What Is A Real Estate Agent's Brand?

Jason O'Neil  |  November 25, 2022

Agents

What Is A Real Estate Agent's Brand?

What the hell is real estate agent branding?

 

It’s a question real estate agents have been battling for the last decade as more and more brokerages have forked over thousands of dollars to creative agencies, hoping a new logo and fresh colors will skyrocket sales and increase referrals.

But the fact of the matter is that most real estate agents miss the mark when it comes to truly understanding the role that brand plays in their business.

Until now…

What real estate agent branding is not.

 

Before we define real estate agent branding, it’s critical to understand what branding is not.

Branding is not your headshot.

No matter how many times you pay your friend who has 2k Instagram followers to take “professional headshots” of you for LinkedIn, that will never be your brand. This is simply a way for potential clients to create a connection between a name and a face, nothing more.

Branding is not a logo or colors.

Too many agents are under the impression that their brand is the logo they flaunt on a business card and the colors that clients see on a website, this is simply untrue. These elements are superficial, they only show the surface level of who you are as an agent, leaving out the most important part–substance.

Think of it as a house with fresh paint and a new lawn, juxtaposed by a termite-filled inside that’s crumbling.

Branding is not the sign that sits in the yard.

This is a big one because most agents think that once their name is on a sign, they’ve got a brand. While that is partially true, they tend to forget that a sign is exactly that, just a sign. A measly piece of 24x18” corrugated plastic that can be blown away by a swift breeze.

No matter how many signs you have, they don’t tell potential customers anymore about what you specialize in, how you differ from other agents, or why you are the right agent for them. 

The real definition of real estate branding…

 

While there are millions of different marketing gurus who have defined branding in different ways, I think Mr. Amazon (Jeff Bezos) defined branding best when he said, “brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

Powerful, right?

For agents, this should really hit home.

We’ve all had a client on the property talking in a different room than where we were standing—it’s nerve-wracking as hell. Now, imagine if every time you heard that quiet whisper of a client, you knew they were saying great things about you.

That’s what true real estate agent branding does.

Real estate branding precedes you—it’s everything that you do leading up to the point of contact with a client, whether that be meeting in person, over the phone, or on FaceTime. It informs potential clients about who you are, how you operate, and what you can do to help them.

In the same vein, real estate branding can also define your niche.

Think about it like this, how many agents do you know that sell million-dollar gated-neighborhood homes and then turn around and sell mid-tier condos 45 miles away on the beach the next day?

Chances are not that many. And if so, they are trying to be all things to all people and likely end up being not a lot to everyone. My friend Steve Murray, the founder of REAL Trends, has a saying: “Be Nordstrom, be Walmart - don’t be Sears.”

Meanwhile, look in any state in the U.S. and I guarantee you’ll find multiple agents who absolutely crush small market sales to new, young families moving out of major metropolitan cities.

That’s the beauty of a strong real estate agent brand–it helps define the market you work in and who you work best with. This keeps your focus in one area and allows you to double down on what you do best while also making it easier for potential clients to find you.

How to create your own real estate agent branding…

 

The term branding has become skewed over time, especially when we’re talking about real estate agents.

Too many of them think hiring some designer to rework a logo or add new colors will change the way they operate when the truth is that their brand was inside them all along. You can spend all the time and money in the world and still have a brand that falls flat on its face.

Why?

Because it’s not a reflection of who you are.

Branding is an outward-facing collection of your habits, not the suit you put on before the sale. It’s every action, every word, every moment that a client experiences from the second they come into contact with you.

Branding is how you conduct communication, when you show up to a viewing, how you follow up, who you refer, how you present a property, and so much more!

When you start looking at all the aspects of your job from front to back, even down to the words that you use in conversation, you can quickly see that brand goes far beyond a single logo or sign.

That’s why it’s important to create authentic candor with your clients.

Be willing to ask the tough questions and prod at the tough answers. Consider creating opportunities for feedback where clients can provide unprompted critiques of their experience. This is not the time to tee up a nice testimonial, this is a chance for you to identify patterns.

See where you’re finding success, and note where your failures are. Over time, the more you focus on these things, you start to see patterns that help identify the characteristics of your brand.

Eventually, this process of constant evaluation will become so inherent, that your personal brand will naturally show its true colors and as a result, the clients who come calling will be better suited to work with you.

Your brand is how others refer you.

You are the brand…

 

Don’t get caught up in the chaos of having to create some irresistible real estate brand that makes potential clients’ mouths water.

Instead, be yourself.

The more we focus on being authentically ourselves, the better we can deliver for clients who are trusting us to solve their problems time and time again.


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