Building Your Brand: Marketing Tips From the Pros
September 7, 2021
Imagine yourself in a room packed with 50 real estate agents identically dressed in dark suits and your job is to attract the one potential client who walks into the room. You need to stand out, send a message and communicate what makes you different. In the world of real estate, agents are alike in their common goal – helping buyers buy and sellers sell. How they accomplish their goal is what makes each one different. Establishing your brand and marketing that brand are key factors in setting yourself apart, getting noticed and matching with the right clients. Every business has a brand, whether you realize it or not. Good branding is your chance to say, “Choose me!”
Branding and marketing are interconnected, and together they help you build a successful and multifaceted marketing strategy. The goal is to create and maintain a business identity that resonates with the heart of your business and the needs of your potential clients.
Here are a few tips from three Realtors® who see branding as a key factor in their success:
Associate Broker, Prestige Properties
Ashley Durham started branding from the very first day of her real estate career with the tagline “Your Realtor® that is Connected to the Community,” capturing her strong ties to her hometown and work with the local chamber of commerce and non-profits. “Over time and as my business grew, my brand changed,” explained Durham. “We have transitioned from that original tagline to ‘Six is Greater than One’ and now to ‘We are Your Excellent Resource in All Things Real Estate.’”
Durham believes branding, in general, is required for a customer to understand who you are as an organization. “Without branding,” she said, “customers have no preconceived definition of what you can do.”
“I see branding as a lifeline in communicating how you want to be treated and what your customer can expect from you.”
To develop a branding and marketing strategy, Durham recommends a process that involves self-evaluation. “Spend some time self-evaluating and determining who you are. Be honest with who you are, your vision and how you want to serve the customer. Discover what makes you different and run with it,” she said.
After you determine who you are and what your vision is, Durham advises that you partner with a graphic designer and marketing specialist to create an icon or logo that people will associate with you. The Realtor® logo is an important part of her brand. “I take pride in it and what it stands for.”
An important element of Durham’s marketing plan is what she calls telling your own story. “People are intrigued by other people’s stories and what they do every day,” she said. “Connecting with people through personal stories helps to attract the kind of client you want to attract.”
Broker, Ingram and Associates
Margi Ingram has a different focus on branding and marketing. “Mostly, we are the opposite of how others work. Our branding is different – we take the back stage and put our new home communities out front,” she explained.
Ingram and her marketing team aim to sell their communities and lifestyles. The new home business is different, according to Ingram. “We find the soul of a community and tell that story. We brand the community. You have to tell a story that will inspire people to move there – many coming from out of state and out of the city,” she said.
When it comes to branding her company, Ingram said the targets are builders and developers – not the general public. “We brand the idea that we are a full service company that helps with all aspects including pricing, market studies, feasibility, floor plans, finishes and community covenants.”
“Most resale agents sell a service,” Ingram said. “We sell a product.”
Regina Mitchell Real Estate
Regina Mitchell instinctively knew that branding herself was the key to her success in real estate. “My branding, at first, was all over the place,” she said. “After my first closing I bought several billboards. I wanted people to see me everywhere. They thought I was really a real estate agent but, in reality, I had only one sale.”
Mitchell’s strategy worked. “I had my face everywhere. People started recognizing me and calling. I knew at that point that it’s all about branding. I looked at what has worked for others. For example, Coca Cola doesn’t change its image, so I use the same photo I’ve always used.”
As Mitchell’s branding evolved, she adopted the tag line: “A House SOLD Name,” because that’s exactly what she wants to be. She incorporates her tagline across her social media accounts and even in her attire. “Every day when I’m out I wear something with my logo. The more people see things the more they remember.”
More Branding/Marketing Tips
Hear more from this dynamic trio at the Alabama Realtors® Annual Conference session “About Brand Time!” Nationally renowned speaker Jason Pantana will present marketing and business strategies to win the mindshare of the marketplace and become the agent of choice, followed by Durham, Ingram and Mitchell sharing tips and tricks to boost your brand. The Annual Conference is October 18-20 at The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in Point Clear. Register here by September 17.