Establishing your brand and fostering brand trust is crucial for the real estate business. In this ultra-competitive industry, having an exceptional digital presence is essential for real estate companies. That’s why things like web design, company online presence analysis, and audit services are critical for real estate businesses to generate online leads. Having an effective brand strategy will convey your company’s message, confirm essential brand credibility, which in turn, will attract and motivate potential clients and buyers. In this article, real estate branding experts discuss 9 key tips that will help your real estate business stand out.
Blogging Has Become The Most Important Strategy
“I use every platform I can to brand my small real estate brokerage. YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google, and Email Marketing are some of the main platforms that I use. Blogging has become the most important strategy of all my efforts. Currently, if you Google Colorado Springs Realtors, you’ll probably see two blog posts from our company website, along with our name at the top of the Map Pack and our URL somewhere in the top 5 results. We get plenty of business from this exposure, even though we are competing with large corporate companies like Zillow and Redfin. People tend to read our blog posts and then contact us over the other options in the SERPs because we offer hyper-local info, rather than just a name and phone number.
Pretend that you are considering moving to your city form out-of-state. What keywords would you search to get information online? By targeting those keywords, you’re essentially branding yourself to people who are searching for those topics. You can control your message this way. The more content you build around those topics, the larger your brand appears online. Adding videos of yourself and the neighborhoods in your area strengthens your brand and makes you stand out above the rest. When I meet new clients, they feel as though they already know me from all of the content they have consumed from my website before meeting me. It’s the strongest branding tactic that I have experience.
Find your main keywords, build content around those keywords, and continue this practice forever. The longer you do it, the harder it is for your competition to catch up to you. You will build a powerful digital brand that acts as a magnet to find consumers at the perfect moment in their shopping cycle. This process has changed my whole business structure, increased my sales, and has given me more free time.”
Think Strategically About Building A Strong Brand And Seek Federal Trademark Protection
“I have advised numerous real estate professionals, from individual brokers to large real estate development companies to help them build a strong brand. Large real estate companies, funds, developers, and brokers are beginning to get more sophisticated when it comes to building a strong brand. For example, apartment developments are focusing more on building a strong brand for their development or community. Some developments are branded under the same name and then developed and nationally (or internationally) advertised under that moniker. Some noteworthy developers have started licensing famous brands to create a branded residence that is intended to indicate the luxury, upscale experience of the property, without even stepping through the door. Large real estate brokerage teams are also creating a sophisticated marketing presence, even beyond just appearing on a reality TV show. But even small real estate owners, developers, and brokers can learn some best practices from these larger companies.
When real estate companies are thinking about building a strong brand, they should be thinking strategically about building a strong brand name that they can use consistently to identify their real estate services. Correspondingly they should be thinking about seeking federal trademark protection for their business name. Along the same lines, if they are having a marketing agency or graphic designer contribute to their brand identification, they should make sure that they have executed the correct (simple) legal documents to properly describe the relationship and ensure a solid foundation for year to come. There are simple legal steps that any real estate professional can use to start building a strong brand today.”
An Authentic Brand Will Resonate With Consumers, Build Trust, And Enforce The Call To Action
“Real estate branding is critical to long term real estate sales success. The best luxury real estate agents don’t leave branding to chance, instead; luxury agents carefully craft a style to put them ahead of their competition.
The sooner an agent starts developing their brand, the sooner more consumers will become familiar with their business and remember their name.
Real estate branding for agents must be kept consistent across all types of media including print, video, and the agent’s website. Their social media pages and office stationery should also have a uniform look.
If you’re an agent working under a brokerage, I really believe it helps to choose a branding color combination that matches the broker’s existing image. You can still be creative but try and blend your design together with your brokerage and reinforce a consistent image.
Excellent real estate branding is authentic. An authentic brand will resonate with consumers, build trust, and enforce the call to action.
Real estate branding should respect the agent’s target audience. Agents targeting specific generational groups like baby boomers may want to consider larger font sizes or a more traditional style that carefully considers the wants and needs of their audience.
Agents and brokers should keep in mind that developing brands takes time. In a perfect world, it would be ideal to choose a winning brand right from the start, however, this isn’t always the case.
As you develop a brand you will be able to adjust, adapt, and change it over time. In order to minimize any changes in the future, spend extra time developing your brand in the beginning. It’s okay to ask other agents, colleagues, and past clients to give you feedback so that you can make adjustments early before they become too costly.
