Personal Branding in Real EstateJan 03, 2023
Welcome back to Brilliant Talks, our free coaching program for real estate agents. For our first session in 2023, we had a full house! I have Mark Rader, Brian Curtis, and Jacob Steagall with me, and we talked about personal branding specifically for real estate.
For the longest time, we thought that a brand was the logo and colors we chose for our business, but it is more than that. You are your personal brand. And everything you do, from your marketing endeavors in print, in person, and online, to how you show up, is crucial to growing your business.
It is important to know who you are as a person and a professional, who you serve and who you want to serve, what problems you are solving, what transformations you want to contribute to your clients and the industry, and what you stand for when it comes to your business.
So, let’s talk about how to build a personal brand.
If you have a strong brand identity and have fleshed out your branding guide, that’s great. If not, now is a great time to start. Regardless, it is a good idea to identify, or re-identify, what it is that you stand for and check whether you need to realign your branding with who you are.
My team put together a white paper about branding for real estate agents, and if you want a copy, feel free to message me.
In that white paper, we mentioned three Vs you want to focus on: value proposition, visuals, and voice.
When it comes to the value proposition, there are two important questions you need to answer:
- Who are you serving? Who is your audience?
- What value are you giving these people?
A lot of us are doing things we don’t realize we are actually doing, but those things leave an impression on your consumers—everything from what you do online, what you send out, what type of communication is being had while you are nurturing these leads, how’s the conversation, and more importantly, how are you showing up on social media?
Your value proposition is your message. The one you deliver to your audience so that it makes them want to work with you. It is basically what you stand for, how you communicate, and what value you bring.
When you talk to consumers online, over the phone, or in person, they are always checking to see if you are who you say you are, and getting the value proposition right is what attracts clients to you.
Ask yourself, “What specific value are you bringing to potential clients as a real estate agent?”
Mission and vision
We always hear experts say, “Have a mission/vision statement; it is important for your business,” but let’s differentiate the two.
Your vision is who you aspire to be, who you want to serve, and what problems you envision yourself having solved five, ten, or twenty years from now.
Your mission is who you are now, who you serve, what problems you are solving, and what you stand for.
That is why having a mission and vision statement is important—having that put into words helps serve as a reminder and a guide as to what direction you want to take your business and how you want to show up for the people you will be serving.
It also serves as guidelines for the people you will be hiring. As Brian said, “Begin with the end in mind.”
Earlier, we talked about knowing who your audience is and identifying the people you want to serve. Are they first-time buyers? Move-up buyers? Sellers? Luxury? Are you targeting investors, small business owners, or maybe second-home/vacation buyers/sellers?
Knowing who it is you are serving has a lot of impact on how we approach branding.
Some people might think, “That’s too niche.” But the biggest mistake a lot of agents make is trying to cover everybody. As Brian says, “specific is more powerful than general.” Find something you want to be good at and start there.
When you niche down and focus on something, you can become better at it. So great that people actually start referring you. Then you can expand from there.
It doesn’t matter what niche you pick, as long as you pick one (or two). “But if your goal is to close everybody, you’re going to close nobody,” Brian adds.
Your visuals tell part of the story. When your audience looks you up online, on social or on your website, or sees the stuff you are sending out, it should be able to communicate who you are and what you stand for.
That’s why it is important for real estate agents, whether they are new or have been in the industry for a while, to always update their photos. Preferably, have your portraits taken by a professional.
Make sure your logo, website, graphics, and videos, as well as all digital and print ads, newsletters, mailers, and emails, match the audience and areas you are trying to target. It should be attention-grabbing and visually appealing not only to yourself but also to your audience, and it should be simple.
When there are too many things going on with your visuals, it can get overwhelming. Your message can get lost in the visual clutter, failing to effectively deliver your value proposition to your general audience.
You want to deliver the message loud and clear and without confusion, and a simple and clean approach to visuals is key.
Keep a branding aesthetic guide to make sure all graphics, videos, fonts, colors, themes, styles, icons, etc. are uniform throughout your marketing endeavors. This helps you keep a consistent look that is eye-catching and memorable.
Of course, not everyone is gifted with skills or talents for design. Invest in hiring or commissioning professionals to make sure the job gets done right.
Jacob also suggested, especially for agents who are just starting out or are on a tight budget, getting college students majoring in media or graphic design as interns. This is a win-win scenario where you get good quality outputs faster (because these students would want to impress you) and fresh ideas, techniques, and skills while you help them get some much-needed hands-on experience and some extra income.
Just remember that whenever you commission, outsource, or hire these experts, you should direct them and outline your mission, vision, and purpose for these visuals.
At the end of the day, your personal brand should reflect who you are. People are not going to understand who you are unless you put that out there. Having a branding guide to keep the visuals and voice uniform throughout your branding process helps with brand recognition and retention, builds trust and authenticity, and says loud and clear to your audience that you are real and reliable.
Invest in your brand
Make sure that you are communicating your message—your value proposition—clearly, consistently, and authentically to your audience, and come up with branding and marketing strategies to help you stay top-of-mind with them.
When in doubt, hire professionals to do the job right.
In the same way we guide our clients through the home buying or selling process as experts, we also need to be guided by pros in fields that are beyond our expertise. Getting a coach to guide you through the process and serve as your other set of eyes to give you feedback also helps.
If you are looking for coaching to help you grow your business, we have one-on-one and group coaching sessions available for real estate agents. You can also sign up for our free weekly coaching program.
Happy New Year to everyone, and have an awesome day!