Archive for personal brand

How to Be the Realtor® Others Want to Work With

Realtor Others Want to Work With

I ran across an article the other day describing what a home seller should look for in a Realtor®. There were a variety of criteria about how to find a Realtor® who will give you a good experience in selling your home.

It really made me think about how often we, as Realtors®, think about being the Realtor® our clients want to work with. Of course, we all know that most clients don’t interview very many real estate agents before they make a choice. But that doesn’t let us off the hook.

Are you someone a buyer or seller would want to work with? Here are some ways to be sure.

You Still Have Your Fire

Real estate is TOUGH. You lose time with your family, and it can be hard to have anything that resembles a work/life balance. The old saying, “I only work half-days, and I can pick whichever 12 hours I want” really applies.

In addition, there’s a lot of pressure to say “Everything is great!” about your business when it really isn’t. You want to be positive in front of everyone because you never know who might be planning to ask you about selling or buying a home. That false front takes a toll.

Finally, feeling like you have to justify your value every time you make a pitch can get very tiring. You care so much about the outcome, but you have so little control.

All of this makes it easy to lose your passion. However, a real estate agent that’s just going through the motions isn’t someone a buyer or seller wants to work with. Fortunately, there are ways to reignite your fire if it’s going out.

You’re an Expert

It’s much easier to become a real estate agent than it should be, really. By studying the laws and passing an exam, you can put out your shingle. Of course, it takes much more than that to be a quality real estate agent.

To be a Realtor® that stands out, make sure you’re an expert on your target neighborhoods. This doesn’t just mean knowing the market values, it means knowing the events, new stores, school systems, and more.

Find ways to be present in your target area, even if you don’t live there. Volunteer, shop in those areas, walk your dog in target neighborhoods, and join local associations. Be as connected as possible, and be a real expert. It will make you stand out from “book-knowledge” agents and clients will want to work with you.

You Use a Mix of Marketing

Some clients will simply not hire you if you don’t have a website. In fact, without an online presence, a significant portion of your possible customers won’t even find you!

At the same time, don’t overlook the importance of great print marketing, especially Just Listed and Just Sold postcards. There’s less competition in the mailbox than anywhere else right now, and that makes Realtors® who use print marketing really shine!

When you can point to a clear mix of marketing techniques, a potential client will have much more confidence in you as an agent. It will help them understand your value as well as helping them realize that you’re well-prepared to sell their home for top dollar or help them find the home they’ve always dreamed of.

You Have Great References, Online Reviews, and Testimonials

Referrals can be a huge source of business for successful real estate agents, but references, reviews, and testimonials are just as important. If someone hasn’t heard of you before, or has only met you once, why should they believe you’re a quality Realtor®?

Someone who is looking to hire you is likely to research you online before they call. When you have great online reviews and testimonials, they’ll be much more likely to want to work with you. One great idea is to have a happy client do a quick video testimonial right after a deal closes. Their enthusiasm will be contagious!

One thing that’s important is making sure that your reviews and testimonials are recent. If your last great review is a client from three years ago, prospects will wonder if you’ve been in business since! If you make asking for a review part of your process, you’ll make sure that you’ll always have recent testimonies.

You’re Easy to Get Along With

There’s good news and bad news on this one. The good news is that you don’t need to change your personality type in order to be a successful Realtor®. Different types of clients need different types of real estate agents, and no matter what your personality, there are clients who will click with you.

The bad news is that everyone has bad habits that need work in order for them to be truly easy to get along with in a professional transaction. Here are some traits you want to develop to make others more likely to choose you as an agent:

  • Empathy. You don’t have to be emotional or mushy, and you don’t have to ask for a list of your client’s woes. However, you do need to be able to respond empathetically to others even while you move the conversation back to business.
  • Perspective. Think about the transaction from your customer’s point of view. You may buy and sell houses for a living, but if it’s their first home, they’re probably scared. Combine this with empathy, above, and help them feel understood and comfortable.
  • Listening. Are you constantly trying to multi-task, checking your phone while your client is talking to you? Do you feel the need to have an answer for everything, and plan your response while someone is talking? Active listening is a skill few people have. If you develop it, you’ll be great as an agent.
  • Communication. Agents get frustrated about a lack of communication from clients, but it goes the other way too. No matter how busy you are, don’t “ghost” on someone – that is, don’t stop answering messages in a timely manner. Be a great communicator and make sure the client knows what to expect every step of the way.

Being a great agent isn’t easy. However, these five traits help make you the Realtor® others will want to work with. If you can develop them all, you’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competition!!

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The Importance of the Real You in Marketing

The Real You in Marketing

People’s ability to smell a load of bull has never been higher. That’s why it’s important to make sure the real, repeat, real you comes through in your marketing.

You can’t sell yourself as a carefully constructed public-facing persona. It has to be you. Otherwise, cracks will appear in the persona as soon as people meet you in person, and they will feel swindled or lied to.

Those that convey their real personality in their marketing (particularly social media) make actual connections, and reap the benefits.

