Every Realtor has a personal brand. Successful Realtors embrace their brand and build their business around it.
Can a Realtor be successful without a personal brand?* Of course! However, Realtors without a brand are generating leads and converting to clients with one arm tied behind their back. (*Trick question, because even a Realtor “without a brand” actually has a brand. The brand for that Realtor is apathy, and it shows to their leads and clients.)
It is easy to create a personal brand for yourself. Why not put an extra tool in your toolbelt, and help build your business with a personal brand?
The development of a personal brand can be compared to building a house. Imagine you are custom building your house, and you have control over everything from the day you put sketches on a piece of paper until the day you move in and have your house warming party.
Similar to custom building your house, you are also in total control of your brand. Your brand is about you, but you just need to start building.
Every house needs a foundation.
The first thing a builder needs to do is to lay the foundation. The foundation is the most important part, because without it, the house can’t get built.
What is the foundation of a brand? You.
To be more specific, the foundation of your brand is the culmination of your competencies, your strengths and weaknesses, your personality, and how your are perceived by others. The foundation of your brand is your promise to your customers. Although things like your awards and recognitions are important, your foundation is more about what is special about you that earned you those awards and recognitions.
If you have a personal website, and hopefully you do, your foundation can be put into words in your “About Me” page, in the personal facts about you in the sidebar, your blog, and other places.
There are two ways you can write your “About Me” page on your website.
Method 1 to write “About Me” page: Talking about you, why you’re a successful Realtor, why you serve the areas that you serve, how many kids you have, and what you named your dogs.
Most people do this, but it doesn’t help anyone, except to let people know you like to talk about yourself. Using your valuable “About Me” page with this type of information creates a brand as powerful as generic labeled cereal. You are not generic cereal.
Another way to write your “About Me” page could be something like this.
Method 2 to write “About Me” page: Talking about how you can help your clients, how you understand their needs, how you love serving the areas that you serve, and how raising your kids and caring for your dogs have taught you the lessons to be able to serve your clients better.
This is how you use your “About Me” page to build a connection with the person who found your page. People like to hear about themselves almost as much as they love to talk about themselves. Talk about them. Let them envision how you can help solve their real estate problems. Show that you can empathize with them, and that you have the skills to address their needs.
That’s still you. You can’t change you.
A website is the easiest way to help build the foundation for your brand.
What did we learn about the foundation of a personal brand?
- The foundation of your personal brand is you.
- Your foundation should be built with the materials of how you can serve your clients with their real estate needs.
The house comes together with a structure.
The structure of a house can’t be built until the foundation is laid. This is where you can begin to customize how the house is going to look. We can start to think about the layout and how to build the rooms. Now that you have verbalized the foundation of your personal brand, you can now add structure to your brand.
The structure is somewhat permanent. You are going to live with the structure for many years. If your house needs remodeling, the structure of your personal brand can also be remodeled. But it’s really best to plan this part out, because you don’t want to have to change the structure very often if you can help it.
But what is the structure of your personal brand? Each social media account you use is a room in this house, your blog is another room, direct mail, email, phone calls, and everything you use to communicate with the world about your brand are rooms in this structure.
You can start with a small home with only a couple of rooms. And likewise, you can start the structure of your brand with only a website, phone calls, and email. Soon you will outgrow your starter home and you will want a larger house. That’s when you send direct mail, write a blog, maintain a Facebook page, send updates on Twitter. As you continue to grow, you will add more structure to your personal brand.
The message used in every room in the structure is based on you, your foundation.
Your brand needs to be consistent on all of these platforms. It is this consistency that gives your house good flow and makes your personal brand seamless over each platform.
What did we learn about the structure of your personal brand?
- Website, social media, a blog, email, direct mail, and every method of communication are the structural components of your personal brand.
- Your message needs to be consistent.
Design touches personalize the house.
Now let’s start decorating!
Paint can be applied once the walls are finally up. Pictures can be hung, the furniture can be moved in, and your name is on the mailbox. This helps to personalize your house.
The way you decorate the rooms in your house has to maintain the consistent flow. Only Elvis can build a contemporary house and have a jungle room. Your house will use colors that complement each other, and furniture that fits your personality.
But what are the decorations and design touches of your personal brand? The most important piece is your message. But it is also your slogan, logo, the fonts you use, the colors you choose, the settings of the pictures of you, and everything else that you customize. These will be visible on your website, on your social media, in your email, on your direct mail, your business cards, and anything that can be used to communicate your personal brand.
These decorations need to be used consistently across your entire structure. It is your message and this consistency that reminds people that they are in your house, that they enjoy being in your house, and that they want to invite their friends to your house.
What did we learn about the personal touches of your brand?
- Your message needs to be consistent.
- The color palette used for your house should fit your personality, and a logo with your name is an important branding tool.
- The design should be consistently used on everything that a client or lead will see.
Your house is built.
Even Realtors can benefit from a personal brand. A personal brand is more than just a logo, it is how you project yourself even when you’re not around. It not only gives people a reason to work with you, but also a way to recognize you when you can’t have a direct conversation with them.
Your brand starts with understanding you and what you can offer (the foundation), the methods you will use to get your brand out in the world (the structure), and how your brand will look (the design). Using this method to help understand your brand will ensure that your message is always consistent.
You are a brand. And now you just have to create the architecture to express it.