The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials estimates there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States.
That’s a whole lot of Realtors competing for a constantly fluctuating pool of clients.
How can you possibly stand out?
Depending on your target market, you may be competing against dozens — if not hundreds — of other agents.
The key to standing out in a sea of Realtors is creating a recognizable brand image and consistently promoting that image to your prospects.
What is Your Brand Image?
According to Businessdictionary.com, brand image is “the impression in a consumer’s mind of a brand's total personality (real and imaginary qualities and shortcomings). Brand image is developed over time through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme, and is authenticated through the consumers' direct experience.”
If you don’t have a solid and consistent brand image across all platforms, how can you expect potential clients to remember and recognize who you are among the dozens of other Realtors they may be considering?
In this blog post, we’ll talk about:
- Your Blog/Website
- Your Headshot
- Your Social Media platforms
- Your Logo
- Effective Color Schemes
- A Secret Tool to Solidify Your Reputation
Let’s get started.
How You Want to Market Yourself
Before you set off to build an effective brand image, you must first consider the message you want your brand to portray.
Are you a serious Realtor who works with high-end clients? Are you young and full of fresh, high-tech marketing strategies?
Knowing how you want to be perceived can guide you as you build your brand image.
Now that we’ve built the foundation for your brand image, let’s get into the finer details that can make or break your business.
In the digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial — scratch that — essential.
Not only should your website design be consistent with the rest of your brand image, but it also needs to provide valuable information to your target audience in an easily navigable way.
At minimum, your website should include:
- Your contact information and/or a form to contact you
- A bio — You can list your professional accomplishments, but remember to also be relatable and share a little bit about your interests outside of the office.
- Testimonials from former clients — The more you have, the better. Make sure you update these fairly frequently to show you’re continually working and closing deals.
If you really want to stand out, consider including:
- A welcome video on the homepage that links to your YouTube channel at the end
- A section for your blog (or a highly visible link if you blog on an outside platform)
- Links to your social media channels — you can also install widgets that display your most recent Tweets, Instagram posts or status updates on your website
- A page displaying your current listings (and a gallery of homes you’ve sold)
- Video testimonials from past clients (these may take some coaxing, but they’re much more effective than traditional text reviews)
The best way to run a successful blog is to plan out a posting schedule and keep track of each post’s performance. Most hosting websites will give you information about post engagement and clicks so you can tell which blogs are most popular with your followers.
When you know which content is driving your site views, you can create similar content and return to or expand on the most popular topics.
Don’t have time to keep up with the demands of daily or weekly blogging? Our MyBooks membership includes access to over 100+ pre-written blog articles to use at your convenience.
You know what they say: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Your face speaks for your business. Without a great headshot, potential clients can’t make a crucial first impression of you and your business.
In your picture, you should appear approachable and friendly, but also professional and polished. Browse other real estate headshots to find a style and look that fits who you are and how you want people to see you.
If your picture is blurry, dark, pixelated or low-quality, chances are, potential clients will look right past you in their Realtor search.
Can’t afford to have a professional photo taken? We’ve written an entire article on transforming an ordinary photo into a professional headshot.
Your social media profile is the best place to showcase your personality and build a relationship with potential clients.
You can share family photos, personal anecdotes, and relevant, but light-hearted, news articles or memes. You should also share links to any new blog posts across all of your social media platforms. Steer clear of potentially polarizing content, like political or religious topics.
It’s essential to interact with and respond to any comments or shares of your content.
Pay particular attention to frequent content engagers — chances are, they may be interested in hiring you in the future. Feel free to send them a casual message asking about their real estate needs.
If you really want to stand out, consider the following tips:
- Hold contests on your page — Prizes could be anything from a local restaurant gift card to free real estate photos from a professional photographer.
- Create a weekly video segment on your page
- Try to create viral content — We’ve written an article on how to do that here!
Yes, you can — and should — post about your current listings. But posting a variety of content will prevent you from losing followers and keep people engaged on your pages.
Like your blog posts, you can create a social media posting schedule. If your followers come to expect you’ll share a live video update at the same time on Wednesdays, for example, they’ll know to tune in or check your page that day.
Don’t have time to keep up with your social media pages?
Consider hiring a virtual assistant! Our book, “How to Build a Real Estate Business that Runs Without You,” shows you how you can get an affordable virtual assistant.
Order a copy of our book, and we’ll show you how a virtual assistant can handle daily tasks like posting to social media and collecting referrals from former clients. Just make sure your assistant understands the brand image you’re trying to portray, so he/she can help you maintain it!
