At one time, all you needed to find success as a real estate agent was a box of business cards, a decent headshot, and a place to hang your license. Now, however, individual agents, team leaders, and brokers are working to define themselves and their services through branding and marketing. An effective branding strategy helps to draw potential clients in by clearly communicating who you are and what you represent, differentiating you from the competition in your market.
Here are some of the basic considerations for effective brand development. Find out where you need to put your focus to create a meaningful and profitable brand for yourself or your organization.
Whether you are beginning the process of branding yourself as a new agent or are rebooting an existing brand for a new market, service, or image, you’ll need to think through the elements that best define your business so that you can communicate them to fans, followers, and potential clients. Start with these aspects of your development.
While many real estate agents are eager to work with everyone they meet, great branding and marketing require focus to ensure that you have a clearly defined brand identity. Consider focusing on a market niche like first-time homebuyers, senior adults, or military families and emphasize your area of focus in your messaging.
There is an old marketing adage: If you’re talking to everyone, you’re really talking to no one. A well-defined audience gives you the ability to develop your voice and image in response to the needs, desires, and pain points of your target audience. Take a look at your transaction history and consider which types of services and transactions you’ve enjoyed the most. These may offer a clue as you develop your ideal client avatar.
If you work for a larger brokerage company or are yourself the leader of a team or independent brokerage, you’ll need to focus on cohesiveness when developing your brand. As an individual, you’ll need to ensure that your branding is in conformity with the requirements of your brokerage and the rules and regulations governing advertising in your state. If you are a team or brokerage leader, you’ll need to create a well-developed brand guide to ensure that everyone on your team has a clear understanding of what elements to use and how to use them. Check out this video for more tips setting up your brand.
Branding can be an extensive and expensive process. Large companies often spend months or years on a brand facelift and rollout. For a smaller brand reboot, you’ll want to update the following elements:
- Headshot- consider a less formal, more contemporary and casual look (Need help with your headshot? Click here to view our Creative Services.)
- Logo- streamlined and minimalist is the current look for this element
- Colors- know your color codes for consistency here
- Font- stay away from quirky or hard-to-read fonts
- Stationery- from business cards to letterhead to notecards
- Direct mail-from postcards to value-added content items
If you’re not sure where to start, check out Instagram and look for other real estate agents with strong brands and well-defined personal style. DM them and ask for insights, advice and referrals to those who can help you achieve a similar look.
Communicating the brand
Once you have well-defined brand elements and brand collateral, you’ll want to communicate your brand identity to the world—and especially to your local market. Share your newly refreshed look through the following platforms and content components.
An online presence is essential for sharing your brand identity and giving potential clients a place to go to find out more about you and your business. Incorporate your new design and your refined messaging into your website content, including a special page or section for any specialty services or niches you’ve identified.
Remember that the work you do to build your website and SEO can continue to pay dividends throughout your career. If you’ve been using the platform provided by your brokerage, it may be time for you to invest in yourself and create a standalone platform that focuses on you while also including the appropriate disclosures and brokerage identification.
Put together a new bio or repurpose your current bio to emphasize the elements you’re focusing on as part of your brand identity. While you’ll want to talk about your experience and accomplishments, find ways to share the things you’ve done to help clients and communicate your value to new leads.
Remember, a bio doesn’t have to be boring. Consider third person or first person versions, a Q&A format, or a video to better communicate with your audience. By switching up the format you may find that you add some interest to your bio and connect on a whole new level.
Carry your brand through your social media platforms, focusing your content, hashtags, and images on reaching out to your ideal audience. Cultivate value-added ways of sparking questions and communicating with the folks who are out there looking for you and the services you provide.
If you haven’t been good at keeping up with your social media posting schedule, it may be because you are trying to focus on too many platforms at once. Consider choosing just one social media channel—like Facebook or Instagram—and go all-in, learning about optimum timing, engagement, and content development for that particular audience. And be sure to check out this success guide for mastering social media.
Create a blog, podcast, or video channel, and develop a consistent schedule of value-added content to position yourself as an expert and share your knowledge with your market. Use your branding collateral to maintain a consistent look, feel, and voice across all of your platforms and unify them from a design perspective. If you’re not sure where to start with creating your own content, curating content is another great option.
ReminderMedia offers a variety of print and digital products, including American Lifestyle and Start Healthy magazines, Branded Posts, Local Event emails, and so much more—all designed to put you and your brand front and center. Learn more about our offerings here.
Want even more guidance for creating your brand? Check out The Definitive Guide to Branding Your Real Estate Business in 2020.