There’s never been a better time to be a consumer. No matter the economy, today’s consumers have more choice, more information, and more ways to connect with companies than ever before. For real estate professionals, this means added pressure to distinguish themselves from the competition. Gone are the days when you could prosper simply by being in the neighborhood: modern agents need a personal brand that resonates with consumers.
If you’re not creating [a fan base], then all you’re doing is selling houses. And that’s not what this business is about.
— KIM COLAPRETE
But what does it really mean to build a personal brand? For some, a personal brand is nothing more than a slick logo and a promise of professionalism. For Kim Colaprete and Chavi Hohm of Team Diva Real Estate in Seattle, it’s all about community, fun and the occasional drag queen.
“A lot of agents don’t really have a brand,” Kim told us. “They’re like, ‘Hi, I’m Kim Colaprete, REALTOR.’ That’s not a brand—that’s your name. Developing a brand takes a lot of time and energy, a lot of self-reflection and focus.” Kim and Chavi have put in the work to create an unforgettable brand that’s made Team Diva a Seattle institution. Behind that brand is a proven record of success: Kim and Chavi are top producers in their Coldwell Banker Bain affiliate. They’ve also been included in Inman News’ 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders list, and they teach courses in digital marketing in Seattle and across the country.
While “The Divas” use many of the same marketing tools and channels as their peers (“If there’s a moneymaker, it’s email marketing,” according to Chavi), their content and their message are what separates them from the pack. “We don’t ever send out real estate data, because that stuff is boring,” Chavi explained. “We do market our listings, but we try to make it as fun as possible.” The same rule applies for recruiting, where cultural fit always trumps the numbers. “We don’t have desks to fill,” says Kim. “We don’t have any quotas.”
In this interview, we sat down with The Divas to discuss the finer points of discovering your real estate brand, the benefits of working through a recession, and the pros of being partners both in business and in life.
- Matt & Seth