A real estate transaction is one of the most important financial and personal decisions a person will make in their lifetime. While some people make many transactions throughout their lifetime, others may experience only one or two.
No matter the quantity, buyers and sellers always want to work with like-minded and relatable people and search for their agent to have attributes including accountability, reliability, expertise and similar work and personal style.
Clients conduct searches to find the right agent in various ways. They seek recommendations from peers, search agent websites, seek online reviews and testimonials, take note of marketing and advertising materials and search through agent social media pages.
While every agent won’t be the right match for every client and vice versa, it is essential for real estate agents to create a personal brand to make sure that they work with clients with whom you align. Also, your brand should help you attract new clients and subsequently grow your business.
Here’s how to define and create a personal brand.
Identify your goals
The first part of making any plan is to identify your goals.
- Do you want to increase your business within your farm?
- Do you want to expand your reach to new regions?
- Do you want to be known as an agent who works only within a particular price point or product type?
There will be a lot to consider and identify when outlining your goals. But that’s the beauty of setting goals — the world is your oyster and once your goals are down on paper, you have taken the first step on your path to achieving them.
Define your value proposition
You must define your value proposition now that you have identified your goals. Let’s take, for example, that you want to increase your business within your farm.
Some of your value proposition items may include the fact that:
- You have lived in the area for so many years.
- You grew up there.
- You volunteer for local charity organizations.
- You sit on the boards of local organizations.
- You volunteer your time at the school or community center.
- Your sales volume indicates that you are the top real estate agent or are among the top producers within that region.
- You have extensive experience within the area.
Your value propositions should be why a client should select you for representation.
Know and understand your audience
Once you have identified your goals and defined your value proposition, it’s time to make sure that you truly know and understand your audience. Going back to the example that you want to increase business within your farm, you have to understand what is important to your demographic.
Are people in your farm typically first-time homebuyers, or are you serving a seasonal destination that typically attracts second- or third-time homebuyers?
Do the people within the region lead hectic city lives or are they more laid back and enjoy a sense of community?
What types of media or participation in community events will be more impactful when it comes to your brand exposure?
It may take some time to round out your analysis fully, but once you begin executing your plan, you will understand if you need to make minor adjustments for further success.
Create your personal mission statement
Armed with your goals, value proposition and understanding what resonates with your audience, it’s now time to create your mission statement. The statement should be short and to the point.
A mission statement can evolve, but it should be something that you always keep in mind to make sure that you are staying on course to remain true to your brand and meet your goals.
Tailor your marketing initiatives
Once you have a clear outlook for what you want your brand and mission to be, it’s time to start getting creative and map out your marketing strategy. A significant first step in having your brand come to life is to create a look and feel that aligns with your mission statement.
Some collateral could include a personal logo, an identifiable color palette to use throughout your materials, a refreshed headshot and lifestyle images or even a video of you introducing yourself and allowing the audience a glimpse at your personality.
Also, make sure to use and leverage the power of the brand that your brokerage provides. The very best brokerages already have the name and reputation that is instantly recognizable and trusted. Be sure you don’t miss the opportunity to capitalize on that aspect when building your own brand.
While there are costs associated with graphic design, photography, videography and the like, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Your personal brand is something you should invest in, so if you need to build it slowly and take some time, that is better than creating pieces that are not of the highest quality.
Whatever route you choose, this is the point that you start building out your marketing strategy. Be sure to examine opportunities such as traditional and digital advertising, community involvement, media relations and a unique social media campaign. As you work on building these items, be sure to keep referring to your mission statement to ensure that you remain on the path.
Be open to change
Much like life, your brand will evolve. While it is essential to maintain consistency to ensure the longevity and recognizability of your brand, it’s perfectly normal to grow and develop. After all, it’s your brand and there will only ever be one you.
Defining and creating a personal brand is a necessary and exciting opportunity for real estate agents. As your clients are about to engage in one of the most significant financial and most personal transactions of their lifetime, they need to know that they can relate to the agent who will guide them through the process.
The wonderful thing is, while you may start with a clean slate, you have every opportunity to jump off the page with a new and unique personal brand that evolves as you do.
Laura Stace is vice president of luxury marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.