Personal Branding is the business world’s biggest buzzword lately, especially now that social media has turned marketing into a conversation.
But personal branding is the next level, and businesses have taken full advantage of the ability to make their brands feel personable by relating to their audience while, at the same time, establishing their value and values.
If you ask someone about a commercial that got it right, a popular one that comes to mind is Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.’
It’s hilarious and absurd, and for Old Spice, a deodorant that was previously associated with grandfathers, it was a stroke of branding genius.
So how do the branding practices of a soap company relate to REALTORS®?
One of those lessons is that self-aware branding can be a strong indicator of your success (or failure). Of course, personal branding operates differently from branding on a massive corporate scale, but the steps are almost entirely the same:
- Identify your unique proposition,
- determine your voice,
- establish yourself as an expert,
- and make sure you’re seen out in the community.
Step 1.) Identify Your Brand
You’ve heard about personal branding in The Dojo before: the conclusion being that quality comes before style.
If your work is high-quality, your style will reveal itself. Translating that style into a design aesthetic is important, but in order to know what kind of design will work for you, you need to identify not just who you are, but how you want to be seen.
Defining your brand relies on answering important questions about yourself and your ways of doing things. So ask yourself:
“Who is my clientele?”
This is the most important part of the branding process. You need to know who you’re talking to and what they want to hear.
Are they families in suburban neighbourhoods? Are they looking for rental rooms in large apartments? Are they retirees looking for vacation homes?
These factors set the course of your branding process. All of your advertising, communication, and design will revolve around your clientele and their needs.
“What’s my niche?”
The next thing you need to do is define your brand and set yourself apart by deciding on a niche.
Do you keep an eye on all the local fixer uppers? Do you know all the best waterfront properties in the area?
Having a focus will make you the go-to person for the client who knows exactly what they want.
“What are my goals?”
Why are you a REALTOR®? What’s your purpose in real estate?
It’s important for clients to understand what you’re doing and why. People can see right through a real estate agent who’s cutthroat and just wants to close the deal regardless of their needs.
To avoid confusion, make your goals visible in your branding. “I will find you the perfect home or I’m not satisfied” or “I am awake whenever you are”. Whatever it is, make sure your clients know who you are.
“What are my values?”
Your values should be determined by your goals. Having great values will become clear in how you treat your clients and what you try to accomplish for them.
If you value timeliness, your clients will hear from you immediately. If you value honesty, you will be upfront and transparent with your clients. Whatever your values are, as long as they shine through, you will be one step ahead of the competition.
A great example of REALTOR® branding is Marguerite Giguere, who defined herself as “The Sky Diving REALTOR®.”
This hook shows that Marguerite is more than a real estate agent — she’s someone who likes to live life to the fullest, which is also often associated with a happy person.
And who doesn’t want a REALTOR® they can look up to? (bazinga!)
Step 2.) Determine Your Voice & Visuals
Consistent branding is key. If you’ve chosen bright colours and a cute name like “The Geeky Girls” did, but in conversation, you’re completely dry and serious, clients will feel the disconnect.
Your logo, slogan, and advertising all play an important role in what your potential clients will come to expect. These branding elements can sway people in your direction, so work carefully to determine your voice and be consistent through all your communication!
Visual advertising is another important part of your branding. Some brokerages have strict rules on the use of colour, that doesn’t mean you can’t express your personal colours through your outfit or makeup.
You’ll also want to consider getting a personal logo, where you can incorporate personal, unique details that distinguish you from the rest. Up until recently, getting a logo was costly and required a lot of back and forth with a designer, but nowadays it can be done from any laptop or smartphone with sophisticated and inexpensive online logo makers like Logojoy.
It’s also important to have a personal website where clients can see your listings, selling history, and contact information. Of course, the team at RealtyNinja can help you create a REALTOR® website that’s both functional and beautiful.
Again, you want these elements of design to reinforce your brand. If one of your values is transparency, it would be great to have visible reviews from past clients. If you really value your social skills, your website should be written in a friendly, approachable tone.
Whatever tone you choose, make sure to implement it everywhere. E-mails, phone calls, and social media posts should all be in the same voice. Not only is it important to fulfill your clients’ expectations, but it becomes a part of your brand and reputation.
Step 3.) Become a Market Expert
Who would be better to trust with helping you buy or sell a house than a market expert?
It’s a huge advantage to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, but it’s a lot of work. It’s worthwhile to start a blog, volunteering to write for others, or attending and speaking at conferences.
All of this is time consuming and requires real research and interest, but ultimately it will serve you well! When choosing between REALTORS®, any client is more likely to choose someone who proves that they know the industry and the market well. It’s just another reason to trust you.
Doing something like weighing in on an editorial news article will not only solidify your status as an expert, but get your name out to people who may not have heard of you otherwise.
Step 4.) Involve Yourself in the Community
You can be an expert on more than the market; in real estate, it’s useful to be a community expert as well. This is beneficial for so many reasons. For one, you can match a client to a neighbourhood with ease.
By learning about them and their passions, you can help them find a community that makes sense for them. You’re also likely to be the first to know about which homes are selling, what market rate is, and who would be likely to seek out homes in that area.
Finally, it reflects really well on a REALTOR® to care about more than profiting from a neighborhood. If you become involved in the community and give them some of your time, community members and clients alike will be grateful for your time.
Volunteering or attending local events proves that your interests extend beyond real estate. Caring about the neighborhoods that you’re selling is a huge benefit for everyone involved.
There’s a lot of marketing involved in real estate, so don’t forget about marketing yourself to the correct set of potential clients. You can set yourself apart from the competition by focussing on your brand.
Identify your brand, be consistent in your voice, act as an expert, and get involved. Following these 4 steps will not only lead to you becoming an excellent real estate agent, but a REALTOR® who stands out nicely in a crowd.
About the author
Alannah Alves is a Content Marketing Coordinator at Logojoy!
Check out her epic design & branding blog, and view examples of real estate logos created by Logojoy.com.