In addition to helping you maintain your brand image — depending on the laws in your state — a virtual assistant may be able to:
- Manage all of your leads.
- Prospect for you.
- Follow up on your leads.
- Handle some of your administrative tasks.
- Put listings into the MLS.
- Help you with your buyer leads.
In any business, your logo is synonymous with your brand — and your name.
According to an article on Forbes.com, the wrong logo can make your brand appear unprofessional — or worse yet, completely unnoticeable. A good logo will create instant recognition within the minds of your prospects.
It’s important to choose something that stands out and positively promotes you and your business.
If you work for a big-name brokerage, you may be limited in how much you can promote your own personal brand, and you may just want to use your broker’s logo across the board.
But if you have a little more freedom, you can stretch your creative muscles to choose a logo that truly defines who you are as a real estate agent.
Make it something unique. There are a million real estate agents with a house logo. Think outside the box. Your logo doesn’t necessarily need to be a discernible object. A clean, simple design built around shapes and lines can work equally as well. (It’s also important to make sure your logo isn’t infringing on other brand trademarks.)
If you do go with something traditional like a house, think of ways you can make it your own. Can that house somehow morph into your name or business name?
Forbes says a logo should be memorable enough that someone could easily draw it onto a piece of paper when prompted. That means complicated designs aren’t always the best choice.
You can’t talk about logos without talking about color.
Did you know that psychologically, different colors can evoke different reactions in your target audience?
According to Canva, a leading graphic-design website, color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. Choosing the right color — for everything from your logo to your website and marketing materials — can have a substantial impact on your success.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular real estate branding colors to see what they can mean for your business:
Pros: According to graphic design company 99designs, over two-thirds of real estate logos contain blue. And it’s not hard to see why. Blue conveys reliability, trustworthiness and communication, and it’s also appreciated for its calming and harmonious qualities.
Cons: Besides being quite overused in real estate — and for branding in general — blue can also evoke feelings of depression and sadness. If your goal is to stand out, blue may not be your best option.
Pros: In branding, red delivers a powerful pop of color. It’s bold, energetic and lively and can symbolize strength, confidence and power.
Cons: Because red is such a bold color, some brands stear clear for fear that they’ll come on too strong. On the bright side, this means that by choosing red, you’re likely to stand in a sea of blue.
Pros: Green is a natural fit for real estate agents. It’s inextricably linked with finance and wealth — major cornerstones of the real estate industry. Green is, quite literally, the color of money, and also represents stability.
Cons: There aren’t many cons to choosing green, but you need to make sure you choose the right shade. According to Canva, brighter, lighter greens indicate growth, vitality and renewal; darker, richer greens represent prestige, wealth and abundance.
Pros: Warm and vibrant, orange is most typically linked with fresh, youthful, creative brands. Like red, it can stand out in a sea of cooler, neutral tones.
Cons: Because orange is also linked to fun and energy, it’s best to avoid if you work in luxury, traditional or more serious niches.
Pros: Black represents sophistication and luxury. It’s classy and bold, and people will take you seriously.
Cons: It doesn’t pop like other colors, and if not used correctly, could appear stale. Play around with textures and patterns to make it more interesting.
To learn more about what these and other colors can mean for your business, check out the full article on Canva.
So which color is right for you? This takes us back to the question: How do you want to market yourself? Answer that question, and you’ll land on the perfect color for your brand.
Become an Expert!
Nothing makes you stand out quite like becoming an expert in your field.
But that probably takes a lot of time and hard work, right?
Think of the most famous real estate agents in the industry. Do you know what they have in common — besides fame, fortune and a whole lot of success?
They’ve all written books!
But writing a book takes a lot of time — and money. According to Writer’s Market, hiring a ghostwriter for a book that includes the writer’s name — the “with” or “as told to” on the cover — ranges from $22,800 to $80,000. If no credit is given, that range jumps to $36,200 to $100,000.
And that’s doesn’t even include the cost to publish.
Luckily for you, there’s an easier way.
Our MyBooks membership gives you license to use 14 real estate books as your own. The books cover a variety of selling niches — from FSBOs and Expireds to Divorce and Inherited listings. We also have two books geared toward buyers.
Your membership also includes:
- An author website that ranks in Google.
- Your own blog with 100+ pre-written articles.
- Social media marketing templates.
- Home value website for capturing leads.
- Training strategies on how to use your books to get business.
If you’re not satisfied with the image you’ve been portraying, it’s never too late to rebrand yourself! Evaluate who you are, and how you want people to see you, and the chips will fall into place!
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!