Are you willing to “peel the orange” for your clients? This viral TikTok trend has trainer Rachael Hite asking you to evaluate your brand and its appeal to consumers.

It’s Marketing and Branding Month here at Inman. As we enter a competitive spring selling season, let’s examine which tried-and-true tactics and cutting-edge innovations are getting deals done in today’s market. We’ll also be recognizing the industry’s marketing and branding leaders with Inman’s Marketing All-Star Awards.

There is a viral TikTok trend making the rounds that is designed to test how “strong” your relationship is by asking your partner to peel an orange. (Check out orange-peel content on TikTok while you can; the House of Representatives just voted to ban the platform, and the bill is headed to the Senate for a vote next.)

The orange-peel theory poses the question: Do you love me enough to perform a small act of service without complaint?

Couples have been recording raw reactions and sharing them with online spectators to show examples of “true love” or “truly incompetent or selfish” results. From the New Yorker to the Today Show, this trend is making headlines, and it got me thinking about relationships and your brand. 

@angelac0123Did he pass??😭😂♬ original sound – Angela

Right now, there are several reasons to complain about your job in the industry, but are all those complaints ruining your brand and your relationship with consumers?

Are you willing to peel the orange for your clients? (Especially in one of the most demanding markets in history.) Would you pass the test? Here are three ways to ensure that your branding and customer service are all orange flags and positive vibes for today’s stressed-out and overwhelmed consumers just looking for an agent to help them find a home to love.

All natural

Look at your branding. Is it easy to understand? Is your mission clear? How hard is it to get in touch with you? Consumers are well versed in surfing Zillow for homes they cannot afford, but they need help understanding real estate jargon and are frustrated with poor design and communication tools that do not work.

Many consumers feel like they can peel the orange themselves. So why should they let you help them? 

@neanotmiaFeelings♬ original sound – NOFEELINGS.

Faster than they can peel a clementine, potential clients should be able to get an accurate picture of your digital footprint in under a minute to decide whether to work with you.

Your branding should tell a story that is easy to understand and familiar enough that they can identify your strengths, niches and talents. 

This means they shouldn’t have to click or search to find your phone number, email address, recent reviews, sales history and current listings. Understanding what you do should feel natural, not like a map with no key.

Easy to begin

Your branding should feel welcoming. Using storytelling techniques with short and long-form videos on social platforms will help your audience get to know you and learn about your personality so they can decide if they would like to work with you.

@shelbyywilfong failed attempt. #fyp ♬ original sound – shelby

Most agents struggle with this. They spend either too much time or too much money trying to create content that they think their audience wants to see instead of creating content that really shows what it is like to work with them.

So, let me ask you the hard questions. If someone was looking at your branding and marketing for the first time, would they feel welcome to contact you? Are you approachable? Have you defined clear pathways to speak with you directly? Is your logo and contact information consistent on all platforms? Are you a character, or are you a real person who is trying to make a connection and help others with their real estate goals? 

Sweet sections

After peeling your branding apart for potential clients, you must section out your services. Many agents struggle with defining their full menu of services in a format that their prospects and clients understand. 

@eadaoinfitzmaurice He was getting ready to head out the door for work too 🥲 #orangepeeltheory #orangepeel ♬ Ylang Ylang – 𝓒 𝓸 𝓸 𝓧 𝓲 𝓷 𝓱 ♫

Your audience needs to know if you are licensed in multiple states and what that means for them. Instead of pushing generic negotiation skills, share actual stats about your negotiation success rates. 

Branding should have the potential to tell a story that is easy to understand and fun for your prospects to participate in. Once they work with you, they should feel like they are part of your system and have a customized experience.

The most important thing you need to accomplish with your branding is to ensure prospects have a sweet experience. They shouldn’t feel like a burden; they shouldn’t feel like they are asking for too much just because they want your attention. 

Just like the partners in the orange trend, your prospects want to know that if they enter into a relationship with you, you are willing to do what they are hiring you to do without pushback and with a smile.

Final thoughts

Many of the “orange peel” experiments went sideways because, sometimes, the parties had communication differences, and clear expectations had to be established from the start so that even a simple task (like peeling an orange) could go smoothly. 

Not everyone’s love language is “acts of service,” but if you are in a service-based industry, selling something very personal like homes, you better become fluent. 

Your potential prospects are just asking for someone to help them find or sell a home, if you are an expert, this shouldn’t be a hard problem for you to solve for them. So make it easy. Peel the orange, and show them you care. 

Rachael Hite is a former agent, a business development specialist, fair housing advocate, copy editor and is currently perfecting her long game selling homes in a retirement community in Northern Virginia. You can connect with her about life, marketing and business on Instagram.

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