Building a lucrative real estate brand is essential to being successful as an agent in today’s overly competitive market. More and more agents are getting their license every day, which makes it harder and harder for an agent to stand out from the crowd and build a name for themselves.
The only way to really stand out as an agent is to buckle down and start treating your real estate business like an actual business, rather than an expensive hobby that sometimes produces returns. Every successful business needs a clearly defined brand, and your real estate business is no different.
But what is real estate agent branding? What does it look like and how does it really function to generate more deals? In this guide, you will gain a deeper understanding of the true value of a well-crafted real estate brand, how to build one, and what it takes to leverage your realtor brand into closings.
What is Branding?
Branding, in short, is the creation and placement of marketing tools that differentiate a business from its competition within the marketplace. For real estate agents, building a brand around your business is just that – creating and marketing materials that communicate what is different about what you do.
The most powerful real estate agent branding is all about creating a lasting impression. Placing your real estate agent headshot on a broker website simply does not cut it anymore. Branding techniques are about confidence and creativity. When you can translate what’s unique and amazing about you and succinctly capture it into words and pictures, that’s the most effective real estate agent branding there is. It is no longer enough to just say you are the best at what you do as a real estate agent, you have to prove it through your real estate agent branding. More on how to do that later.
Crunching the Numbers of Real Estate Agent Branding
45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.
Think of your brand as your promise to prospects and clients. It is who you say you are. It is what you claim to do. It is the people you aim to serve. It is the manner in which you promise to deliver. Most importantly, it is the results that you achieve for your clients.
64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.
When developing and marketing your real estate agent brand, remember to keep your clients’ and prospects’ motivations in the forefront of your mind at all times. Build your real estate agent brand around what you can do for them, rather than what you want them to do for you. That fundamental value will build true believers out of your prospects and help to foster a relationship with you that is built on trust.
80% of consumers are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social channels.
The internet is the first place most buyers and sellers begin exploring the idea of buying or selling a home. Many of them select an agent that they have a relationship with through social media channels. That’s because they’re already exposed to the content that agent shares and they feel a connection to their brand.
The beauty of using social media in your real estate agent marketing is that it allows you to reach both a broad and targeted audience base with your branded content that will appeal to people who are ready or are considering a real estate transaction.
72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine; 69% say it is superior to direct mail and PR.
Original, branded content is an effective way to build your agent brand, as well as to communicate it to your audience. Regularly creating evergreen content as a real estate agent was once a cutting edge technique used by only a few. Today, it has quickly evolved into a requirement for any real estate agent who wants to build a strong brand, as well as, a web presence. Since most buyers and sellers are shopping for real estate agents through online searches, having a strong web presence can be the difference between being a mega-agent and being a broke one.
How to Define Your Real Estate Agent Brand
The first and most important step in defining your real estate agent brand is selecting a profitable niche that makes sense for your market, to build your strategy around. Although it can feel intimidating to choose a niche because you may feel as though you are alienating potential prospects, the truth is that you will simply be better targeting your ideal clients. In fact, that is what selecting a niche and building a brand are all about, providing yourself with the opportunity to work primarily with your version of the ideal real estate client.
Once you have selected your niche, it is time to research your prospective clients thoroughly in order to gain valuable insight into what their problems, aspirations, and motivations are. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself detailed questions about them in order to create a client profile. Here are some sample questions you can use to research your niche and develop a profile that you will use every day in your real estate marketing and branding efforts:
- How old is your ideal client?
- Are they married or single?
- Do they have children?
- What is their income bracket?
- What is their education level?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are their dreams?
After you have developed a firm grasp on the demographics of your ideal clients, you will be better prepared to carve out a unique agent brand that is tailored to appeal to them, so that they are compelled to hire you when they search for a real estate agent online.
Creating Clear Branding Messaging
Where many businesses fail in their branding efforts, is the manner in which they communicate their brand to the public. It is not enough to simply create a real estate agent brand that serves a profitable purpose, it must also be clear and easily understood within seconds. Your prospects should be able to look at any piece of your real estate marketing materials and branding, and know right away what service you provide and who it is meant to serve.
