By Mark Lemmons I December 13, 2021
As realtors, we often end up in the business of building the brand of our broker, rather than ourselves. It comes with the territory. We work with someone else’s name on our signs or some franchise “backing our endeavors.” Many realtors are out there paying 5 percent to 6 percent in franchise fees, only to have another brand name on their signs.
But what value does it really add? Is it truly work the money you’re paying for it?
At some point you have to ask yourself, what is this brand/franchise doing for me? Could I do the same or better on my own?
I firmly believe that, as a realtor, you are your own brand. If your service or skill is lacking, work on it. You don’t have to be propped up by a franchise name that someone else built.
You can build your own brand. You should build your own brand.
Everyone has a different way of approaching their brand. Some develop it as they go. Others hire agencies to develop it for them. Regardless, a brand doesn’t usually stand on its own; you need to be willing to build it.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top ways to build a brand.
1. Create a Social Media Page Centered Around Your Niche
You may have already seen “McMansion Disasters” or “This Old Home” pages on your Facebook feed. Importantly, a social media page doesn’t have to be about houses that you sell — it doesn’t even have to be positive. It just needs to get your name out there. So, whether you’re sharing strange castles, cottages in exotic locales, or just luxury waterfront properties in your area, you just need to be consistent.
“Content marketing” is a type of brand-building that focuses on developing content in line with what your prospective customers would be interested in. When you create a social media page centered around real estate, you’re inevitably bringing in more buyers. And as a real estate agent, you can assume that most people in your geographic area will buy or sell a home at some point in their lives.
2. Get Yourself Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, or Business Insider
It’s not as hard as you might think. Once you’ve established yourself as an entrepreneur, you can write a “think piece” or opinion piece (or even just hire someone else to do it) and send it on in.
This gets your name around and establishes you as a true authority. When people look you up, they’re going to see that you have premium credentials. And once you’ve been featured in one place, you’re sure to be swiftly featured in another. This type of credibility builds on itself and becomes an unstoppable force.
3. Host a Podcast, Publish an eBook, or Start a Video Channel
Now there’s the engagement. The idea is that you start to engage with people who may someday hire you, even if they don’t have a need to now. So, you produce content like podcasts, eBooks, or video content, knowing that you may not yield results immediately, but you will yield results eventually.
Real estate is a long game. The people you interact with might purchase a house in a year or even five years, but they are going to remember your name if they never stop following your content. In the meantime, your popularity will continue to grow and will bring in those who are ready to commit.
4. Work With Affiliates and Host Events With Other Industry Professionals
Other industry professionals are the ones who can give you the most advice and the best mentorship. Always associate yourself with others who are successful. Studies have shown that you will become most like the dozen or so people you spend the most time with. By courting successful people, you’ll find that you get more chances, get more networking in, and ultimately get more “luck.”
Events are a great way to network and introduce yourself to other people. By hosting events, you can also show appreciation to those who have helped you — and engender a healthy atmosphere of trading favors.
5. Attend Networking Events, Hold Webinars, and Speak at Seminars
And, of course, there’s just sheer exposure. You should attend all the networking events you can around your neighborhood. Host webinars about buying your first home, selling in a hot market, or anything else you can think of. The more you meet people, talk to people, and engage with people, the more you’ll also understand the market.
Bonus: Pony Up to Promote Yourself
The real estate industry is notorious for creating awards for itself. As you know, Realtors love to pat themselves on the back! Various organizations and groups create awards for agents based on production or industry & community involvement. Applying for these awards is always a good idea because it allows you to look the part of the “top agent in your area” while you are still fighting your way to the top! Additionally, your local board of Realtors also gives out annual awards. Whether you have to pay for the right to advertise your award or it’s given freely, if you don’t apply, you won’t win. So nominate yourself and pony up (within reason) to let your sphere of influence and all the socials know that you are crushing it in real estate!
In many ways, brand-building and networking are like muscles you flex. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. As you engage with people at events, webinars, and seminars, you’ll also get a better feeling of what does engage them and what doesn’t. The market is constantly shifting. Buyer demographics are also constantly changing. You need to be able to shift with these tides.
At the end of the day, you don’t just want your brand to resonate with your clientele. You also want it to resonate with you. It’s important that you find a brand identity that you work with — and that you extend that brand throughout every avenue available.
The time to get started is now.