Real estate branding encompasses a lot more than just creating a fantastic logo and brand design aesthetic. It’s also about who you are and how you get your messaging across to your audience.
Take it from Placester’s own Seth Price, who knows a thing or two about modern branding (well, more like 2,000) and what it takes for professionals to make big names for themselves in their respective industries — including real estate agents and brokers.
Over the course of his time at Placester, Seth has shared his marketing wisdom with what seems like every Realtor nationwide. If you’ve yet to hear him wax poetic about how to develop an enviable, successful real estate brand, you’re missing out.
Thankfully, Seth shared many of his unique personal branding insights in a recent Placester marketing webinar — many of which you can discover below. Having said that, we strongly advise you also check out the full webinar chat to learn how you can up your branding game in no time.
Beginning your real estate branding strategy starts with determining who you are and how you want to be perceived.
Having worked for a number of brands — from some in the Fortune 500 to others in the early stage startup sphere — Seth knows full well there is no one, magic secret for professionals in any field to develop their personal branding from the ground up. Rather, it’s simply about understanding your strengths, value proposition, and goals and presenting them to your audience in the hope they get a clear comprehension of what you’re all about as an agent.
“I’d say the simplest way to think about it is: You don’t control your brand anymore,” Seth said. “Your brand is your first impression and it’s your second impression and it’s your third impression. It’s what people find about you when they see you. It’s the content you create. It’s how they experience you when they actually meet you in person. It’s how other people talk about you. Those are all representations of brand.
“Your brand is what you stand for, what you’re focused on, and how you present that on the web.”
Seth added that the real estate business is all about trust — more so than some other industries — meaning Realtors need to make a concerted effort to really display their authentic selves to the world.
“We really only get to sell to people if they trust us,” Seth continued. “If we get to build the relationship, we might get a [lead]. … We get that lead, and unless we can make a connection, where they feel they … can trust us, they have within three seconds and two clicks on the computer, [and] they can get 10 people just like us to do the same thing. Now, they don’t know the difference between our qualities unless we articulate that on the web in a meaningful way.
“That is what your brand is. Your brand is what you stand for, what you’re focused on — so the market, the niche, the subject matter expertise that you represent — and then how you present that on the web. Think of them as breadcrumbs or the ‘Hansel and Gretel’ trail: the tips, the taste that you leave for people to discover that you might be someone they want to work with. Then once they work with you, they feel like they want to recommend someone else to you.”
The ability to stand out from the “noise” on social media and show off your local expertise is vital.
Two big components of any successful real estate agent’s branding blueprint, according to Seth, are mastering the art of social media for Realtors and exhibiting your housing market knowledge on those channels and your IDX website.
“Understand each one of your social media profiles is like a business card on the web,” Seth noted. “So you should have a really beautiful, well-taken headshot, looking directly into the camera. … being human, because that millisecond of recognition when someone looks at that is, ‘Oh, that’s a nice person’ or not … and that’s what you’re trying to do. You just need to be you. No logo in place of where your head should be. Your bio should be consistent across all of your platforms … and tell a consistent story.”
Besides building a solid presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other oft-used social networks, Seth relayed it’s important for agents to make it well-known they are very educated about every aspect of their markets and can provide detailed information on their community to their prospects at the drop of a hat.
“You should be knowledgeable about some niche in your market better than anyone else,” Seth indicated. “We all sort of write this thing, we’re like: ‘Hey, I’m the number one condo person.’ If that’s really the case, you should be able to walk the talk. You should be able to understand the landscape is, who the developers are, how long these properties have been on the market, what’s the average selling price. That should be your playbook — where if someone wanted to learn about condos, they have to talk to [you], because [you] know more than anyone else.”
A big part of branding for real estate is knowing which content resonates with your audience — and which doesn’t.
When crafting content for their business, real estate pros must ask themselves the right questions, Seth stated. Specifically, they need to ask, “What does my audience want to learn?” and, just as importantly, “What do they not care about so I know what to avoid writing about?”
“The biggest misconception about content is that [all] content is the same — that it’s randomly blogging or randomly creating videos,” Seth said. “The challenge with that is if you’re not creating content for a very specific individual, like a customer type, and understanding exactly what that content is supposed to do to help them along their journey.
“You should be knowledgeable about some niche in your market better than anyone else.”
Seth declared it’s simply not enough for you to share a random blog entry on your real estate business website once a week and assume that’ll be enough to bolster your branding. Instead, you need a comprehensive content marketing plan in place that meets your demographic’s needs and wants.
“Content is where you can express your thoughts and beliefs about [a given] part of the [buying or selling] process and share it with the people that you meet or who discover you on the web in a way that makes you known to them and your subject matter expertise known to them and they can start to build a relationship with you,” Seth stated.
“That’s what content does, and if you’re randomly blogging — which is what most people do — you get frustrated. You’re like, ‘Hey, I did 14 blogs!’ or ‘I paid some Fiverr person to do a blog every week and I don’t get anything from it!'”
Check out also: Curaytor: Why Online Marketing for Real Estate is Hard Work [Case Study]
Generating new leads is a constant goal, and you’re branding efforts can help you secure more prospects.
Branding is really just another way of saying, “This is who I am and this is how I can help” to your specific audience of home buyer or seller leads online. Thus, Seth noted it’s imperative to incorporate your real estate branding strategy into your lead generation efforts to create a steady stream of new prospects who know and trust you — and, eventually, want to work with you.
“I think it’s a multi-step process [to convert leads online],” Seth said. “One, it’s understanding what’s the value that you bring to the table that’s different than anybody else. Two, it’s knowing who your ideal customer is. And then three, it’s representing that in the content on your site, because there’s a million sites out there. What makes yours different?
“If I go to your site, can I find information about the problem I’m trying to solve that doesn’t exist any place else? Or, better yet, is it easier to understand? Is it more truthful? Is it humorous in a way that I’m going to represent, or is it visual in a way I’m going to be able to consume? That’s key.
“You’re going to have this moment where someone has clicked on something … and they get to your site, and there’s a millisecond where they go, ‘Am I in the right place, or do I need to go somewhere else?’ And that’s your opportunity to catch them.”
Watch our “Leveraging Your Brand to Earn New Real Estate Leads” webinar with Placester VP of Industry Relations Seth Price today to get even more expert Realtor branding advice for your business!
What do you think of Seth’s detailed Realtor branding recommendations? Share your thoughts on his webinar insights with us in the comments section below!