Today, the real estate industry is more flexible than ever before and agents don’t need to work for a big-name agency to do well in the market.
There are plenty of sales agents and property managers out there building a name – and a brand – for themselves.
They’re competing against the “big guns” and in many cases are doing it well.
But what sets these agents apart? It all comes down to personal branding.
Let’s start with what personal branding is and why it is so important to you as an agent, whether you work for a traditional agency or you’re making the break to do it alone.
Personal branding is simply the practise of marketing oneself and their career or business as a brand.
It is the process of establishing an image or impression in the mind when talking about an individual or organisation.
Essentially, it involves using your name as the brand, and once a personal brand is well established, potential clients can link you to the experience of having a business relationship with you.
From social media to word of mouth, a good personal brand can help you bring in ongoing business without the need to blow your budget on traditional market.
So how does this all work in the real estate industry and how do you bring it all together to start to build up your brand?
Firstly, we need to look at what potential buyers, sellers or tenants want in an agent.
Put yourself in their shoes – if you were looking to buy your first home, what kind of person would you like to get information from?
Similarly, if you were looking to sell or rent for the first time, what service do you need?
Becoming an expert
Being an expert in one particular area of real estate is one way you can build your personal brand.
You wouldn’t go to a GP to have surgery on your hand, so why would you go to an agent who sells commercial properties to sell your home?
Have something that people will know you for, whether that be residential sales, commercial sales, selling management rights or property management.
Once you have a sector you are happy to focus on, you can then start to promote your expertise in this area and attract the clients you want.
How does one become an expert in certain areas of real estate?
Continuing education through your local association, professional development courses, reading books, participating in forums and taking on clients in that area are all ways you can develop an expertise in a certain area.
Build effective relationships
You can build relationships via a social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and through a blog or website.
But don’t forget to get out and meet people. Get your name out there on property platforms like Soho.
If you’re interested in selling management rights, for example, get out and speak to on-site managers; they may not be thinking of selling yet, but will keep you in mind when they do.
It’s always a great idea to keep in regular contact with colleagues and those in the industry. Referrals are a great way to build a business, and if you have good professional relationships, referrals will come your way.
Agent and agency profile
If you are only just starting out in the industry and wanting to join an agency, make sure the agency aligns with your own values.
Ensure you have a professional profile on the agency website, as well as professional marketing materials such as business cards, letterheads and more.
If you are considering branching off on your own, a good agent profile on an agency website will offer a boost to your personal brand, especially if you can include a handful of testimonials from colleagues and clients.
Your professional conduct is one of the biggest contributors to your personal brand. How quickly you respond to enquiries and the manner in which you respond says a lot about your brand and how you treat your clients.
Potential clients are expecting you to respond efficiently and professionally. While the majority won’t expect you to respond in five minutes, they will expect a response within a few hours.
It may seem like you are working 24/7 but setting aside half an hour, three to four times day to respond to enquiries is a good way to start building your personal brand.
There are so many ways to build a professional personal brand to help get you further in the real estate industry.
From surrounding yourself with the right people to treating potential clients professionally and politely, everything counts when you’re trying to build a brand and a client base.
Building a personal brand takes a lot of time and effort, but spend the time and do it right, and the outcome will be completely worth it.