How would you define personal branding? The look of your website? The way you approach clients? The design of your signage and social media pages?
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, it’s “your unique mixture of skills, experience, personality, and know-how.” In short, it’s the professional image that comes across online, in person, and also by way of reviews and referrals.
In real estate –– and all relationship-based industries –– a strong personal brand can do a lot to boost your bottom line. From engaging new leads to resonating with your key target market, personal branding is an essential part of today’s real estate marketing.
Whether you’re a brand-new agent just formulating your brand, or an experienced pro, these five tips are a solid foundation for personal branding success.
1. Know your audience
For new agents, it makes sense to cast a wide client net. Every experience offers a chance to learn. But over time, you may develop an affinity for a certain clientele and this is where your personal brand can help you connect with them.
Say you love working with first-time home buyers. With this audience in mind, you can build a personal brand that offers easy-to-understand content, addresses their unique pain points, and delivers solutions.
The same approach can apply to empty nesters, expanding families, international clients, and so on. When you find an audience that resonates with your interests, pull out all the stops because people can sense a genuine connection. It’ll come through in your marketing materials, social media presence, and every touchpoint to your personal brand.
Naturally, some clients will fall outside of these parameters, but with your niche market making up the bulk of your business, you’ll build a one-of-a-kind brand that fills a need.
Here are a few tips for connecting with your target audience:
- Meet them where they are, literally. What websites do they visit? Which stores do they frequent? Who’s in their network? What events do they attend? Find out and make your presence known.Honor their preferred means of communication. Emails, texts, and phone calls are not always created equal. The best approach to communication is to follow your target’s lead. If they text, text back. As a professional, you’ll know when a phone call or in-person meeting is in order. In the meantime, do as they do.Learn their pain points. Perhaps first-time home buyers are getting overlooked in today’s competitive market. Here’s where you can make an impact by walking them through the steps of prequalification, preparing for inevitable competition, and helping them get their offers considered.Outperform the last agent. We’ve all experienced a real estate agent (mechanic, hairdresser, landscaper, etc.) who has let us down. Come right out and ask clients about their disappointments so you can learn from these mistakes and then overdeliver. Most clients will be thrilled that someone cares so much about their needs and expectations.
2. Stand for something
With your target audience in mind, now it’s time to show them who you really are. This is a good time to reflect on your values, beliefs, and personal motivators. In short, what’s your unique value proposition?
Let’s say you enjoy working with seniors looking to downsize. This market resonates with you for meaningful reasons. Your first job was in a senior center. Your grandfather raised you. You’ve helped several of your friend’s parents find the perfect home closer to their new grandkids. Imagine the comfort clients will feel learning about your background and what drives you to serve them.
As you develop this personal brand, you might interview clients you’ve helped, blog about amazing, walkable neighborhoods, or shoot short videos that highlight your commitment to helping seniors find safe housing with suitable amenities, transportation, and community support. That’s how you stand out in a highly competitive industry.
3. Produce great content (that converts)
These days, content can’t be an afterthought. As a key piece of your real estate marketing strategy, it needs a place on your calendar with clear objectives. This doesn’t mean you have to be an exceptional writer, speaker, and videographer. Pick your strongest talent and go all in.
Let’s use our senior market as an example. If you’ve gleaned that your clients prefer in-person meetings over digital communications, try hosting a monthly real estate seminar at the library, college, or local coffee shop. Topics might include downsizing, high-rises with onsite fitness facilities, communities with excellent healthcare services, and so forth.
With a robust and growing database of past and potential clients, you can nurture these leads with content that converts.
4. Power your online presence
For most real estate agents, your online presence is the essence of personal branding. It makes a powerful first impression. It educates, informs, and maybe even entertains.
Think of your website as your personal branding hub. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, which all have their place, your website offers full content control. It’s your message, your story, your offerings, and your brand promise –– all in one place and free of outside commentary.
Here are some ideas for simplifying your social media strategy:
- Automate – At Weichert, our CRM automates real estate marketing wherever possible. With a few clicks from their dashboard, agents can publish blogs, boost listings to social media, create landing pages for events, post open houses or listings, and share testimonials to help generate leads.Simplify – If Instagram is your go-to platform because its visual nature best highlights your properties, it’s okay to put all of your focus in one place. Just be sure not to leave an outdated Facebook page up for all to see. It’s better to take it down than make a poor first impression.Outsource – If design, photography, or copywriting aren’t your strong suits, hire someone who can knock it out of the park. There’s no room for amateur photos or typos in your professional portfolio. In real estate branding, every detail matters.
Your website and social media pages are also great places to post positive reviews and show off your designations such as Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, Seller Representative Specialist®, Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, and others.
5. Enrich your community
This is where personal branding can be fun and rewarding. At its heart, real estate is a community resource. You serve people and businesses in a place you live in and love.
You can continue building your personal local brand while giving back and it won’t even feel like work.
Here are some ideas to inspire community involvement:
- Create a fundraiser. Even better, design one that aligns with the values and interests of your target market. If young buyers are your specialty, you might raise money for a downtown arts project. For empty nesters, host a golf tournament that supports a hospital or animal charity.Host an appreciation dinner. Your clients are the reason for your success. Thank them with a get-together where they can mingle with like-minded folks. If in-migration has been especially high this year, it’s a great way for newcomers to make friends. Now multiply that times acquaintances, family members, and colleagues who may also be ready to move and you’ve shared your personal brand with countless prospects.Support local events. If your target market is growing families, why not sponsor family friendly events such as an Easter egg hunt, junior mud race, or museum sleepover. This is networking with endless options that are not only fun, but build lots of goodwill.
Remember, in personal branding consistency is paramount. A familiar thread should run through everything you post, say, create, and promote. One look at your brand should convey your skills, experience, personality, and know-how.
At Weichert, personal branding comes a little easier for our affiliates thanks to a national brand that’s well established, eye-catching, and authentic. From there, affiliates and agents mold their personal brands to fit the local markets they serve.
We realize, for example, that the most recognizable and unique symbol of an agent’s brand is their likeness. That’s why recent, high-quality headshots are a must. We also show agents how to create a “personality bar” of traits that showcase who they are beyond their professional persona. We offer guidance on crafting the perfect bio. By consistently infusing these elements into their marketing materials (website, signage, business cards, property promos, sales tools, listing presentations), powerful personal brands are built.
If the branding puzzle has been holding you back from making the right impression, see if Weichert feels like a good fit for your brokerage.