Here is a truth: you are a brand. It’s up to you what you do with it. At Agent Sidekick, we have a plan.
How can a person be a brand? Let’s look at two examples outside of real estate:
- Steve Jobs – His brand was his leadership style. His brand was his creativity. His brand was seeing what others could not. His brand was even black long sleeve shirts with blue jeans. If you saw just a black long sleeve shirt and blue jeans, you would probably think of creativity, leadership, and of course Steve Jobs.
- Mark Cuban – His brand is entrepreneurial, insightful, and fun. His brand is about educating entrepreneurs on how to succeed, and enjoying your success by example of him owning and being the face of the Dallas Mavericks.
Both Steve and Mark built technology companies. Both Steve and Mark have distinctive personal brands. Their personal brands complement their initiatives in business. How many traits, colors, images, or anything else can they be identified by? Very many.
Importance of Branding
What Realtors in your area have personal brands? Usually the ones that have commercials on TV, or advertise on billboards.
But every Realtor has a brand and needs to showcase it, though not necessarily with a billboard.
Assume a lead went to your brokerage website and saw the directory of agents in your office. How would this potential lead select an agent to use? By the agent that was at the top of the list? By looks? By printing out the directory and taping it to a dartboard? Most likely by their order on the list and looks. But that’s not helping out either the lead or the agent. Do you think this is a problem?
We don’t want the leads that go to the brokerage website. We want them to go to your website first. A website that showcases your personal brand.
Let’s help you get distinguished by putting together the building blocks of your personal brand. When the entire structure of your brand is well built, it won’t be as extreme or as recognizable as Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban. But as they say “All real estate is local”, your personal brand is important locally.
How to think about your personal brand
What is a personal brand for a Realtor? It is how you work with your clients, how you work with your colleagues, how you negotiate, your areas of expertise, your background and knowledge, your competencies, and everything about you.
Think of a personal brand as the difference between your best friend and someone you just met.
A person you just met will know the color of your hair, roughly how tall you are, and maybe some key facts about your background.
But your best friend will know what you are good at, what you are bad at, how well you can tell a story, the types of people you work well with, what makes you laugh, and all of those small details that tell the story of you.
We want your website visitors to know the story of you, without having to read your biography. Your website will be the starting point, or the foundation, of your personal brand.
This Brand reference is for you to you consider when completing your Agent Discovery on the Agent Sidekick website. This will guide you through Page 5 of the Agent Discovery where we actually put your brand into words that will go on your website.
Brainstorming your personal brand
Here are questions to help you brainstorm your personal brand. It might help to take notes while you go through each question.
Real Estate Specialty
- What would you say is your real estate specialty? (i.e. new home buyers, relocation, foreclosures, condos, multi-family, etc.)
- Why do you specialize in those areas?
- If your most recent clients were asked what you specialize in, what would they say?
- Why would they say that?
- A prospective client who is a buyer meets with you, and they ask “Why should I use you as my Realtor?”, what is your response?
- This can be as long as you want.
- A prospective client who is a seller meets with you, and they ask “Why should I use you as my Realtor?”, what is your response?
- This can be as long as you want.
- Summarize your response to the potential buyer client in one sentence.
- Summarize your response to the potential seller client in one sentence.
- If you were a prospective client, would you be persuaded by those responses? Do the responses truly distinguish you from other Realtors? Do
- What would you look for in a response to be persuaded?
- What do you think are the top 3 attributes for a successful Realtor?
- Do you have an outgoing or reserved personality?
- When you see something you want, are you aggressive to get it right now, or confident that it will come to you?
Creating your Slogan
A slogan is similar to a tagline, except that it is actionable. What will you do you for your clients? How can you say it in less than 5-15 words that will intrigue them and want them to ask for more?
Many people confuse a slogan with a tagline. But as Laura Ries of Ries & Ries in Atlanta states, “Taglines can be cute, funny, flippant or irrelevant, but they generally have little to do with what makes a brand successful…(while) a good slogan sums up a company’s strategy. Examples that Laura Ries uses to explain slogans are Ace Hardware’s “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man” and FedEx’s “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” There is no doubt what these brands can do you for you. And you shouldn’t leave any doubt about the real estate services you can provide a client.
Determining your Specialty
There are many specialties in real estate. It is easier to be an expert in specific areas in real estate, than all areas of real estate. It is easier to target specific clients with your specialties, than it is to target all potential clients with any type of need. It is easier for leads who have a specific need to find a Realtor who has that specialty.
Take lawyers, for example. When your clients need a lawyer to represent them when they purchase a home, do you send them to anyone with the title “attorney”? You most definitely send them to a “real estate attorney”. But you wouldn’t use that real estate attorney if you wanted to submit a patent for an idea you had, would you?
The differences may not be as discrete in real estate as in law, but people in the real estate market have specific needs. This could be buying a high end condo, or a house in a regular subdivision; buying foreclosures, or short sales, or standard MLS properties; buying land, or commercial property, or multi-family houses, or apartment buildings, or single family houses. There are so many distinct areas of real estate, that just having the title of “Realtor” isn’t always enough to persuade someone to contact you.
Consider you live in a city called Anytown with every type of housing and real estate. And there is someone who is relocating to Anytown that wants to live in a high rise downtown. This person searches the Internet for someone who can help. Out of these two options for Realtors, which do you think this person would use?
- Realtor 1: I am a Realtor in Anytown and can help with all of your real estate buying or selling needs.
- Realtor 2: I am a the relocation specialist for downtown Anytown, and I can put you in the high rise condo that will make your move to Anytown a dream.
Probably Realtor #2, right? And if this person has a good experience with Realtor 2, do you think they will use the “relocation specialist” 5 years later when they want to move to the suburbs? Probably. And they will probably refer you to their friends and colleagues as well.
Your Specialty is the hook to get the lead. Your ability to provide great service as a Realtor will make that person a client for life.
So, what is your specialty?
Writing your “About Me”
Your “About Me” should be considered a “Let me explain how I know your problems, can empathize with your problems, and can fix your problems, while making it sound like I’m talking About Me.” But the second title is a little long, so we’ll call it “About Me”.
The “About Me” page on the majority of websites is one of the most visited pages of a website, and it will be on your website as well. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. You sell for a living, but putting it in though out words is difficult for a lot of people.
When you are selling a house, which of these methods do you think are more effective?
- About Me (the house): This is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, on a quarter acre, in a good school system, and safe area.
- About You (the client): I can picture you and your family in this house right now. You’re making dinner on the large island, and your spouse calls the kids in for dinner from playing soccer in the backyard with their friends that they walked home form school with.
Which method sells the couple on the house? The one that was facts about the house, or the one that was about picturing you in the house? Probably when you sold the house as being About You, showing you can empathize with their needs.
This empathy needs to be done on your website’s “About Me” page as well.
An About Me page needs to have facts about you. It needs to tell what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and your interests. But it needs to be in the context of how that will help out the person reading. They need to know that you understand their needs, and you are the only person that can help them.
Your About Me page should not include either of the following:
- “I am the best at….”, or something similar. Saying you are “The Best” at something doesn’t make it true. And it isn’t convincing to potential leads. “The Best” is not a brand, it’s an opinion.
- “I was the Number 5 Realtor in my office”, or “Top Producer”, or “Million Dollar Club” are not convincing. Most buyers and sellers don’t care. And it could backfire by leading them to think that you wouldn’t have time for them. Put that information on your Credentials page.
Hopefully this is enough information to help you understand your brand. Although your brand is more than just a few pages on your website, Agent Sidekick needs to ensure that this is the hub of your brand.