How to Build Your Brand in 2020
Are you a real estate agent hoping to elevate your career? With a new decade upon us, there is no time like the present to actively pursue success.
But where does true success as an agent start? How do you properly get your name in front of the right eyes? What is the best approach for targeting people who want to buy from you?
It all begins with developing a stellar brand, and today we will jump into how to build a brand in 2020 that you can count on to bring you sales.
Why Should I Build a Brand?
Before you can understand the importance of a brand, you need to understand what a brand is. Essentially, a brand is your outward persona -- the image you present to your clients. It must be reliable, consistent, and represent your goals as an agent. Gary Vaynerchuck, chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia, explained, “Your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career.”
Having a good brand can instantly aid your sales and commissions. It is ultimately the best way to motivate your prospect to become a client. It builds trust and awareness, and it is a tool that provides long-term success. In fact, according to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.
There are a few reasons, however, that are most important for real estate agents like yourself.
A good brand is a brand your clients won’t forget, even after a purchase is done and over with. With the trust it builds, it allows your clients to easily remember your name when they enter a conversation with someone they feel could benefit from your services.
Another Neilson survey on trust and advertising reported some of the following statistics on customer referrals that are critical to keep in mind as you learn how to build a brand:
- 28% of millennials say they won't try a product if their friends don't approve of it.
- Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions.
- Business to business companies with referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate, and they report a 69% faster close time on sales.
Customer advocacy or referrals is a top method for garnering relevant leads for your real estate business. When you sit down and weigh the hard work it takes to build a brand, it will be clear that it is 100% worth it.
Being Seen Through Social Noise
Having a good brand is also about relevancy. Without a good brand, your name is nothing but a tiny speck within a whirlwind of other agents. By developing a brand that is unique to your passion and goal, you enable yourself to target a more specific group of people.
Through this act of ‘targeting your ideal market’, your name can finally be seen through the social noise of your competitors.
A helpful article from Sprout Social emphasizes the importance of having a team manage your social media to help keep you relevant but also identifies the following steps for staying relevant on your own:
- Set SMART goals - creating actionable, consistent goals for each of your social media channels is essential for keeping your name at the forefront of your competition.
- Identify your audience - we will jump more into this later on but having a target audience is an absolute must for remaining relevant.
- Be human - it is crucial to remain authentic, no matter how much of your social media management may need to be automated. You should always be checking your channels daily to interact with your online network.
- Focus on helping over selling - keep in mind that people tend to turn away from ads. If your entire social media presence is all about how great you are, then people won’t see you as genuine. You must deliver consistent value.
For more tips on building your social media presence, we recommend this article.
Ability to pivot and adapt marketing channels
Having a firm foundation for your brand will allow you to successfully adapt to whatever changes are thrown your way. We live in a time where technology continues to evolve, as well as how marketing efforts translate to an audience. You can’t rely on doing the same tricks forever.
Having a marketing team on your side is always a good idea. However, it can be as simple as staying up-to-date on different marketing channels by following your favorite digital marketers or competitors on social media. Likely, if your competitor is doing something new and it’s generating a lot of interest, then you should probably find a way to adapt it to your own brand in a unique way.
There is a newer marketing strategy called Adaptive Marketing that is based on the idea of consistently evolving your marketing strategy based on how your target audience engages with your brand. This strategy, while extremely effective, means consistently looking into analytics and reaching out to your clients. While you may be able to commit to a small portion of an adaptive marketing strategy on your own, the real results will be seen when you partner with a third-party.
How to Build a Brand
Now that you understand the true importance of having a good brand, it is time to learn how to build a brand you can rely on in 2020 and beyond.
Keep in mind, while these assets may seem overwhelming, there is no need to go at it alone. You have options for building your brand with the help of professionals. However, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with these marketing assets, so you and your marketing team can have a fluid conversation and be on the same page.
Possibly the most important asset of your brand is your set of values. This will typically take the form of your mission statement and vision statement for your company, even if you plan on being a solopreneur.
Developing you mission and vision statements begins with understanding your “why” for doing what you do. Why do you want to sell real estate? Then, ask yourself which type of real estate you wish to sell and who your ideal client would be.
Once you understand your “why”, you can begin to create the assets that visually represent it, such as your logo and signage, your company culture, and how your customer service would interact with prospects and clients.
Building a good brand doesn’t end with a great logo or a simple guide that explains what your brand is all about. A good brand needs to be carried forth into your network.
Participating and networking within communities relevant to your competition and your target audience is the best way to spread brand awareness. This can be done virtually by, for example, joining a LinkedIn group, or you can actually join different boards within your local community and in-person present your brand.
Both acts of participation, however, cannot be done unless you can fully embody your brand. You must be able to present yourself as an entity of your brand, which could be different from who you are in your personal life. This will take practice and time. Just remember you must start somewhere. Don’t be afraid to test your brand out on strangers, family and friends, and online communities to see how people react and whether you need to tweak it.
Competitor Gap Analysis
Learning how to build a brand is easiest when you have a plethora of competitors to out-win. While it may seem overwhelming to know there are so many other agents out there doing the same thing you want to do (and doing it well), it is actually a good thing to know that what you aim to do can be achieved.
The best way to build your brand is to look at what your competition does successfully and what they lack. This is known as a “competitor gap analysis”. You want to see how you can make your brand as an agent bigger, better and bolder compared to agents who make sales on a consistent basis.
When you build your brand, it is vital to analyze the audience you want to target and how you plan on doing so in an effective manner. In other words, you need to define your niche. Who is your ideal client? Are they local? National? What are their demographics?
Knowing who your target audience is will make your marketing efforts 10 times easier. Why? You will always know what voice and which method to use to reach them. For example, if you want to target male CEOs in the top 10% of the income range in the United States to sell luxury vacation rentals, then you will want to develop brand messaging and visuals that appeal more toward an older, more professional generation. You wouldn’t want to use “text language” or lots of bright pinks. Instead, your language may be more formal. Maybe you even incorporate some business jargon in your marketing materials.
Get Strategic About Your Marketing Efforts
While you can certainly build your brand yourself, managing your entire marketing efforts is no walk in the park. It’s also not something that should be weighing you down as you try to shake hands and close deals.
At GrowthSuite, we specialize in marketing for real estate agents. We offer a full scope of services that target agents just like you who need that extra boost. From reputation management to helping you build a website that propels lead generation, we help your career level-up.