You hear the word “branding” thrown around a lot in business circles, so much so that its meaning has almost become diluted. That can minimize the importance of true branding for many people when they create their marketing strategy—but branding your brokerage is crucial to building a business that will withstand changes in the market.
Here’s what you should know about branding and how to take the first steps toward building a strong brand in your niche or location.
What is real estate branding?
Branding is the term used to describe a marketing strategy that makes all elements of the way you operate and advertise easily identifiable as “yours.” Real estate branding means creating a style, ethos and vision for your brokerage that people can readily say belongs to you. It’s what distinguishes your brokerage from all the other brokerages out there.
What unique advantages does branding give you?
When branding is done right it can help to give your brokerage top of mind awareness. This is crucial in every market, but especially in a slower market where there are fewer homes being bought and sold. People are going to go with a broker they trust, maybe the first trustworthy person who comes to mind. The brokerage with the biggest brand will always be the one they think of first and so it becomes important to start building this brand name recognition to win business.
Brokerages that are known for bringing something unique to the market automatically position themselves to their specific niche. Finding and emphasizing what makes your brokerage special is what draws in the customers you’re looking for. Brokerages that don’t put a lot of work into this aspect of marketing end up fading into the background noise.
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How to start branding your real estate brokerage
You don’t need to order knick-knacks with your logo on it to start real estate branding. You can actually get started with just your phone, computer and a commitment to social media. A strong content plan can help you create and develop a branding strategy. Content helps you position yourself as an expert in whatever your niche is. It gives you the time and space to develop the perception of your brokerage that you’re trying to create. You really have a chance to get your message across.
1. Create long-form audio or video content
Start by regular planning videos you can shoot or a podcast you can create that will give you awesome long-form content and doesn’t require a massive time investment. Focus on documenting your daily activities—you might not find your day-to-day interesting, but there are going to be a lot of people out there who will.
Here’s what you should focus on when it comes to this content:
- Be genuine. Don’t pretend you’re bigger than you are. If you document an open house and no one shows up, be vulnerable enough to show that and talk about what you think impacted the low turnout.
- Be consistent. You’re not competing for an Oscar so don’t feel like everything you do has to be Academy Award level content. Instead, set a goal to create daily or weekly long-form content.
- Be helpful. Provide content that can truly be valuable to other brokers, agents or your customers. Give away your expertise for free. If people are learning something from you and you’re genuinely bringing value to their lives, you’ll most likely have an easier time getting them to trust you when it comes to buying or selling a property. You’ve already put your money where your mouth is!
2. Publish content across all social media platforms
Once you’ve created your long-form content, use it to create all your social media posts for the next day or week across a variety of channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium or your website’s blog.
You can post the full-length version on YouTube or whichever podcasting platform you use, then chop it up and post bite-sized clips on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook throughout the week. You can also transcribe it to make a written blog post that can be posted on LinkedIn or your website. Try breaking up your content into enough pieces that you have something to post each day.
3. Follow up and be patient
Set aside some time each day to follow up on every comment across all of your platforms, saying something meaningful that can help grow your brand’s identity. Use these comments as another opportunity to showcase your expertise.
It’s most important in this stage to remember to be patient. You’re not going to see instant growth and brand name recognition. Over time, as people start seeing your content in more and more places, you’ll be able to build your brand. It takes a lot of work and patience, but eventually, you could build a brand that makes you the first person potential clients think of when they’re looking for a broker.