Why you need to brand yourself
Before home owners become home sellers, they are looking for the right agent/broker with which to work. Your brand is an extension of your personality and your promise. But how do you put yourself directly in front of them? Door-to-door introductions? Too costly and frankly, too creepy. Park bench ads? Too tacky. You need to be direct but tasteful. Start with traditional - print ads, postcards, newsletters, etc - and you'll achieve the goal of branding yourself, over time, to future home sellers.
1. Your website is your business card
Typing in dub-dub-dub is the modern equivalent to handing over a business card. Of course you'll still need a business card, but long before you get the chance to press the flesh with a buyer or seller, they've checked out your website. What do you want them to think about you even before that moment? You're connected. You're stylish. You know your stuff. Chances are, the bulk of your business is referral based, right? Hate to break it to you but even friends and friends-of-friends check out your site before they call or meet you.
2. Your logo is actually your first impression
A realtor brand without a logo is like a home without a front door. And like it or not, clients begin to make a judgement about your style, savvy and success based on your logo. You can (and should) start to communicate your personality and approach from the logo itself. Look like everyone else's logo and clients start thinking maybe that's your approach as well. Craft a unique and confident logo mark and perhaps you've positioned yourself as the right agent for that client.
3. Your headshot shouldn't be a mugshot
Clients want to see the real you. And we're going out on a limb here, but you don't spend your days in a three-piece suit in front of a gray backdrop. Your headshot should be current, natural and inviting. Hire a photographer (no, not your one friend with a big camera.) Walk around your house or garden. Pretend to close the biggest deal of your life or start telling embarrassing stories. Whatever gets your face to relax and become the natural person you see in the mirror. (Oh, and cutting your head out of the background so it floats on a white background is the design equivalent of putting pink flamingos on the front lawn. Just sayin'.)
4. Listing Ads? One door at a time.
Us humans are simple folk. We can only focus on one thing at a time. A rancher? A tudor? A condo? See, your mind is picturing all of these. And now, none of them. As soon as too much is thrown at us, we shrink our attention span, or even worse, we turn the page. Listing ads are opportunities to inform, delight and engage. Showing 8 pictures of the home isn't always the answer. In fact it many cases it distracts from the main selling point of the home. Think hard and creatively about the property and focus the attention of the viewer on this single most important aspect of the home.
5. The medium is the message
What you say is almost as important as how you say it. And to make matters even more complicated, when you say it is also critical. A print ad is fine for telling their buyer prospects what homes they're selling this month, but more importantly, it's usefulness comes in its ability to market you to potential home sellers, before they've selected an agent to sell their home. An email is to tell them what you are showing this week. A Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post is tell them what you are thinking this very moment.