Branding matters, for every kind of company. From a huge real estate brokerage to the mom-and-pop deli down the street, a good brand will go a long way. But it’s especially important in real estate, where your name and logo can carry a lot of weight in your community and beyond.
If you brand yourself the right way, you can bring in client after client. Without a good brand, though, you might just find yourself on the sidelines.
So how can you create a brand that “sticks”? For that, you need honesty, integrity, openness, and people. Yes, people. If you treat employees right, they will be your best brand ambassadors!
But that’s also true of your clients. Treat them well, and they will tell everyone about you and how you helped them. It’s the best kind of advertising, and all the money in the world can’t buy it.
A good brand in real estate is one that people can rely on, trust, and recognize. Buyers and sellers both need that, and so do the home inspectors, title companies, mortgage lenders, and others you interact with.
If you want to be the “go to” person who gets recommended to others, you have to be worthy of it. That means a brand that stands out and an “in this together” philosophy people can relate to.
Putting out some ads, or sticking your face on a billboard, isn’t going to work with today’s consumers and the society they live in. We all need more than that bland kind of advertising that can leave us feeling like we missed out on something real.
More connection is what matters, and what most people crave. They want to be able to relate to you as a brand and as a person. Give them that, and they’ll be telling others what you have to offer.
A good brand won’t develop overnight, but you can start working on it immediately. Even if you don’t have a big budget, just start where you are. The biggest names in real estate or other fields didn’t start out that way.
They started small, just like you and me. They started where they were, and they stuck to what they could offer. Over time, people noticed. Those people told others, and that “overnight success” story happened in just a few short years! You could be the next one, but you have to start now.
Marketing matters. You need to sell yourself and your business. But branding isn’t marketing, and that’s where a lot of the confusion comes in. People market their real estate companies, but they forget to brand them.
What do you offer that other people can’t? What’s your “hook”? There must be something unique you offer, or an extra little piece of value you provide? Think about what it is and then brand yourself around it.
If you’re stuck, frame it like this: what do you offer that your competition doesn’t? When you can answer that question, you’ll know how to brand your business.
Even if it seems like all the basics are the same in your industry, there’s something you can do to stand out and get noticed. We’re all unique. Don’t be afraid to bring some of that personality to what you do every day.
It’s easy to say your business and your brand, but at the end of the day it’s not really about you. It’s about your customers. They need, want, and expect certain things, and it’s up to you to make sure they get them from you. But remember, they can get the basics from anyone in the same line of work.
Get the basics down well, but brand yourself in a way that speaks to something more than that. You don’t have to be extravagant (unless you want to!), but you should be you. Authenticity matters, and it’s something customers will relate to.
Every single person you help is the most important person you’ll ever help, so treat them all that way. You never know when one word or kind gesture will truly change the world. Helping someone buy or sell a house can seem routine when you’ve worked in real estate for a while.
But tell that to the person who worked two jobs for years so they could save up a down payment. Tell that to the elderly man who sold his home and moved to be close to his grandchildren in his final years. Those are the people you’re helping, and they each have a story. They matter.
You can’t sell yourself if you don’t know yourself. But you also can’t have a good relationship with your audience if you don’t know who they are. How do you find out? One of the best ways is to turn to the professionals. When you hire someone to consistently brand your business, they can show you who you’re branding yourself for and why.
For example, if you’re selling commercial property in a large city, you’re selling to a different audience than someone who’s selling residential property in a rural location. Those two audiences need and want very different things, and they have different values and goals.
If you brand yourself as an agent for a certain type of property, you may have a harder time getting clients who want other types. That’s something to be aware of, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just stay consistent in what you offer and how you brand yourself.
When you start out small with social media, you get your foot in the branding door and establish yourself consistently from the start. As your business grows and you hire a professional to help, make sure they don’t change that brand. That’s how people know you, and if you change it, you might lose that connection!
There’s nothing wrong with small adjustments here and there to stay with the times and reach a bigger audience. But the core of who you are as a person and a business should stay consistent online to keep your business growing and your customer base expanding, too.
The bottom line is that branding is more for the customers than it is for the company. With a logo, tagline, agency or personal name, and a focus on the values you’re offering to customers, you can build a brand you can be proud of.
But make sure you know your audience! You don’t want to brand yourself for a segment that’s not realistic for your career goals. Being a generalist doesn’t always work, but neither does finding a niche that’s far too specific. Search for middle ground, and then add your own unique spin to what you’re offering.
Any real estate professional, whether they’re operating a big agency or working on their own, needs to understand the value of branding. Agents and brokers who don’t take branding seriously get left behind. What they’re offering is too close to what everyone else is offering, and customers just don’t resonate with that.
By treating people well and being authentic you can start building your brand today. Then start marketing, even if it’s just on social media. Stay consistent, even if you hire someone to do the marketing and branding work for you. Consistency is key in making sure your brand is remembered for the long term.