When the pandemic hit the globe in early 2020, most real estate professionals learned instantly just how important a personal brand was to their business.  Without the ability to meet face to face, they had to rely on their story being expressed in other ways.  However, realizing the importance and building the brand correctly are two different things.  It’s not as simple as it may seem, and there are actually six ways most agents are doing personal branding all wrong.

They forget to inject the ‘personal’ into their brand

“People don’t do business with a logo. They do business with a person.” People want to know the person behind the business. They love the story behind a brand, and they connect to that story and that individual. We’re unique individuals, and offer unique insights and lifestyles that attract others beyond our professional skills and talents. Those are the very things that can help someone to feel as though they’ve known us for years, creating a familiarity within seconds that a professional approach alone cannot accomplish.

They push their profession instead of their purpose

Most agents think branding is about making sure everyone knows you’re in real estate. The problem is, there are two million people in real estate. And hundreds, even thousands in each individual market. It’s important that you let your ideal customers know what your purpose is within your craft, because “Great branding isn’t about being known for your profession. It’s about being known for being DIFFERENT in your profession.” Let your prospects and customers know how you got into real estate, what you focus on and why, and what it means to them.

They settle for the “3 Amigos” of marketing

Most agents believe as long as they have a few good photos, a logo, and a clever tagline, that their branding is complete.  Those are indeed branding elements, but they do not constitute a brand in and of themselves.  A brand includes many other elements, all designed to tell your story through a clear, concise message and imagery that supports that story. In fact, “Great branding is not about being known for your profession. It’s about being known for being different in your profession.” And those three things alone do not differentiate you enough.  We look at 77 different criteria when we help someone build their personal brand.

They settle for “ditto” instead of ‘different’

Even on social media, most agents copy the same things others do. They simply follow the leader, instead of leading the followers. They might post closings & listings, but they don’t infuse their brand and tell them how they got the listing, and what they did to get to the closing table on time. More importantly, they should convey why someone should choose them over every other agent who also has listings & closings.  Doing the same things other agents do creates a ‘sea of sameness’, where no one stands out, which can culminate in spending a lot more time, effort, and money on marketing (with little to no return on investment).

They rely on their brokerage for their branding

It is absolutely possible to embrace your brokerage brand and your own personal brand at the same time. Your brokerage is an important part of your business, and you no doubt chose them because of their brand and culture. However, not all agents underneath a brokerage are the same. In fact they’re all UNIQUELY different. People will choose to do business with you because of your own unique value.  You can still uphold the respect and legal requirements regarding your brokerage while promoting the things that set you apart from other agents.  In a sentence, “Promote your personal brand and protect your brokerage brand.”

They choose to market before the brand is built

Most people who are advertising to help you ‘build your brand’ are actually trying to sell you a marketing product or lead generation product. These tools are what you need in order to ‘promote’ your brand and build your following. However, you must BUILD IT FIRST. Many agents scramble to get on the next social media craze, lead gen tool, video production tool, or CRM. Those platforms help you send a message and image out to the world…but your brand IS the message and image that you put out there.  If you attempt to market yourself before you properly define, develop, and display your brand, you end up using the same generic images, language and appeal that most other agents are offering, and the result is that you’ll work yourself to death just to get noticed.