Sometimes, when you are developing a real estate agent brand on your own, it can be easy to allow your brand messaging to become clouded because you can’t see the forest for the trees. Social media is a great tool that you can use to test your real estate branding and marketing materials while they are in development, in order to get constructive feedback and criticism from those in your target market. You may also want to post drafts in social media groups filled with professional advertisers, content managers, and graphic designers to get a more professional perspective on your materials before you pay to promote them.
Building Brand Awareness
Once you have defined what your agent brand will be and developed a brand message which clearly communicates what you do, and how you serve your ideal clients better than the competition, it is time to get your brand in front of your target market. There are both traditional and modern materials that you can use in order to get your brand out there. Here are some common tools that you will find essential as you develop your real estate agent brand awareness:
- Logo – Make sure that the imaging, lettering (if any), and colors that make up your logo are consistent with your brand messaging and communicate your brand instantly. Real estate branding logos must also be easily recognizable and stand out from the competition.
- Website – Get a real estate agent website that is independent of your broker’s or the one that they provide for you, to make sure your brand is just as visible as theirs. Plus, if you change brokers you will have to start all over with your content, design, and SEO every time.
- Slogan – Again, your slogan is key to communicating what you do, who you do it for, and why you are the best at it. Be sure that yours does all of that efficiently.
- Social Media Presence – Having a social media presence is a flat-out requirement to survive in the new landscape of real estate professionals. It offers endless opportunity for you to spread brand and initiate profitable relationships with prospects for free.
If you don’t possess successful experience in using these real estate branding and marketing tools, it is best to hire someone that does. Remember, your job is to get from contract to closing, so it is okay to admit you’re not a marketing, graphic designing, web programming genius. Allow professionals that are experts in those areas to build you up as an expert in yours.
Telling the Story of Your Real Estate Agent Brand
The other component to building awareness of your real estate agent brand is to tell your brand’s story. Storytelling is an art that has the ability to create a deeper connection with your target audience. The very principles of brand storytelling are closely related to word-of-mouth, social sharing, brand perception and social media for real estate agents in general.
This is another area in which that profile you created about your ideal clients will really come in handy for you because your brand’s story should be a longer-form content piece that explains all of the elements of your brand as an agent. For example, let’s say that your niche is aging couples in the 12345 area code that want to downsize by selling their larger home and moving into a smaller house, apartment, or even facility. You can create a story around a couple that was struggling with the hassles of managing their large property in that area code until they found you on a certain medium, and you got them the most money for their house to supplement their retirement, found them the perfect smaller house for their needs, and now they have more time, money, and freedom to enjoy their lives.
You can actually develop a whole series of brand stories that communicate the unique value that you offer your ideal clients in order to appeal to more of them. Translate those stories into multiple forms of content like articles and videos and distribute that content to the decision makers in your niche. The best part is that you will be able to use and recycle those stories for years to come to attract new clients.
Positioning Yourself as an Expert
The final key element to developing a profitable real estate agent brand is to ensure that your brand and all of your brand messaging positions you as an expert in your field.
Do not waste your time and money on real estate branding and marketing materials that make you look like just another real estate agent. Go above and beyond to create materials that make you look like the real estate rock star. All of your real estate branding and marketing materials should come together to create the perception that buyers and sellers would be lucky to work with you, rather than the other way around.
When you take the time to carefully choreograph a real estate brand that makes sense for your market, fuels your passions, and effectively serves a profitable niche, you will be able to crush it as a real estate agent. Suddenly, you will notice more and more people chasing you down to ask you questions, talk real estate, and hire you to work for them.
The best part? The clients you target with your real estate agent branding will be the type of clients you actually enjoy working with, rather than ones that make you want to pull your hair out and return to that nine to five job you had. Invest in building a profitable real estate agent brand now, and you will reap the rewards for the rest of your career.