Building Your Brand as a New Real Estate Agent
Navigating the real estate industry as a new real estate agent can be intimidating. One of the largest hurdles you’ll face early in your real estate career is establishing a personal brand to help build your clientele. If you’re unsure of where to begin, read the tips and strategies below to start building your personal brand.
Identify Your Audience
The first step to building a brand in any industry is to identify your audience. What are some common attributes of your typical clients? What types of concerns do they often have in common? Some of these may seem obvious at a high level, but thinking through these types of questions will not only help you better understand your clientele, but also help you identify how your strengths can best serve them.
Are you a long-time resident of your community? This will come in handy while advising clients that are new to the area. Did you or your significant other once move as new or expecting parents? Then you’ll have a great understanding of what’s important to other new or expecting parents. Are many of the buyers and homeowners in your community active military? If you or a family member come from a military background, you’re likely to have a leg up when it comes to understanding their concerns. As you get a better understanding of your target audience, you’ll start to get a better idea of how to effectively connect with the people you need to grow your business.
Build Authentic Relationships
According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of home buyers in 2020 chose a real estate agent based on a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative. Those numbers are actually higher for the two youngest age groups reported (22 to 30, and 31 to 40). Although the digital age has had a seismic impact on the real estate industry, face-to-face connection is still crucial. Remember, it is very likely that you are helping your clients with one of, if not the most important financial decision of their lives. Finding those personal connections are an important part of establishing trust between you and your clients. And if you’re still not convinced, consider this- 76% of home buyers surveyed by NAR in 2020 say they would use the same real estate agent again or recommend them to others. The most important factor for those buyers? Honesty and trustworthiness.
Establish Online Presence
As previously mentioned, face-to-face interactions are still very essential to growing your business as a new real estate agent. However, to get new business in 2021, you can’t rely on word of mouth alone- especially as a new agent. It probably won’t surprise you that In 2020, 97% of home buyers used the internet to search for homes. For the majority of buyers, this was the first step in their home buying process. However, 35% of buyers also found their agent through online search. Even clients who are referred by a family member or friend are likely to conduct an online search of their own before contacting you.
To capture this online audience effectively, you’ll want to make sure your website, or your personal page of your office or brokerage’s website, is engaging and personal. Don’t just list your contact information, tell your audience who you are as a person and what makes you valuable as a real estate agent. Remember, connection is key. For more about creating an effective online profile, read our tips here.
Engage with Current and Potential Customers
A huge part of building your personal brand will involve using your expertise to leverage yourself as a helpful resource to your target audience. The easiest way to start engaging with your audience is through social media. If you’re already active on Facebook or other social media channels, you have a big advantage already. If not, consider this recent study conducted by The Close, which found that 44% of agents said they gained a new client in 2020 from posting on social media. And when asked where they’ll focus on growing their business in 2021, a whopping 82% of agents chose “improve social media presence”.
The key to success on social media is to establish a balance between letting your audience see a fun, personal side of you, and knowing when to provide them with valuable information. Social media feeds are guided by algorithms, and those algorithms are driven by engagement. Remember, even if you love to read about the most recent real estate trends and data, that doesn’t mean your audience wants to hear about it every day. Sharing occasional updates and pictures from your personal life, and bringing a sense of humor to your posts, will not only make you seem more approachable and likeable- it will also help drive more engagement with your posts, which leads to greater visibility. This way, when you do promote something for your business, or share a relevant real estate article, you’ll have a much larger audience to engage with it.
Consistency is Key
Now that you’re working on connecting with your audience, and carrying that messaging through online channels like your website and social media, it’s important to remain consistent. Remember, you’re working on establishing your personal brand- and brands remain top of mind with consumers by maintaining consistent image and messaging. Once you’ve established your value propositions (the selling points that differentiate you from other agents and make you an attractive option to work with), it’s important to start carrying those propositions through all your interactions, both online and in-person.
When most people think of a “brand”, they immediately think of a logo. While this is certainly an important factor of brand recognition, many of you may not have that option when establishing your own personal brand as a real estate agent. However, there are many other effective ways to carry a brand through your image and reputation- things such as your choice of words, the tone of your social media posts, and your style of dress will all factor into your personal brand. Even something small, like using a unique hashtag on your social media posts, can go a long way in differentiating your brand. The easiest and most effective way to remain consistent is to remain true to yourself- identify the strengths of your personality that are most important to your success, and strive to carry that through all aspects of your client engagement.
Perfect Your Strategy
If you’re already doing all of the above to the best of your abilities and still aren’t finding the level of success you want, don’t fret. As with any personal development, building your brand as a new agent will be a learning experience. You will need to experiment, evaluate, and make proper adjustments. Even seasoned agents still need to make adjustments from time to time.
As time goes on, you will begin to see what works and what doesn’t for your business. Once you’ve found the strategy that works best for you, go all in, but remember there’s always room for improvement – so never get too comfortable. And don’t forget that every successful real estate agent had to start somewhere too!