Let’s not sugarcoat it: real estate is a competitive world. If you’re in a busy city with a thriving market, it’s downright hectic. In that type of field, the best way to keep up with your goals and create a successful business is to build a distinct brand.
If agents are a dime a dozen in your market, here’s how to set yourself apart with real estate branding:
10 Steps to Real Estate Branding
“Branding” is one of those undisputed buzzwords, but how do you get started? Here’s a plan you can follow:
1. Define Your Brand
First things first: what do you want your brand to be? What type of aura do you want to cultivate? How do you want people to see you? What do you want to be known for?
Think about the type of real estate you want to specialize in. Picture your ideal clients and what they’re looking for in a real estate agent.
Your brand should go along with your natural personality as well. If you’re a fast-paced, tell-it-like-it-is kind of person, capitalize on your efficiency. If you’re more the type to ease clients in and help them take their time, brand yourself with that in mind.
2. Consider Freeing Yourself from Your Brokerage Firm
Now that you know your personal brand, take a hard look at your brokerage firm if you have one. Does it fit with the brand you’re trying to build? On top of branding matters, is the relationship benefitting you?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, it might be time for a change. If you want to free yourself from brokerage firms altogether, learn more about how to accomplish it.
3. Come Up With a Tag Line
We’ve all seen those corny real estate taglines plastered on benches, but hear us out. A tagline is nothing but a quick summary of your brand. It gives clients one more way to remember you.
Your tagline doesn’t have to rhyme or sound like it was written by a fifth-grader. If something cheesy and fun speaks to your brand, then by all means, have at it. If not, you can craft a great tagline that sounds professional and sophisticated.
4. Design Your Branding Elements
When you have defined your brand, it’s time to translate it into visual elements. Design your own logo or work with a designer to create one. Come up with a color scheme that fits your style. Find some fonts that do the same. These visual elements will allow you to carry through a consistent brand in all your materials moving forward.
5. Create an On-Brand Website
Now that you’ve nailed down your visual branding elements, it’s time to put them to good use. A website is an absolute must in today’s professional world. If you don’t have a real estate website, you’ll look like a hobbyist rather than the knowledgeable, qualified professional you are.
Make sure your website perpetuates your clear brand and that it looks professional. Remember that simple doesn’t mean amateurish. As long as the site looks modern and well-designed, you only need a few pages to tell clients who you are.
6. Take Charge of Your Online Image
You want your brand to have a positive image, and that includes reputation management. Chances are that there are profiles on reviews sites that you know nothing about. If that’s the case, clients or competitors can write anything they want without your side of the story.
Start by claiming your profile on Google, Yelp, Bing, Zillow, and any other review sites you can find. If there isn’t a review profile in your name, create one.
Take time to respond to all reviews you already have: positive as well as negative. Be professional and brief, but a sympathetic response shows that you care. You may be speaking to the reviewer, but keep in mind that the public can see your response as well, and that’s the true purpose.
From this point forward, keep an eye on your reviews and respond as they come in. Encourage happy clients to leave a review for you so you can build your ratings.
7. Revisit Your Existing Materials
Depending on how long you’ve been a real estate agent, you may already have business cards, brochures, ads, and more. Now that you have a focused and clear brand, it’s time for a redesign.
You might want to be frugal and use up your existing supply first, but don’t. Consistent branding can gain you far more in the long run than the $25 worth of remaining business cards.
8. Get Social
If you’re not already active on social media with a professional profile, hop on it today. Social media is a vital way to connect with potential clients, be available for referrals, and build your reputation as an expert.
Be sure to maintain your brand in everything you do on social media. Choose your writing style and the posts you share with your brand in mind. There are plenty of other social media tips for real estate, but that branding is still key.
9. Build Your Email List
Email marketing is great for brand development because it keeps you in your clients’ minds. When they see those emails land in their inbox every week or two, it further cements your brand in their minds.
10. Hit the Networking Hard
Don’t forget about the greatest branding tool of all: you! Spread your brand by networking and getting to know your community, letting your brand come through in your personality.
You can get started by joining groups of professionals in your area or by attending community events. Be careful about trying to pitch to everyone you meet, though. The goal of networking is to let people know you exist and to build trust, not to push a sale.
Branding Your Way to a Successful Real Estate Career
There’s no solitary key to success in any career, including real estate. It’s about building a collection of strategies and knowing how to use them. Real estate branding is one of those tools to use throughout your career, and the tips above will help you get started.
For more great tips, check out our business blog.