In my opinion, one of the greatest opportunities within my industry’s arena is real estate branding. I say this due to the fact that so many real estate agents sound the same as well as look the same. Too many real estate agents and brokers conduct the same types of real estate branding and marketing efforts as 99% of their competitors.
My definition of branding is, “Your distinctive, indispensable attributes and value.”
The core of all branding strategies and efforts is to ensure that you create a distinctive and memorable impression upon the minds of your target audience. To achieve this objective, one must incorporate many tools, such as logos, slogans, websites, events, public relations, in addition to well-crafted content that can be shared and found within organic search.
Real Estate Branding Helps You Rise Above the Crowd
The NAR reports that 87% of all new agents fail after five years in the industry, leaving a paltry 13% making it successfully. Agents do not leave the real estate industry because they made too much money. They leave the real estate industry because they didn’t make enough or none at all. And how many of those 13% after five years are truly affluent and enjoying their career? Not enough!
One of those professionals who has succeeded in real estate branding and marketing is New York Times best selling author, Grant Cardone. In this podcast with The Big Pockets Blog, Grant shares some powerful ideas on how he created $350+ million in real estate assets.
My Top Real Estate Branding Ideas
To those real estate agents that remain steadfast and ambitious to create a powerful and prosperous brand for themselves individually, or for their overall agency, here are nine simple branding ideas that one can implement.
1. Define Your Brand. Before you work on establishing your logo, tagline, or the overall look and feel for your real estate branding, make sure that you have a good grasp of the demographics, mindset, and needs of your target audience. Here are some important questions that will help guide you though this process:
- What neighborhoods and demographics would be the most lucrative for you to do business with? Would it be wise to tailor your brand around those specific markets?
- What specific advantages or services can you prominently offer that would create a distinctive advantage over the competition?
- What are the core values of your brand? Branding around a mission statement or commitment to a known goal can instill consumer confidence in your real estate business.
- What are other successful real estate brands in your area or niche doing that is resulting in success? How could you perform those actions better or faster?
2. Develop Your Unique Brand. Based on the answers to the questions above, brainstorm on some business names and potential taglines. It is a must to be not only be creative, but to also position yourself as distinctive and professional. If you are not a wordsmith or an advertising genius, I strongly urge you to seek coaching from professionals who have helped others master their real estate branding initiatives. It’s well worth the expense to have this step developed and completed by a branding professional.
3. Design The Brand & Branded Materials. It is vital that to create a visual impact once you launch your brand to your audience. Again, hire design and marketing professionals to create your logo, packaging, website and all your printed collateral materials. In everything you send out or use, it must stay true to your overall theme and look.
4. Engage With Social Media Intelligently, Effectively. And to do this you will need to create content (videos, blogs, emails, etc.) as well as learn how to strategically focus on where to put your social media marketing efforts. Social media marketing is an area that one can become easily lost in and become frustrated with. My suggestion is to focus on one or two social channels that have proven popular among your target audience.
Today, there are plenty of opportunities to share real-time video of your open houses with Periscope. You should be posting photos of the homes and properties that you are listing on Instagram and Pinterest. All of this content can be created and shared from your smartphone or tablet. Creating content does not have to become complicated or expensive.
Bonus Tip: Hyperlapse is a new app that Instagram launched this year. Using time-lapse photography technology and impressive image stabilization software, it essentially puts a few thousand dollars worth of video editing software and expertise in a single app on your phone…for free. You can use Hyperlapse for quick home walk-throughs to show off a lot of space in a short amount of time. Maybe use it to do a quick drive through the neighborhood, giving your listing’s viewers an even more in-depth view of the area. Or my personal favorite, if a house you’re selling has a killer sunset or sunrise, take 10 minutes to film it and include it as part of the listing.
5. You Want Sharing to be Infectious & Fun. The essence of social media is to create content that is worthy of discussion and sharing. Are you taking photos of your new listings and having the seller share it on their social sites? Are you creating videos (yes, from your iPhone) once the house has been sold, capturing the excitement? Imagine how you inspire your buyers and sellers to share your branded content in a creative and fun manner. Get your buyers and sellers sharing your brand and content.
6. Dedicate One Day to Branding & Marketing. Real estate branding and marketing takes a lot of hard work and bull-headed determination if you are to win at it. The only way you will become proficient and effective with your real estate branding and marketing efforts is to dedicate time and energy to it. I suggest you have one entire day, per week, that is purely dedicated to forwarding and building your brand.
7. Meet More People – In Person. You need to hold open houses every weekend. You do all of this for nine months (or longer if need be) as a brand new agent, a rebounding agent or a fading winner. It takes this level of personal networking and one-on-one selling to develop an abundant amount of clients moving through your sales funnel to get above the make-break point. What will occur if you work hard and often? You will talk to a lot of people. Of course you’re going to have some disappointments and setbacks along the way. But you’re also going to have some tremendous success and more commissions.
In addition to holding more open houses, you need to be networking at various events, functions, charities and parties. Those agents who meet people in person, and genuinely connect with them, will always develop more customers and sales.
8. Be a Knowledgeable Agent. Read Keeping Current Matters everyday. Be up-to-date with the latest real estate analytics and trends of the market so you can speak powerfully to clients about why now is the best time to buy and/or sell. Study the daily hot sheets. There’s nothing more important than knowing everyday what’s listed, what’s sold, what’s cancelled, what’s expired and what has been closed. What were the numbers? What were the prices? Know your market inside and out.
9. Write a Book. The word Authority is derived from the word Author. And with today’s ability to write a book with self-publishing formats, such as Amazon and Kindle, it has never been easier. Writing a specific book on your niche, even if only 50-pages in length, will greatly help to position you as an authority and expert within your market place. Read this blog post of mine on how create content easily.
Real Estate Branding: Price vs ROI
The big question that many real estate agents ask is, “How much should I invest into my real estate branding and marketing effort?” While there is no single right answer for anyone, let me share with you my perspective on the important matter.
- How fast do you want to grow? How much do you want to be be selling on a routine basis? Determine the amount of effort and expense that you will need to expend to ensure that your goals are obtained.
- I suggest expending 10-20% of your earnings into branding and marketing efforts. When one is starting out, this may be more difficult, but to succeed you will need to out promote what everyone is doing.
- What marketing programs and budgetary actions have successful agents taken to get their brand well-known and successful? Emulate their effort, energy and output.