How to Create Realtor Brand Differentiation
Can you win the real estate sales wars by differentiating yourself from other local Realtors? And is developing your brand a vital part of the real estate marketing package you buy?
The answer is yes. The only way clients can choose among you and your colleagues is if they see the features/skills of a Realtor that are important to. If you don’t stand out, in a meaningful way, it can undermine all the effort you’ve made to reach them.
I’m sure you’ve been given some education on branding in your training, but my guess is that it was not thorough and instead highlighted superficials. Your brand image is the value proposition prospects receive. They receive the UVP via your website imagery, content topics, messages, word choice, and other content they experience. So, you are your content.
And while other Realtors don’t spend much time or money on standing out from the crowd, it’s an area you can gain a huge advantage. A big traffic pipeline plus a powerful value proposition delivered creatively to your audience is bound to help you become market leader. Market leader is the only sustainable goal.
Branding isn’t about slick graphics, fancy business cards, logo design, or bloated claims and sales awards. Instead, it’s about building a reputation that matches the client’s ideals. Of course, what clients want isn’t written in stone. Your digital marketing can persuade them to adjust their views, values and goals. But only if they find you and take you seriously.
A Weak Image Guarantees Being Ignored
A weak image or lack of it can definitely cause prospects to ignore you. Your first thought as an experienced Realtor is to say there is no differentiation. “My services are no better than other Realtors.” The truth is, your services and results can be unique in prospects eyes. Your marketing can help them see your talents, sincerity, priorities, and character are important.
To achieve Realtor brand differentiation, there’s a number of marketing activities you’ll need to carry out.
I’ve worked with a branding consultant and discovered that branding is powerful. It does sell services and products, but it doesn’t create the original reach to target audiences. My reach building services were critical to introducing brands of big corporations, manufacturers and even brokers to customers.
A brand without eyeballs can’t change homebuyer and home seller decisions. Okay, so let’s say you buy a marketing service package and you actually reach hundreds and hundreds of well qualified buyers or sellers. What are you going to say to them? What image will you present? What is your unique value proposition to them? Why will they choose you over the others?
It’s an important topic because even if you have tens of thousands of visitors visit your listings and website every month, if they don’t think you’re right for them, they won’t become your client. A weak Realtor brand is the biggest problem facing agents and brokers.
Your Realtor Brand is a Created Image
Branding is very complex. It’s tough to describe or understand. It isn’t what’s taught in old marketing text books.
Some branding amateurs talk about Realtor mission statements, logos, photos, elevator speeches, long term goals, taglines and your purpose and so on. It’s all to sell an end product of design services or consulting. Your brand image however is simply what homeowners and home buyers think you will achieve for them. It’s your digital content that gets that message across.
Branding is built on what prospects want, and your image is simply re-interpreted to them to make you look relevant and preferred. If you’re only trusted by a small group of people, are you really a trusted professional? Branding must achieve bigger aims to be sincere and trusted.
Branding comes down to knowing your prospect market really well. Why do they want to buy or sell? What values and decision points make them feel buying or selling is critically important and doing it well is right? If you can wrap your brand image around that, and you amplify your brand to the market, it will be almost impossible for other agents to beat you.
You can specialize on specific types of housing, specific neighborhoods, sales results or specific buyers. Or you can build your image to show you’re compatible with all buyers. Clarity, simplicity, competence, honesty, experience, and other traits can carry you a long way with buyers and sellers. There’s a lot to consider and highlight in your marketing packages.
They may not be interested in how you look, what Broker brand you work with, or even your experience. They just want to ensure you make them feel good. Feeling good comes from comfort, trust, similarity, sympathy, empathy, and support. If you get these values across, they may not care about your looks, education, or gender. They just get the belief that you will support their dreams and be nice to work with.
And your online content strategy is tasked with getting those traits across to them. Interesting and informative content is important, but it’s secondary to building your Realtor brand image.
How To Dominate Client’s Awareness so They Can’t See Anyone Else
Home buyers and sellers are aware of a lot of real estate agents and broker brands. Advertising is so intense today whether its on the roadways, TV, or on the Web and Facebook. The advice has been for agents and broker brands to stand out, yet few of them understand what “standing out” really means.
When client prospects see you, they’re seeing an image of someone they like, respect, and who can get the sales job done. Let’s take a look again at why people choose one Realtor over another.
- professional property listing and sales skills (legal, safe transactions, guidance, confidence, results)
- experience (efficiency, knows the sales process, no mistakes, time waste, and can negotiate a better deal)
- reputation (known for professional involvement, confidence, trust, and sales results)
- similar values (trust, respect, expected outcomes)
- similar age, gender, education, background (comfort zone, trust)
- they feel validated in their desire for and decision to buy a home (self-esteem)
- authority and knowledge (competence, awareness, confidence)
- work and social skills (responsiveness, hard work, assertive, good with people, persuasive, confidence, positive)
- appearance (visuals are congruent with what they buyer/seller respects and likes)
How do you Convey the Traits Prospects are Looking For?
We saw above that there are certain traits, abilities and accomplishments prospects are hoping for in their chosen real estate agent. You’re likely not that person, so the task is to convince them that you possess the Realtor characteristics they want.
You can’t just tell them blatantly how you have all they’re looking for. Of course, they won’t believe you. However, you can convey all of the above strengths and traits subtly within in your online content. It involves articles, stories, listings, and photos, along with a few other pieces that prove you’re real.
For each Realtor trait you need to establish in their minds, you need content to demonstrate it. That means for each piece of content you produce, the keywords, topics, subjects, stories, data, and graphics have to convey a strength. And this must be done with subtlety and impact combined.
It takes skill to write believable content, create graphics, and videos, emails, and engage in social media daily in a fashion that conveys important points of differentiation. And to make each point of differentiation chain together to create an even bigger impact, requires great knowledge and skill.
You’ve likely heard people talk online about the power of story telling. What they’re actually referring to is demonstrating successful events that lead to a decision — buying or selling and a successful transaction. They talk about narratives, but narratives have to be subtle and generate emotion, not just mechanical and obvious.
Brand Building Content Choices
The content your real estate marketing content expert will create for you has to be about topics, people, ideas, concepts, and outcomes the prospect believes in. You’re actually showing you share their values, experiences, and more so they trust you and take you seriously.
Here’s a few examples:
- a video showing your listing where you play up features your prospects are keen on (swimming pool, vista windows, modern bathroom, chef kitchen, large driveway, privacy, etc.)
- a blog post on your millennial client and why they chose you and your city and the neighborhood and home they bought
- a social media post on a visit to a local popular restaurant (a restaurant your prospect generally likes)
- a blog post on the techniques you use to get sellers to not choose a bidding war and sell it quick with you
- an about page that discusses your life and how your family is happy and still growing personally — demonstrating family values and self-esteem
- MLS listings that are interpreted by you so the property resonates with the wants and values of your prospects
You’re probably jumping head and wondering which client values really drive their decision? They’re all unique but they want competence, honesty, commitment, and the willingness to work energetically and cooperatively with them to get the best results for them.
The brand image or Aura that buyers/seller see in you is the realization of their dreams and values. Your brand image says, “I will make your dreams come true.”
Please don’t use that as your tagline or slogan! In fact, slogans may actually erode brand quality and impact.
While you’re here, please do take another look at my Real estate marketing packages for agents. You have my commitment to do the research and help you build a great brand and present it to thousands and thousands of buyers and sellers.