If you want to make it in the real estate business, you’ve got to prioritize personal branding – it’s up there with market research and lead generation. Creating a distinct voice and look can feel like the last thing you need to be doing, especially if you’re just starting out or a junior member on someone else’s team.
But I can tell you, as someone running my own team, my branding now is something I have been working on for years. I would not have gotten to where I am today if branding myself hadn’t been top of mind, even back when it felt like no one was watching .
You are the best person to build your brand
Building your brand can be both exciting and intimidating; there are so many facets to you, so many parts of yourself to honor, so many things to aspire to, and such little time.
Seriously though. Getting clear on who you are as a real estate agent is just as important as knowing the properties you sell. It takes thought, strategic planning, and consistent follow through. And, it doesn’t have to be this ginormous amorphous project (although you never stop working on it). Creating your brand can actually be a simple (and dare I say, enjoyable?) task if you follow some basic guidelines.
Hone in on your values
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your brand already exists. Every decision you make on a daily basis, from everyday posts to heavily considered fonts are made of stuff that matters to you. So, the trick isn’t to convince yourself of what you think should be important. The trick is to notice what you already ascribe meaning to. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice patterns in your behavior, qualities you naturally emphasize in your transactions, and standards you hold yourself to without thinking about it. Sit down and make a list of what you’ve observed. What makes you you?
Creating Your Five Pillars (or three, or four…)
After you’ve spent some time meditating on the things that make you tick, spend a little more time picking the things that matter to you most. What do you want people to remember about their experience with you? What is it about you that makes them want to refer you to their friends? What do you want to be known for?
These are your brand pillars. Brand pillars are clear and specific categories that hold up your brand. Every aspect of your business should cling to one. While it’s okay to shift focus once in a while, or heck, change brands entirely, make sure you know why you are making that shift. Your values should be something that you stick to no matter what. Your pillars are so essential and so integral to your brand that there isn’t any reason to deviate from them.
Having the brand pillars gives you a place to go – a place to get ideas. There’s always more to talk about with your pillars if you create them correctly.
My Five Pillars
Everything I post, talk about, or focus on has to do with one of these five aspects of my personality:
- Real Estate
- Thought Leadership
- Mind/Body Connection
These are the things I can say are undeniably my style. I still feel like I’m in the process of creating my personal brand, and that’s ok. We’re all going to grow and change. But it’s not like I’m going to post a photo of me hunting in camo in the swamps of Mississippi. We all know that’s entirely off-brand.
Your brand is a promise to your customers and followers. They come to know what to expect and gravitate toward what resonates with you.
Above all else, to thine own self be true
When I was first starting out, I thought it was prudent to heed the advice of others when it came to identifying my brand. I listened to other people’s messaging about my brand. But to truly create a brand with integrity that resembles who you are at the core, you must keep tabs on what’s being put out there with your face on it. You’ve got to stay present throughout the whole process.
Sure, it’s good to have a team of people that support you and trusted counsel to rely on when you’re weighing whether or not something suits you and your brand. But in the final analysis, it’s really up to you to decide what defines your brand.
As part of a team, your brand will have to blend with the branding around you. It’s a great chance to explore who you are and who you want to be. By the time you’re ready to step out on your own, you’ll have an incredible foundation on which to stand alone.
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