Branding is a hot issue for professionals of all kinds, and real estate companies are no exception. Establishing a brand is seen as synonymous with establishing a reputation and a “face” for your company. This allows companies to promote their message and reach out to customers on a more personal basis.
But what about branding for real estate agents, rather than just the agencies? Should an agent focus on a personal brand as well as a company brand? And does it really make a difference?
Real Estate Company Branding
The number of real estate companies and individual agents rises and falls with the market. But recent estimates by the US Census Bureau of how many real estate agencies are operating within the US suggest over 86,000 all told; meanwhile, the National Association of REALTORS® listed 1.3 million-member REALTORS® in the States in 2017, which was up 6% from the previous year.
With that wide gap between companies and individual agents, it makes sense to compare branding strategies for each. After all, branding is important no matter who you are!
Real estate agencies or companies are generally focused on the overall approach, often featuring the areas in which they provide services as a significant portion of the brand. They may also focus on the type of services they provide, such as working exclusively with commercial real estate or promoting a “family” brand that provides families with viable homes.
Branding is important for a company, both to spread their message and appeal to customers, as well as to boost name recognition in and out of the area. Branding includes visuals, personality, customer service, social media, official websites, and every other point of contact between the company and the client.
Because real estate agencies often employ several agents, they are usually able to have multiple areas of specialty, and those are usually also included in company branding.
Personal Branding For Agents
On the other hand, a personal brand for a real estate professional may be somewhat more limited. A personal brand will also reflect the agent’s area of specialty. And it provides a great opportunity to build a personality for the agent, separate from the company.
At the same time, personal branding should not clash with or distract from the overall company branding. Of course, if a real estate professional is an independent agent, not working with a larger company, that’s less of a concern.
Why Branding Matters
Branding is important for all businesses and individuals because it creates a connection with the potential client.
In the case of a real estate agent, it’s a vital part of communicating with your audience.
A personal brand allows the agent to:
- Establish their areas of expertise
- Advertise specifically to their audience
- Promote their personality
- Highlight good qualities such as trustworthiness and experience
- Connect the consumer’s needs with what the agent has to offer
So the answer to the question at the outset of this article is, put simply, yes, personal branding does matter for real estate professionals. This is in addition to the overall company branding if you work with a real estate agency, and especially important if you work as an independent.
How To Brand
As we mentioned earlier in this article, branding includes everything from visuals and graphics to customer service.
Some of the more immediate ways to establish your personal brand include:
- Create a logo. If you work for a company, they will already have one, but you can also create a real estate agency logo or your own work as an agent.
- Choose a color palette that reinforces your areas of specialty. If your expertise is centered on helping families find their first home, a color palette that includes warm colors like yellow and orange can promote a friendly, cozy feeling. If you’re centered on commercial real estate, blue is a great way to promote a feeling of trustworthy professionalism.
- Invest in promotional materials, such as pens stamped with your name and phone number.
- Invest in a website or blog. If your company already has a separate website, starting a blog as a personal branding effort is a great idea. Use it to provide helpful, actionable content that answers common questions, gives experiences, and helps you to reach potential clients.
Establish Your Brand As A Real Estate Professional
Of course, marketing your brand and getting your name out there to your customers is a vital part of building your brand. The more time and attention you put into creating and marketing your brand, the faster your business will grow — whether you’re an independent or working with an agency.
One of the chief reasons to promote your personal brand, of course, is to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. As we mentioned, statistics indicate that there are well over a million real estate agents working in the United States alone. And that number fluctuates up and down as the market gets progressively better or worse. So standing out from all the others is absolutely necessary to keep your business going!
Regardless of whether you’re working on your own or in conjunction with an agency and other agents, it’s obvious that personal branding can make a huge difference in the success of your real estate venture.
Author Bio: Zaheer Dodhia is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Logo Design. His passion is to solve small business and startup problems with affordable branding solutions. His deep understanding of business needs, and expertise in graphic design and search engines have motivated him to spearhead several online projects with tremendous success. He has been featured in publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.