Real Estate Branding Strategy | Why Many Agents Fail At Personal Branding

real estate branding It’s a joke. A BIG FAT Giant JOKE. A joke that someone forgot to tell most real estate agents about. I’m talking about personal real estate branding, or real estate branding strategy, the way many real estate agents try and brand themselves and why most ultimately FAIL.

Changing Markets

I was a title rep for 13 years. I tell you this not to pat my self on the back but to show  I have weathered some storms. By “storms” I mean real estate markets. Let’s see… there was the traditional market, where there is an equilibrium between buyers and sellers also known as a “healthy” market. We saw this pre 2001 in Phoenix.

There’s the sellers market, that’s where you better come correct or don’t come at all. You know, where the seller dictates the price. Where the seller won’t pay closing costs or any other form of concession, where earnest money is “hard”, we saw this market in 2005 & 2006 here in Phoenix.

There’s the REO market, where all those mom and pop real estate investors, the ones that cashed in their 401K after investing in a $15,000 real estate course, got their butt’s handed to them. Where it wasn’t the buyer runnin thangs but the seller –  the BANK. We saw this in 2008,2009,2010,2011, and 2012 in Phoenix.

There’s the short sale market. Where sellers that found themselves “upside down” or “underwater” because of declining property values, asked the bank to accept less than was owed. We saw this is 2007,2008,2009,2010, 2011, 2012 in Phoenix.

Yes, I have seen my fair share of markets, and all through them I have heard real estate agents and real estate brokers talk about personal real estate branding.

Real Estate Branding Strategy

Over the years, I’ve had real estate agents contact me, asking questions about special business cards, flyers, single property websites, pictures, logos, shirts, wrapped HUMMERS etc to reinforce their “brand”. I laugh every time I hear it and for a while there the talk of personal brand disappeared, but now that we are again in a normal market, the push for personal branding has reappeared.

One thing I’ve noticed when talking to real estate agents about personal branding is many think they are their own brand. That they are somehow in charge of their brand, the protector of the brand and just because they say it or put it out there – it is so.

NOthing could be further from the truth.

If brand was in the hands of the real estate agent they would all be – “the best”. They would all be “top producers” they would all be “area experts” or “the best negotiators”, they would all be – RICH.

You can say you are this or that. You can have it printed on T-shirts and Polo’s, postcards and flyers, HUMMERS and Mini’s, coffee mugs or shopping carts, you can have it on EVERYTHING and it still means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Why?

Because brand is in the eyes of the CONSUMER. Not YOU.

In fact, you have little control over your brand. Even with unlimited amounts of money, it’s hard to establish the brand you desire. Don’t believe me? Ask BP. British Petroleum or “BP” is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve its image after the train wreck that is the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010. They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on prime TV spots, radio, banner internet ads, direct mail, public relations, they are leveraging EVERY method available to convince you, the American consumer, that BP cares about the Gulf. They are spending HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and yet when you hear the initials B and P you immediately think of – OIL SPILL.

Brand Is DEMONSTRATED

You can’t just say you are the expert at this and that and have it stick. It’s not that simple. Brand is demonstrated not said. It’s hard to brand yourself in the real estate space where there are so many competitors, thousands of them,  that all appear to do and be the same thing – as you. In the eyes of the consumer, the real estate agent is a commodity.

Most real estate agents fail at establishing a real estate branding strategy not only because they say the same things as their competitors but they also try to serve the same markets as well. You can’t be a jack of all trades and succeed – not in real estate. If you want to build a successful personal brand you need to carve out a niche, in a specific geographic area, or process, and master it. Not condos but condos in central Phoenix. Not luxury properties but luxury properties in Arcadia. Not Investors buying in Arizona but Canadian Investors buying in Phoenix.

Real Estate Branding Strategy With VIDEO

Real estate agents that want to brand themselves should not only be talking about the brand they want to convey to the consumer, but also backing it up in their marketing with information the consumer would find value in. Statistics, facts, images, etc that don’t just support what the agent is saying but that clearly sets them apart as the expert in this area. One of the most effective ways to build a brand in real estate is to use non traditional mediums – like real estate VIDEO. What is different stands out – Purple Cow. With less that 2% of real estate agents {nationally} using video in their real estate business, and less than 1% doing it right, real estate VIDEO is an effective way to begin building a personal brand.

When it comes to branding there is another thing real estate agents can do,  it’s one of the easiest and hardest things most will ever do, especially in today’s hyper “I’m awesome” “all about me” “immediate gratification”  world we live in. – Be yourself.  In the great words of the great Oscar Wilde,  “Be yourself…everyone else is already taken.”

Being yourself is a guaranteed way to be different from your competition. Get personal. Open up. Ask questions It seems like many are afraid to be who they really are. Don’t be afraid, be you. Demonstrate your expertise, demonstrate your skills – negotiation or otherwise, demonstrate your abilities and the consumer will begin to brand you – as the expert in Chandler luxury properties, as the “Go To” real estate agent in central phoenix loft or condos, in the expert in commercial property . Real estate video can help you stick out from your competitors. Real estate video can help you DEMONSTRATE  your brand. Stop saying the same things other real estate agents say “search the MLS like a REALTOR®”, “Call for a FREE CMA” “Everything I Touch Turns To SOLD!”etc.

Start building your personal brand with listing videos of YOU introducing a property to the viewer. Start establishing your expertise by creating community or subdivision videos that talk not about you, like other real estate agents, but the community and why it is such a great place to live. Start demonstrating your brand with video by creating “How To” real estate videos that explain the buying or selling process, the mortgage process, the final walk-through, contract to close.  At HMC, we help real estate agents like you stand out from their competition, get found online, through the use of video. You ready to start building your personal brand? Fill out the form below or call us today.

 

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Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113

 

Stephen Garner

Hub Media Company is one of the few media companies dedicated to real estate video marketing. We create beautiful cinematic real estate video tours, lifestyle, community/subdivision as well as green screen video. We have over 13 years experience in the real estate space working with some of the top agents in the Phoenix Metro area.

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