How to tell a story through your real estate brand

The last thing consumers want to hear is that you are a 'people person'

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At some point in his or her career, every agent is confronted with a simple fact: I am my brand. Whether you realize it or not, you are a product in a marketplace that is chosen by consumers for one reason or another, with the hope that this product will manage a specific transaction.

The question is, was your brand strategically created? Or is it just some organic mesh of unrelated events, a mixture of randomly organized ideas — or perhaps a mashup of disparate themes that were written and developed at various times for a variety of different purposes?

For most, it’s the latter. But it’s OK. It’s not too late. We are going to fix it. Here are three simple steps to strategically create a compelling brand that you can be proud is representing you as a product (and a person).

1. Discover who you are. It’s time to start defining yourself in words. Take out a piece of paper and jot down 10 things that make you the only one of your kind. And if you write down “I like houses” or “I love working with people,” then you are doing this exercise incorrectly. Push yourself. Don’t make these qualities real estate-related.

If you are passionate about gardening, playing the guitar or watching hockey games, write it down. If you are into musical theater, motorcycles or cooking shows, write it down. Examine yourself for what makes you unique. By the time you have finished the list, you should have discovered the fundamental foundation of what makes you completely different in the marketplace, and that is a great start.

2. Put the words together. Take your list and string the ideas together into a narrative that the consumer will understand. The last thing they want to hear is that you are a “people person.” Everyone says that. What they might be more interested to know is that you love to sing. Let’s see what we can do with that. …

“As a trained singer with more than 20 years of performance experience, I have learned the discipline that it takes to achieve great results for my clients.” See? It’s about linking your likes and achievements to the idea of serving the consumer. Try it out and see how it works for you. Just remember, you are writing a narrative, not a list. You are aiming for about 300 words. Make them count!

3. Consistently distribute your brand. Once your narrative is complete, it’s time to share it. Use the narrative as a bio in the “About Me” section of any place the consumer can find you. This would include on Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, real estate search sites and, of course, in your page or section of your own brokerage’s website. Think about it: Apple’s brand doesn’t vary one bit based on site or network or medium, and neither should yours. Make your brand clear, consistent and relevant to who you are, and then spread it far and wide.

For any agent or organization who wants to truly achieve greatness in our industry, strategic branding is essential. Like that of any other product, it needs to be crafted, nurtured, maintained and grown until it saturates a marketplace. By following these lessons, you should be well on your way.

Darrin Friedman is the strategic brand specialist at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty.