Create an unforgettable real estate business with these branding tips:
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
As a new real estate agent, making a good impression is at the top of your to-do list. You’re in a “people” business, which relies on your ability to create a memorable brand, and forge meaningful relationships that will eventually pay off. As you might suspect, the two go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. But how do you draw positive attention for yourself when you’re new to the real estate industry and have no experience with building a brand from scratch?
In this post, we’ll focus on the essential steps that will take you from obscurity to fresh, new face. Let’s get started.
While you’re required by law to work under a broker, it’s important to go in with your eyes wide open. It would be a mistake to think that your brokerage is going to do all the hard work for you. Sure, your broker wants you to succeed (mostly because the more money you make, the more money the company makes). To that end, they may provide you with some mentorship and an office space to conduct your business. They’ll even lend you the use of their good name, which you can proudly display on your business cards. However you can’t rely on them to build your brand.
Your broker’s reputation may open a few more doors, especially to prospective clients who’ve had a positive experience with that broker. However, if your broker is well-known, it may work against you. You may find yourself competing with fellow agents within the same brokerage for the same pool of clients. This makes the need to build a memorable brand even more urgent.
The bottom line is to use your brokerage for its benefits: Training, networking, office space, mentorship, office supplies, and an occasional lead. However, to truly build a brand that people won’t forget, you’ll need to step out from your broker’s shadow.
Specializing in a particular type of real estate is one of the best ways to quickly build a memorable brand. When you become a licensed Massachusetts real estate agent, you’ll be able to sell any type of property in the state. But that’s not unique to you. So can every other agent in Massachusetts.
When you narrow down on a real estate specialty, such as tiny homes or foreclosures, you’ll be able to learn so much more about topic. You can reach expert status in no time and brand yourself as the go-to authority on the matter. Becoming a real estate specialist will help you with marketing yourself because you can use those important keywords in your advertisements.
We’ve discussed the benefits of real estate specialization in detail on this post, How to Find the Right Real Estate Niche.
Why should a prospective client work with you? What do you bring to the table?
Even if you’re completely new, you still possess raw talent. Assuming you’re a people person (because you’re in a people person industry), what makes you better than the competition?
You may be a good negotiator, have expert-level knowledge of the neighborhood, specialize in a particular niche, or be tech savvy. You have a unique thing that you do well and your prospective clients need to know about it, but they can’t know unless you tell them.
Start by making a list of your strengths. Next, list all of the ways that your strengths can help a real estate client succeed. For example, if you’re good at interior design, you can use that knowledge to help you stage homes to sell.
You may have multiple strengths. Even better. Think of how you can combine those two (or more) skills to enhance your brand. For example, let’s say you’re tech savvy and good at marketing. You’ll be able to use your natural talents to create compelling online ad campaigns to sell your client’s home.
Take an honest assessment of your strengths and get ready to market them. This is a huge chunk of defining your brand.
Who is your ideal client and why?
After you discover your niche and define your unique value proposition, it’s important to get clear on the type of client you wish to serve. In fact, your niche may be the starting point for understanding your client. For example, if you prefer to work with first time homebuyers, you may know a few things about your ideal client, such as:
Of course, this is only a starting point. You can choose to further define your ideal client by key criteria, for example:
While you can never discriminate by limiting who you may serve, creating client personas will help you understand your individual clients' needs, build a better brand, and target your marketing to the right audience.
You may work under a brokerage, but you actually work for yourself as an independent contractor. In order to build a memorable brand, you must choose a name that’s, well, memorable.
Don’t let name hunting overwhelm you. Your business name doesn’t need to be elaborate or exotic. In fact, when it comes to finding a memorable business name, the simpler choice often wins. Here are a few examples:
Your real estate niche - ex. www.SalemTinyHomes.com Your location - ex. www.SpringfieldAreaHomesForSale.com Your unique value proposition - ex. www.TechSavvyBostonRealtor.com
By reinforcing an important term, such as your location or niche, your business name can help you get found by prospective clients.
It’s the 21st century and you need a website.
Websites are non-negotiable these days, especially when you’re in business for yourself. Did you know that over 90% of house hunters start their search online? You need to be represented on that search, especially if you specialize. Prospective clients are likely to use those specialty keywords in their Internet search (i.e. terms like “foreclosed homes” or “luxury condos”). Creating a website that’s search engine optimized (SEO) for these terms will help you stick out from the crowd.
Your website doesn’t need to be fancy or flashy to do the job. Simply highlight your listed properties (if you’re a seller’s agent) and discuss the benefits of working with you (refer to your unique value proposition). Include your contact information and you’re done.
Once you know your business name, secure your domain name (i.e. www.YourBusinessName.com) right away. Don’t wait until after you set up your website. Before you cement your name, make sure that no one else is using that same name or similar. This is part of building an unforgettable brand.
In addition to your website address, make sure to secure your social media handles, too. Many prospective clients will search for you on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. You wouldn’t want them to pull up your competitor instead.
Once you’re on social media, get social. There are a lot of wonderful ways to build up your brand through social media. Here are a few:
Use these tips to create a memorable brand for your real estate business. If you need any additional resources, check out these posts: