September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.
Your brand says everything about you — and it’s talking at all times. As a real estate agent, your band is what communicates your value, sets you apart and keeps you top-of-mind with potential clients.
That’s why brand-building is one of the key elements agents should focus on. If you want your brand to work in your favor, there are five critical questions to ask yourself and think about.
1. Who do you want to reach?
My parents taught me that if you chase two rabbits, you’ll catch neither. This is often what most people get wrong with their brand.
You want to serve everyone, and you believe that everyone can benefit from you and your services. So, you create a brand that tries to play to all groups of people. However, it doesn’t work like that.
You need to create a niche, a common language and something so recognizable that it’s impossible for your ideal audience not to see you. Before you take a step further with your brand, answer these questions:
- How old is your ideal client?
- What are their pain points?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for fun?
- How can I help them the most?
These five questions will get your brand closer to where it needs to be.
2. What colors are you proud of?
My dad is a very successful business person and author. His color is lime green. He wears lime green every day. Whether it’s a hat, shirt, shorts or shoes — lime is his brand.
Why does this matter? He gets text messages from people constantly sending him pictures of lime green cars they see, key lime pie, or a big lime green smiley face.
Every time people see lime green, they think about my dad. This is what your brand should do for people. It allows you to be top-of-mind with them at all times. Once you pick a scheme you really love, don’t venture outside of it. Let it run through the veins of everything you do.
3. What value are you providing?
Want your brand to be remembered? Provide value to people. This is why so many people love Gary Vaynerchuk so much. He’s always adding value. He’s not trying to sell you constantly. Instead, he’s always teaching and educating people about what he believes is valuable for us to know.
This also fast-tracks your brand to being called an “expert.” We become experts in what we talk about the most. So, stop just selling on social media and start contributing. What do your ideal clients need to know? What questions are they asking? Start answering those questions with content, and watch your brand thrive.
4. Are you consistent on all the major platforms?
You can achieve success on one platform. But to be a brand — you better have a sense of omnipresence about you.
Your focus should be Facebook or Instagram first, based on the age of your ideal client. But then, you should begin feeding content to LinkedIn and YouTube as well. Get yourself out there.
To do this most efficiently, use video first, then break it down into quote graphics and shorter videos of the longer video. You can also transcribe it to a blog and use it in your stories. This will help you to minimize your effort, but maximize your effectiveness.
5. Are you thinking outside the box with your swag?
Most real estate agents get the typical swag — pens, mouse pads, calendars of the local sports team and so on. This is fine, but if you really want your brand to stand out, spend a little more money and give people things they will actually use over and over again.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite things that I’ve seen throughout my career.
- Custom Yeti (or knock-off brand) tumblers.
- Whiskey glasses.
- Knives or cake cutters.
- Custom ornament. (your logo on one side, their family pic on the other)
- Clothing. (T-shirts, hats, fanny packs, etc.)
Whatever you do, don’t go with something that’s disposable. It’s a complete waste of your brand. Your brand is all you have. Your brand should breed trust. It should speak the truth, and it should have you as the face of it. So, put these five things in action now.