Building strong brand recognition is one of the most important things for a real estate agent. Most real estate agents do not see themselves as a brand. Branding is a very powerful tool for you and if done correctly you could build a strong and consistent brand, plus see a real boost in your business.
You need to brand yourself just as aggressively as you would your top listings because building a brand makes it easier for you to be remembered by buyers and sellers. Branding is more then coming up with a logo and a tag line, you need to stay consistent and stick with it to see the payoff. So be sure to create your plan, stay persistent and live it day in and day out. Set yourself apart from the swarms of other agents in your local marketplace.
Follow some of these simple steps to begin a strong and consistent campaign.:
1. Define your Value: Why are your services more valuable than all of the other agents? This is probably one of the most important factors to determine in the beginning of your branding campaign. What is your unique value proposition over your competitor? Make all of your clients say “Wow that was a great real estate experience and I will never use another agent again.”
2. What makes you unique?: What qualities do you have that a consumer will struggle to find in 1,000 other agents? Build the perception in the mind of the consumer that you are the only one that can give them this service. For example, a local real estate company here in Norfolk, VA, markets their real estate firm as offering five specific services: residential and commercial brokerage, property management, interior design and construction and remodeling. A combination of these five services makes an unique value proposition.
3. Develop your marketing strategy: The most important step is of course to implement your strategy. There are many ways to market your brand and your listings. Here are a few ideas:
- Portal Advertising: A real estate portal such as Homes.com is a great opportunity to reach new consumers everyday. Portal advertising exposes your listings and brands your message to home buyers searching online in your local area. Are your listings online? Post them to Homes.com today
- Become the local expert: Stay active with current events and trends. Start a real estate blog geared toward buyers and sellers on your website. You can also sign up for question alerts for your area on the Homes.com Questions and Answers community. Show home buyers and sellers your expertise by interacting with them on any real estate questions posted in the community. Don’t forget to post links back to your blog and website to drive interested consumers to you.
- Create a consistent profile online: Make sure to create a consistent profile for each of your online profiles, including your free agent profile on Homes.com. This way when home buyers and sellers are looking for a real estate agent, they will recognize you, no matter which site they are searching on.
- Personal Website: Create a personal website that outshines all of your competitors. Feature more than just your listings; write blog entries, have a news feed, create high SEO placement to ensure buyers and sellers find your website on search engines. The more content you have the higher SEO you will have and thus the more visitors you will drive to your website.
- Brochures: Create a template for all of your brochures to ensure consistency. All of your listing packets should be a comprehensive packet featuring YOU! Oh and of course your listing… Make sure to have a brochure available at each or your active listings so buyers have easy access to more information.
- Yard signs: Be diligent about your yard signs for each listing. Make sure to get your name plate up as soon as the sign is installed and and of course a SOLD sign as soon as you are under contract. That way people that live and travel through that area will remember YOU!
- Flyers and Business Cards: Make sure to hand out business cards to anyone and everyone that may be in the market for a home. Even post flyers in local businesses featuring your brand, your unique value and of course your contact information to convince people to call you.
- Newspaper: Don’t underestimate the good old newspaper ad, the newspaper is still read by millions of people each day and is a great outlet for advertising, especially the Sunday paper to advertise your Open Houses.
It’s also a great idea to survey your clients and ask questions to help you understand why they chose you and which businesses practices they think you can improve on. This is a great way for constructive criticism and compliments to help make you better at what you do. Ask questions such as:
1. What other agents did you consider? 2. Why did you end up choosing me? 3. What was the best thing about your buying and/or selling experience? 4. What was the worst thing about your buying and/or selling experience?
Now that you’ve set up your brand guidelines, created your marketing plan and surveyed your clients, you’re ready to begin setting yourself apart. Remember the best way to leverage your brand is to map it out then live it every day and stay consistent. Once you get going you will see more and more business coming in, including new and returning clients, not to mention the referrals from happy clients.
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