I’ve always thought about branding like I think about architectural design. Branding is a process, a chance to explore ideas and evolve over time, even after it’s complete.
Earlier this year, Coldwell Banker Realty rebranded the entire company all across the world from Paris to Beverly Hills. The process was streamlined, smooth, and engaging. Corporate and local leaders worked closely with the agents and marketing department to roll out a new modern brand image. The new NorthStar brand has helped us create more unity among our offices and create exposure. I really think the redesign was well executed and beneficial.”
Marc Anthony, Luxury Real Estate Agent, Coldwell Banker Realty
Find A Niche And Find A Cause
“1) Find a niche and focus your marketing efforts there. You can’t be everything to everyone. If you work with first time home buyers, luxury homes or first responders then focus your marketing and branding efforts to that niche. Think of being a laser beam and not a flashlight!
Example: Being a Real Estate Broker/Investor as well as a Nurse Practitioner, my group will commonly market to first responders (Firefighters, Police Officers and Nurses). Find common ground while being different.
2 ) Find a cause that you feel strongly about and give back through your business to help build brand awareness. Everyone loves a great social cause and knowing they are giving back in some way. It can also help generate content for blogs and social media which can sometimes be a challenge to generate.
Example: Our real estate investment company donates a portion of profits to help fund medical care and research in our community.”
At The End Of The Day, It’s All About Relationships
“Successful realtors understand the power of personal branding. The first step toward this is conducting a self-audit to identify your purpose, strengths, values, and passion. In a fiercely competitive real estate environment, it’s essential to crystallize your competitive advantage. Some real estate professionals differentiate themselves through their individual achievements (e.g., deal volume) while others boast added value (e.g., JD, MBA, mortgage industry background, staging certificate). To get started, pinpoint phrases that best describe your expertise: condo expert, data guru, historic landmark authority, luxury specialist, interior decorator, “green” specialist. Also, identify words that best describe your personality: driven, persistent, honest. Equally important is arming yourself with intelligence about what drives your target to take action. Determine who you’re talking to: consider age, gender, personality, and profession. Then, identify your clients’ pain points. Effectively communicating your personal brand and “why choose me?” is key to long-term growth. How can you solve their needs better than your competitors? What is their preferred channel of communication?
Once you’ve crafted a compelling brand, it’s time to make some noise. You need to bring your brand to life, consistently. The array of channels is seemingly endless: websites, blogs, podcasts, social media, print collateral, open house signs, ads, email blasts. To build a consistent and compelling image, share positive client testimonials, achievements, success stories, content (curated and self-published), professional speaking and earned media opportunities. It’s important to not only showcase current listings, but also properties you’ve successfully closed. I’m often asked how often one should share. A good rule of thumb is to post once a day, five days a week. If time is scarce, it’s fine to focus on just one social media channel. (It is prudent, however, to provide a link to the active
platform on dormant social media channels.) And always ensure you adhere to your company’s brand standards and policies. Be transparent: should you receive a negative post or review, address it in a professional and timely fashion. Both prospective and existing clients will appreciate your honesty.
You need to develop content that’s Relevant (and platform-appropriate). Good is not enough — you need to create remarkable content to capture your audience. Content is more than words; make use of striking visuals to engage readers. And before hitting the “post” button, take a step back and ensure your post is relevant and relatable. Take into account the
recipient’s mindset: “What’s in it for me?” Whether you develop articles, blog posts or videos, make certain the content is shareable, engaging and actionable. Humor drives further interaction when used appropriately. And don’t forget the “wow!” headline.
At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships. Purchasers and sellers often make decisions based on their relationship with the individual realtor, not the business entity. Your client base and network is your pot of gold. Approximately 80% of purchase decisions are based on emotion and trust. Invest in networking and actively join committees and organizations (both professional and community). It’s important to engage in both online and offline communities. Give before you get, and say “thank you” often.”
Having an exceptional web presence is so vitally important in real estate branding. Companies operating in the real estate industry must understand how everything from social media marketing to local SEO, to real estate website design, are all critical for success in this highly competitive industry. In essence, successful brand marketing will establish brand awareness for your real estate business, which ultimately, will translate into brand loyalty and increase sales.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at IronMonk Solutions. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.