Branding is an essential part of building a business.
But what is branding? According to Entrepreneur.com, it’s “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”
That means whenever someone picks up your business card, visits your website or sees a social media post, they see your brand. As Entrepreneur.com explains, your brand tells potential clients “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, the brand you establish makes a promise about the quality and type of work you provide for clients.
The most effective agents usually have constructed a powerful brand. There are several things that go into developing a successful brand that portrays your real estate solutions as unique and valuable to potential clients.
Here are eight components of a successful brand:
1. Identify your target client
Have a person in mind when you develop your brand. Who are you selling to? Do you primarily deal with first time homebuyers or families of five who are looking for a bigger house?
Each group has different needs and selling points. Knowing your target clientele helps you anticipate their needs and market yourself in a way that draws them to you.
2. Get personal
Appeal to the emotional side of people. You may have all the logical reasons why someone should choose you but, let’s face it, building trust and receiving a commitment are based upon how a person feels more than what is in their head.
When viewing homes in person or through video, people become interested based on how they believe the house could fit into their lives. Think about the reasons why your clients would want to buy or sell a house, and market that.
In addition, share your own experiences and open yourself up to build a personal connection with your clients.
3. Values and beliefs are key
What you value in your personal life typically comes out in your brand, and your reputation is a big part of that. Things such as integrity, consistency and honesty stand out.
Are you someone who can be trusted? That’s one of the biggest questions everyone asks before hiring an agent. Clients want to know you’ll be responsible with their time and money, which is why they research you. They look up reviews, testimonials and ask around. Remember: your actions speak louder than words.
4. Become an expert
Gaining knowledge about the market and knowing how to navigate certain real estate problems and situations takes years of experience. Until then, educate yourself if you’re a new agent.
Take classes, do research on your own and don’t be afraid to ask for advice – the only person holding you back is you.
Getting clients is tough for new agents, since it can be difficult to prove you know what you’re doing. Reassure prospects with stats, recent successes and testimonials.
5. You are special
What makes you unique?
There needs to be something that helps you stand out from the crowd. You offer these specific skill sets, which is why homebuyers and sellers should choose you. Even if you don’t have an “only-I-can-do-this” quality, you still have a lot to offer. Highlight it.
And remember: It’s OK to brag a little. You’re good at what you do and this is the time to shine the spotlight on yourself. Don’t be shy about discussing whatever qualities or experiences make you special.
6. Create a catchy slogan
“Selling homes since 1957!”
“Selling solutions, not promises.”
“Dedicated to all your real estate needs!”
These are all examples of taglines to use for your real estate business. Having a consistent theme throughout all of your branding creates a sense of completeness and communicates to clients that you know what you’re doing. Plus, if the slogan and presentation is catchy, it sticks in the minds of potential clients.
Combine your slogan and other branding with a logo for the more visually responsive. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complex, but once you find a logo that fits you, use it everywhere.
If you don’t think you’re creative enough – or have the time – to come up with both a slogan and logo, focus on the logo – most people process images much quicker than text.
8. Marketing Plan
Your plan should include three things:
1) Social media
It’s a powerful tool, it’s free and it’s a place to both show off your professional chops and get personal. We’ve written extensively about how to best utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels.
2. Email marketing
Stay connected with leads and former clients through email marketing by creating content to send a weekly or monthly newsletter. The key here is to send relevant information. The content you send can include your own blogs, other news stories or even a feature from the local newspaper.
3. Direct mail
Even in the smartphone generation, direct mail can still be quite effective. Sending a little something in the mail guarantees that potential clients are going to at least see your marketing materials, rather than quickly deleting an email or scrolling through a social media post.
A flyer about your services, a monthly mailer with relevant updates or a Christmas card can make an impact.
The most successful real estate agents have a marketing plan they stick to, which usually is a combination of all the above methods.
Remember: Building a brand is all about getting yourself seen by your target client base. Investing in yourself in the form of business cards, printed materials and/or a website is always a worth the money.
Do you want to spend more time enhancing your brand and growing your business, but instead find yourself constantly scheduling and confirming appointments? If so, The Showing Time Appointment Center can help! Learn how the ShowingTime Appointment Center helps free up your time to focus on other tasks, while adding a personal touch that helps you stay true to your brand.