Real Estate Branding for the Agent
Whether you're a new real estate agent or you've been around a while, how much thought and effort have you put into real estate branding. Too many consider their name their brand, as in Sam Jones Real Estate, or similar. That's OK, but you're not building a business that you can sell for anywhere near its value to you—unless you can find an agent named Sam Jones to buy it.
So, first think about what you'd like for your real estate brand. Since real estate is local, I tend toward brands that have the local market in them. Something like DownTown Denver Lofts is a niche example. The point is that you'll get some SEO value on the Web using a brand like that. It also tells your prospects what it is you're doing and what to expect.
It's never too late to put a branding strategy and plan into play. But, some say: "I'm not Pepsi," so what can I really expect as benefits from branding and promotion of the brand? You don't have to be Pepsi, as you're not selling in a worldwide marketplace. All you need to be is the Pepsi of your own local real estate market.
Becoming the big fish in a small pond comes with many benefits, a lot of closing tables and higher commissions. Your micro market is the WHOLE market for sellers with homes there and buyers who want to buy there. They're not concerned with any other market, so yours is the world. You can dominate your world market if you'll get the brand and promote it everywhere you advertise.
First, your website domain name should have the brand in it if possible. I know that this can be a challenge when the best local real estate domains are already taken, but you need to try. One real estate branding trick is to add a word or two that makes "Denver Homes for Sale" unique for a domain. An example might be AllDenverHomesForSale.com. Or, how about BestDenverHomesForSale.com? You get a unique domain that has your brand in it for SEO benefits.
A custom email signature is a must. You would have something like:
Sam Jones, Realtor
Every email you send out needs to promote your brand, whether through just the name, the domain name, or both. You're reinforcing the brand and keeping it top-of-mind with the email recipients.
Every piece of printed marketing material must be branded. It is all a part of your real estate branding plan.
- business cards
- property flyers
- newspaper ads
- homes magazine ads
- MLS listings (for when they print them)
It doesn't matter if you're handing out writing pens, refrigerator magnets or baseball caps. Every single one of them must be branded. They're not just there to get them to call you today when they're looking at the item. They're there to remind them constantly of your brand so that it comes to mind the next time they think about real estate.
Protect Your Brand Reputation
Once you have a brand and you're aggressively promoting it, you must protect the brand's reputation. This is particularly true online at the social media sites. Negative comments mentioning your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn can really do damage to your brand. Monitor your brand with searches, and use Google Alerts to notify you when it is mentioned.
When you find a positive comment, thank them. When you find a negative one, do something about it. Try to resolve their problem to their satisfaction and hopefully get them to post that you've done it.
Real estate branding is an ongoing process, but it will pay great dividends.