Personal branding for real estate professionals is no longer optional. It’s 2017, and if you haven’t heard the term ‘personal branding’ yet, you’re either not paying attention, or you’ve just stepped from a hyperbaric chamber in which you’ve been in hypersleep since the days of listing agent billboards.
What is Personal Branding?
This refers to a term coined by Tom Peters of Fast Company in 1997 where we are all full-time representatives of a “brand” which consists of only ourselves.
The Origins of the Term
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Fast Company, 31 August, 1997
Why Personal Branding Matters
In short, personal branding is the work you do to make who you are – and what you do – known to potential clients and customers. It is the process of establishing a reputation as an influencer, so that people will seek you out for your expertise instead of you seeking them out. Personal branding for real estate professionals is how you differentiate yourself, and how you stand apart.
Personal branding for real estate professionals could not be essential right now.
Why Personal Branding for Real Estate Professionals Matters
In short, personal branding for real estate professional boils down to this simple reality: the more time you spend on building your brand, the less time you ultimately spend ‘selling’. The stronger your brand becomes, the more people will seek your services and offerings, already knowing what you do and how you can help them. Think of any company synonymous with what they do – the NAME is interchangeable with the item. Some examples of this include:
- Ping Pong
These are company or brand names which consumers culturally substitute in describing their use. Think of how awkward it would sound if someone said “Let’s ride-share to the concert” instead of “Let’s Uber to the concert”.
That’s a result of extremely effective brand-building. It goes beyond name recognition; it’s brand synonymity, and if you can make your name synonymous with what you do, your reputation will precede you in every meeting you’ll ever attend. THAT is the importance of personal branding for real estate professionals.
Building Your Personal Branding In Real Estate
Whats important is to keep in mind is that Uber didn’t become synonymous with ride-sharing overnight, and more importantly, didn’t even start as Uber. The company started as UberCab in 2009, a subtle jab at the taxi industry using the German word for ‘above’; the implication of course being that this system was better than the standard taxi system.That’s important to remember as it shows that the foremost brands were forced to make dynamic changes as they went.
Personal branding for real estate professionals is a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. This is important to keep in mind because if you decide to sprint, you’ll not only exhaust your resources, there’s a very good chance that you’ll exhaust your target audience as well.
History is littered with brands which marketed themselves far too aggressively, and it resulted in over-saturation and consumer resentment.
Be where the cool kids are.
Smart brand-building is finding ways to insinuate yourself into discussions without being too pushy. Door-to-door salesmen and billboard buys died out around the same time that the internet was invented, and with good reason. The internet changed the paradigms of advertising, exposure, and commerce irreversibly.
As a new real estate professional, you are going to be fed intentionally bad advice on how to market yourself. “You have to spend money to make money” is something you’ll hear as you reach for your credit card to buy 1,000 flyers you plan on hand-delivering to build name and face recognition, or as you write a cheque for branded promotional materials.
That’s bullshit, to put it bluntly. You need to get yourself active on social media. Now.
The new mantra is “You have to spend TIME to make money.”
Nobody has ever chosen a real estate professional solely based on a fridge magnet or a flyer which the realtor hand-delivered. And more importantly, if they did, it was a matter of sheer dumb luck that right when they needed to find a real estate professional, they remembered you had given them a pen, or a calendar, or a magnet. There was no skill or strategy to that acquisition, simply a collusion of random factors resulting in you getting a listing. It gets you results, yes, but it is far from a reliable or consistent way to do business.
Today, real estate professionals are building their brands on social media, and doing so very effectively. Don’t believe me? Listen to the following social media stats:
•#realestate has over 8 MILLION posts on Instagram
•#realtor has over 2 MILLION posts on Instagram
•#realtestate has an exposure of 3.7 MILLION impressions per hour on Twitter
•#realtor has an exposure of 5.4 MILLION impressions per hour on Twitter
Simply put, the time for working on your personal branding as a real estate professional is now, and the means are out there for the taking.
Check back in this space as we offer lots of great tips to help you with your personal branding on social media, and how to keep it strong!