Real estate business card design for a Keller Williams agent, created for Vibrant Branding Agency.
Branding Yourself as an Agent in a Competitive Real Estate Market
Real estate agents sometimes get a bad rap for employing cheesy gimmicks to differentiate ourselves – and I’ll be the first to admit that personalized pens and mug-shot style listing signs probably aren’t helping our cause!
But that said, the reality is that if you want to set yourself apart and win more clients, you need to have a powerful, recognizable brand that your customers and prospects can connect with.
Because this doesn’t come easily to everybody, I’ve put together the following three tips on how to brand yourself as agent without compromising your earnings or your integrity. I hope you find them useful when it comes to growing your real estate business!
Tip #1 – Brand on value, not on price
If you’re struggling to stand out in a market that’s already saturated with real estate agents, you might be tempted to cut your commissions in order to attract more clients. Don’t do it!
Do you think Mercedez Benz stops to worry about the fact that other companies are selling cars for less money? Do you think Nordstorm’s is shaking in its boots over the fact that Walmart also sells clothing?
Of course not! They’ve branded themselves on providing value – which is exactly what you should do as well.
If you cut your commissions, you turn yourself into the Family Dollar of the real estate world. And let me tell you, while discount brokerages that use this model of differentiation might survive good markets, there’s a good reason you’ll see them all close up shop when things take the slightest turn for the worse.
There’s always going to be somebody who can do something cheaper than you. But the thing is, sellers don’t always want cheaper. They recognize that their homes are major assets and that they might be better off working with a more experienced, yet more expensive agent if this will net them better results in the long run.
Remember, if you can get an extra 5% for your sellers, your commission has been more than paid for, and sellers recognize that! Always strive to differentiate yourself based on the value you provide your clients – not how much you charge to do so.
Tip #2 – Stop focusing on your marketing plan
Next up, plenty of real estate agents make the mistake of branding themselves based on the marketing activities they undertake for their clients. You might see somebody calling herself “the Queen of Open Houses” or another agent who sells prospects on his ability to craft compelling MLS listings.
But really – at the end of the day – sellers don’t want your marketing tools. What they want are results!
Deep down, what sellers want is to sell their homes as quickly as possible, for as much money as possible and with as little hassle as possible. Yes, your marketing techniques are an important part of achieving these end results, but selling your client on your promotional strategies alone doesn’t touch on these deeper emotional issues.
When sellers ask what you’re going to do to get their homes sold, don’t waste time on wishy-washy answers surrounding your promotional plans. Instead, ask them back, “Are you interested in my marketing plan or in getting top dollar for your home?” Then, prove to them that you’re the right person for that job on the strength of your presentations…
Tip #3 – Differentiate yourself with your presentations
When I talk to clients, I don’t see myself as a real estate agent. I see myself as a lifestyle designer – somebody who’s there to help clients create the results they want in their lives.
Keep in mind that people aren’t just moving to sell their homes. It’s an arduous process at best, and it’s one that people wouldn’t undertake if they didn’t have something better waiting on the other side. By honing in on the reasons why people are moving, I’m able to use my expertise and my professionalism to get them into the lives they want.
This personal touch automatically differentiates me from other agents. I’m not just trying to sell a house to sell a house – I’m excited and passionate about helping buyers and sellers get to the next stage of their lives.
Because I feel so strongly about handling real estate transactions in this way, my enthusiasm comes across in my in-person presentations and in the videos I send out to prospects – effectively branding myself as an agent who both cares about his clients and gets the job done.
You might not see yourself in this way, but you do need to be aware of how your presentations are telegraphing your personal image to your clients. By putting in the practice necessary to differentiate the value you bring to buyers and sellers through your presentations, you’ll find that your brand grows naturally – allowing you to secure more clients and close more deals overall.