Successful real estate sell more than houses. They sell trust, expertise, lifestyle and attention to detail.
They establish a personal brand that assures customers that they are acting in their best interests and have of-the-moment information on the best properties. At the same time, they can’t be everything to everyone. Being a meaningful specialist is more effective than a wandering generalist.
Their secret? Authenticity. Authenticity is the key to a personal brand that resonates with your niche and helps build lasting relationships. As you grow your business through referrals and new leads, keep an eye on simultaneously building your reputation online and offline.
Unlocking Purpose and Passion
A personal brand is more than a marketing strategy. It’s your professional identity. Building an authentic brand will help you discover your strengths, define your values and unlock your purpose and passion.
In his book “Start with Why,” Simon Sinek explained why people choose to buy from certain brands over others. He pointed out that everyone can say what they do and some can even tell you how they do it. Very few can answer why they do it.
Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why are you in real estate rather than something else? People are motivated to trust in you and invest their hard-earned money in you when they know what you believe in.
Sinek summed it up as:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it… But if you don’t know why you do what you do, and people respond to why you do what you do, then how will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what it is that you do? The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.”
Getting to Why
Establishing the “Why” is the goal of your personal brand. To help you get started, here are some critical questions. The answers will shape where you go from here:
- What does your perfect day look like?
- Would a different path help you get to your end goal? Why or why not?
- How did you choose your particular niche?
- What characteristics do you have that have helped you be successful in this area?
- What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? What is the most exciting?
- What do your greatest successes have in common?
- As you talk to your friends, colleagues and satisfied clients, what strengths do they recognize in you?
Identifying your very specific strengths and goals establishes the basics of your personal brand. The next step is developing a one paragraph description of what you excel at and what you believe. This will be at the core of your personal brand.
But a personal brand is more than simply telling people why. It’s delivering that message in all you say and do. Showing, not telling, is key.
Authenticity and Consistency
“No one is as happy as they look on Facebook, as angry as they sound on Twitter or as employed as they seem on LinkedIn.” – Anonymous
One thing that people need to realize as they explore social media is that dialing it back is always a good idea. The power of understatement can’t be overestimated.
Providing valuable information and reliable advice is great, but don’t go overboard with posting things outside the core messages of your personal brand, or focusing too much on yourself. The focus of your sharing should be “you,” not “I.” Filter the information you share through the perspective of “how can this help my clients?”
Don’t create a personal brand you can’t live up to. Like a savvy film director who makes his leading star look a little better in every shot, build yourself up slowly and leave a little mystery so you can wow people in person. Unlike some industries, a successful real-estate agent will do their most important work face-to-face, and you don’t want to be cowering in the shadow of your online persona.
Likewise, consistency of tone and tempo will position you as a reliable narrator that can be trusted. Don’t go on social media binges, but post steadily and develop a voice you stick with. Let your enthusiasm come across by your diligent and thoughtful presence on relevant channels, and don’t try to convey it in tone.
The Ultimate Advantage
Everything you do, online and offline, should reinforce your brand as a resource they can turn to when it’s time to make a big purchase decision like a home or property. It’s easy to get distracted by what it seems like the market wants at the moment. What matters most is building the one competitive advantage that no one else can copy: You.