“Tactics can be great. And tools can save you time. But if you lose sight of this one simple principle, it’ll be all for naught: Social media at its core is social. It’s about real relationships with real people,” wrote Jackie Johnstone, Social Media Strategist and Entrepreneur.

“Businesses that anchor their social strategy on this golden rule have loyal audiences, bigger followings and more sales.”

Just like your mom told you on the first day of school, here’s our pitch on why you should always be yourself.

There is a Real Demand for Real Life

Look at our entertainment. The real world has never been more popular. Reality TV has created an entire generation of people who are now famous for being themselves. Duck Dynasty, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and the Real Housewives of AnywhereYouLike are proof that we all love a backstage peek at anything.

There are successful shows about the interworkings of everything from pawn shops, to airport security.

Oh yeah, and all of those massively popular shows about real estate…

What You Do Fascinates People

This is why shows like House Hunters have exploded in popularity over the years. Because people want to see how much houses cost in another city, wonder if they could live in that home, and watch strangers complain about poor sightlines to the kitchen.

“But to the astonishment of rival networks, ‘House Hunters’ remains one of the most unlikely and unstoppable juggernauts on TV. The show last year aired a staggering 447 new episodes — far more than the typical 12-to-22-episode cable season — and helped HGTV become one of the most-watched cable networks in America,” wrote the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell.

People are always interested in real estate, in some form or another. They want to know how much houses cost in every neighborhood in the city. Is that going up or down? Should we have moved there?

A major hang-up in sharing more about yourself is often “nobody cares.” But believe us when we say they very much do.

People Still Want to Do Business With People

Letting your personality shine through your marketing humanizes you, and makes you more than a headshot. Even in this age of friendship requests and buying online, real estate is still very much a relationship-based transaction. People want to buy and sell from people.

Making them laugh, smile or think with a picture or post on your social feed instantly bookmarks you in their minds, and they will be far more likely to work with you, versus someone with more bland and impersonal marketing.

Being Someone Else is Exhausting, Expensive and Doomed to Fail

The second you begin building a brand that is reflective of what you think people want, instead of what you are, you have started to fail. To be blunt, people will see through it– especially in real estate.

“Don’t make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve,” wrote small business blogger, James T Noble.

“They are far more informed, aware, socially connected – and empowered – crowd than ever before with high standards… and boy do they have attitude. This is THEIR area too, and they can sniff out a scam at 10 paces.”

So be real with yourself and your marketing. People want to know more about you. So let them, and you will create personal connections that really help your business. Every aspect of your overall brand will be stronger.

Now take a look at your printed materials. Does it show the real you? If not, click here and we can help you fix it.

4 Ways to Destroy Your Personal Brand

Personal Branding

You don’t control seasonal trends, market shifts, or interest rates. But you do control how you present yourself during all of these other changes. In real estate, the one thing you have absolute control over is your brand.

But because you have so much control, it’s easy to ruin your brand without even knowing it.

Here are 4 ways you can accidentally sabotage your personal brand in real estate.

Not Making Your Personal Brand… Well… Personal

Authenticity is at the core of a strong brand. This mistake actually has 4 things you can stumble over. Too many Realtors®:

  • Say what everyone else is saying (No unique selling positioning)
  • Do what they assume is expected of a Realtor®
  • Steal scattered parts of other people’s brands to make their own
  • Do whatever their branding agency says

These are all bad because they take the person (you) out of personal branding. If a brand is a facade, it will never reach its full potential, because you’re part of that brand. So, when people meet you for the first time, there’s a disconnect between the brand they’ve seen and the person they meet. They may wonder which one is a lie.

Keep your personality front and center. If you’re funny, make the brand funny. If you’re very environmentally conscious, make sure that’s a big part of your brand.

Handing Your Personal Brand Over to Other People

Police your own brand and how it’s used! Be a tyrant!

This means big things like staying true to your values and not letting anyone cause you to compromise. It also means small things, like reviewing any work you outsource, including social media and blogging.  You want to make sure that you’re authentic to your real self, so that your personal brand always matches the you that your prospects and customers encounter. Don’t let anyone push you off of that.

Like we said above, this is the one thing you can have absolute control over, so don’t give it away.

Not Measuring Your Personal Brand Success

Your brand may not work. That’s a marketing reality. Not all brands reach the mark.

So be sure to measure your brand success, while giving it enough time to succeed. There are dozens of ways to measure it. You can examine your brand reach, brand awareness, influence, or market share. But the important thing is that you do audit it to make sure it’s serving you well, and that you’re doing what you need to keep it strong.

Assuming it Will Grow By Itself

The brand may not automatically grow along with your success. Sure, your brand awareness may grow as you succeed and become a bigger name in the market. But that doesn’t mean you just leave your brand alone while you’re growing and thriving.

Maybe your success came as a result of tapping into a new target market, like recent divorcees. Your new brand should target that market and speak directly to their wants, needs and pain-points.

Use your newfound income to invest in the brand to help it grow.

Remember, you’re the one in control. So always remember to ensure your brand is reflective of your personality, and stay in control of how it’s treated. At the same time, measure it’s reach and success, and make any needed changes, based on those findings.

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