7 Essential Branding Tips for Realtors
Self-branding has become a part of all of our professional and personal lives. Like it or not, people will judge you based on your social media and internet accounts. This is especially important in the professional world, where a poorly managed profile could mean the downfall of your business. Before people buy a product or hire a company to provide them with a service, they will absolutely do a google search. The internet is our first point of contact and the first source of information for anything and everything. Creating a brand for yourself is therefore essential to the success of your business, and requires time and attention to do well. Follow the tips below to establish a brand for yourself, and the result could be more powerfully positive than you might think.
1. Have a USP
Creating a unique selling proposition (USP) involves a bit of up-front work, but the long term results are well worth it. Your unique selling proposition is a promise to your potential clients that sets you apart from the masses. Instead of just being another name on a long list of people your future client doesn’t know, your USP can help you stand out. Your USP should offer insight into the kind of company you are. When you are creating a USP, think big and think outside the box. My own title insurance agency promises “convenience, communication, and reliability beyond compare.” Other powerful examples are, “we will do a closing anytime and anywhere our clients want for free,” “I guarantee to sell your home in 59 days or else I will buy it,” and “I give 30% of my commission to the charity of my client’s choice.” Your goal as a business owner is to find something special that you can do in your field that no one else does. Use your USP as the cornerstone of your marketing. Share your USP on every website and social media page you have, spread the word and soon everyone will know you as the Realtor who promises ________________. The possibilities are endless.
2. Be Consistent
Ever get the same song stuck in your head for days because it’s on the radio everywhere you go? Repetition is the key to getting into people’s heads. That’s why it is so important to be consistent across all forms of social media, websites, marketing materials, and any other products you produce. It’s also important to be consistent in the message that you are sending because it adds to your dependability as a person and as a business. Check, double-check, and then check again to make sure you have the same slogan, the same hours you work, the same website information across every major website that you use. Get your business stuck in people’s heads.
3. Find a Niche
It’s impossible to please everyone all the time, so choose a smaller audience to play to, and give them what they want. By catering to a smaller, more specific audience, you will be able to specialize in your marketing strategies. Do your research and look for any gaps in the coverage of the real estate market. You could cater to people buying their first home, or people looking for homes near their place of worship, or families looking for homes near good schools. I know a Realtor in Texas who only does New Construction Homes, and he is the new construction king making over 300 deals a year. I know a realtor in Miami that only does Senior Retirement communities. These people own their industries and brand themselves that way. Whatever you want to specialize in, market yourself as a master of that niche instead of trying to appeal to everyone at once.
4. Divide and Conquer
Make sure you have your profile up on every major real estate website because technology can be a powerful tool. That means Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, any other locally used sites, and you definitely also need it up on LinkedIn. If you have never sold real estate before, your LinkedIn profile will be very important. Also, never underestimate the value of contacts built from those sites and in real life. It may seem like a lot of work to keep up with so many avenues, but your audience will be so much wider and have so much more potential for growth.
5. Say Cheese!
Visuals are important for instant recognition and to draw the eyes of potential clients. Make sure that you have a recent (taken within the last 90 days) profile picture on every one of your sites. When you get a new haircut or change your look, change your picture. Clients will associate everything they learn about you with the picture posted on your profile, and then expect to see that person when they meet you. If you do not closely resemble the picture, they will feel like you lied to them. It might seem small, but the details of your brand are all equally essential, and what you look like is a part of your personal brand. Pay attention to the little things, and the big things will fall into place.
6. Write a Blog
Let’s be honest, business websites are usually boring. That is why adding a blog to your website is incredibly important. Create a Blog with access to MLS (multiple listing services), there are several companies out there that offer you a website with a blog and access to your local MLS for under $100 a month. Aim to post at least one blog article each week. If you are not a natural writer or do not have time to write them, I highly recommend you look into hiring writers. You can go to websites like elance.com and guru.com and hire writers that will write articles for less than $15 an article. Think outside the box when brainstorming blog article topics. A real estate website for example, might have a blog that includes information about local attractions, great restaurants, or fun things to do in your target area. The point of the blog is to expand your audience to more people who could become future clients.
7. Start a Fan Club
If you haven’t already, make a professional Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter, and maybe try Snapchat. Do not try to use your personal accounts for both business and your home life, because your friends will be annoyed and your audience will be limited. Having a specific page for your business also allows you to edit the content specifically in order to reach as many people as possible. Focus on posting information that represents who you are and what you stand for as a company, including your blog articles. The point of this is marketing through osmosis. When you help a client buy or sell a home, post a picture of the home and the client, and say something about it being a pleasure to help the family with their purchase or sale. That reminds your friends what you do, and keeps your business fresh in their minds with proof of your success on the sites they use every day.