When I first started in real estate a number of years (OK, decades) ago, having your own personal real estate brand wasn’t as important as it is today. Now there are so many more agents competing for the same slice of pie. On top of that, you’re dealing with advertising fatigue, ibuyer sites, a roller coaster market that makes it hard to find buyers and sellers, and COVID changes that make some forms of marketing impossible.
Without having a personal brand, you melt into the background of other “me too” agents. With a brand, you have an identity that defines you. Marketing becomes easier because you are clear about who you want to attract and why.
If you don’t yet have a real estate brand, then make yourself stand out from the crowd by taking these 5 basic personal branding steps:
1. Create a powerful real estate bio
Start by writing a 300 word bio. Drafting this will help you define who you best serve and why. You’ll probably refine it several times before you’re ready to publish, but once it’s done, it’ll be easy to adjust for different web and social media sites that call for a bio (see #3 below). Wherever your bio appears, it should say the same thing and make people to want to call you.
2. Define clear target markets
It’s hard to become wealthy as a generalist. Specialists always make more money. Sharpen your focus on one or two profitable niches, such as a type of person (seniors, first time buyers, Christians, relocation buyers, etc.), or a type of property (condos, Craftsmans, fixers, vacation homes, etc.), or a location (a neighborhood farm, downtown, ocean-view, etc.). Find the type of market you enjoy most and is easiest in your area. Real estate should be fun for you, as well as profitable. Go back and refine your bio to sharpen your target market focus.
3. Create profiles on the major real estate & social media sites
Include your own website, Zillow, Realtor.com, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. These are the primary places people will find you online. Also look for popular local or secondary websites, like Active Rain, that make sense for your location or market. Add your “about me” bio (from #1) to all. If you’re not planning to be active on a site, add a note with a link directing people to your preferred site.
4. Claim your Google business & clean up your Google search results
Claiming your Google business online will help you show up in search results. Also, at least every 6 months, Google yourself and review your Google search results. Make sure you are in the top 3 – 5 spots for your name. If not, here’s some advice about how to make sure you always show up at the top and in the best light:
5. Create a visual brand identity
A visual brand identity consists of a personal logo, font, and colors. You should have a personal logo that’s separate from your brokerage’s logo. You may need to use both in your marketing, but if you change brokerages (which many agents do), you can at least take your personal logo with you. Make your personal logo clear and simple. Remember you’re using it online, usually in a small corner, so skip gradient backgrounds and tiny detail. It’s a logo, not a calling card. Some examples of excellent logos:
Choose two or three brand colors, and a consistent font and image treatment. Keep it simple. Don’t have 5 different fonts. Simply pick one main stand-out font for headlines, then use regular fonts after that. Make your visual identity match your target markets (if it makes sense to do so). Here are three examples of websites that nail it with styles that match their markets:
Focused on local neighborhoods with classic homes.
Focused on relocation to and within Hawaii by selling the lifestyle.
Focused on a refined style, with a modern, professional presentation.
Figuring out your real estate brand shouldn’t cost you a dime up front. Focus first on figuring out who you enjoy serving, who you’re best equipped to serve, and what style best fits. Once you figure all that out, then consider hiring a logo designer to create a logo and basic color and font scheme for you. Add that to your website and all your online profiles, where possible. People should “get” who you are from your branding.