 2 things are associated. Compared to an agent with equal talent and opportunity, the one with the catchy slogan stands out.
7. Personal Logo
It doesn’t have to be fancy or complex. Once you find a logo that fits you, use it EVERYWHERE. If you thought a catchy slogan was good, pairing it with an eye-drawing logo will make it that much more powerful. People are visual.
If I had to pick between a slogan and a logo, I’d go with the logo. “The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.” Words and a picture? Dynamite. Let people see you. Research shows that customers are drawn to a product when it features an actual person in the ad. Clients want someone they can relate to.
8. Marketing Plan
“You will send out an email every Wednesday at 2pm” = part of a marketing plan. Your plan should include 3 things:
1. Social media – it’s a powerful tool that is FREE.
Perfect place to get personal, be seen and connect. Try out Facebook and Twitter ads – total game changer. Check out this Real Estate Marketing How To for some strategy. Have a plan for what and how much to post on your social media accounts. (5 Reasons to use Instagram as a Marketing Tool)
2. Email marketing schedule
You will have leads and clients you’ve already helped. Stay connected through an email marketing campaign. Creating content to mail weekly &/or monthly like a newsletter, blog post, and general market updates is a great idea to stay on the radar. The key here is to send out relevant information. You DO NOT want them to put you in the spam folder. Keep leads and clients interested with content that is engaging and worth their time.
3. Direct mail
With the rise in internet communication, direct mail can be quite effective. Sending a little something in the mail guarantees that their eyes are going to at least see your marketing materials. A little flyer about your services, a monthly mailer with relevant updates, and little holiday goodies make a big impact.
The most successful real estate agents and REALTORS have a marketing plan and they stick to it. Usually its a combination of all those 3 things and can include any number of other methods. Marketing is all about getting yourself out there and SEEN by your target client base. Investing in business cards, quality head shots and printing materials is ALWAYS a good investment. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in a website. There are a TON of resources available to you – time to start using them!
Our Real Estate Virtual Assistants Can Help!
If you need help establishing a strong brand and marketing strategy, give us a call today. Our team of experts will work hard to establish a brand that helps you stand out while getting your message across, and also set you up with a successful marketing plan to include social media, email marketing and more. We look forward to working with you!