Saturday, 16 December 2017

Top 5 Tips for Real Estate Agents to Build an Online Brand

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 10 October 2017 19:57

In today’s digital world, having a recognizable brand isn’t just for large enterprises. Online branding is critical for almost all industries, especially real estate. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are roughly two million active real estate licensees in the United States, which means there is a lot of competition and Realtors need to make an effort to stand out.

91% of Realtors use social media to some extent, but many don’t actually use it to promote their listings and personal brand. Just being on a social network won’t create a recognizable brand. Homebuyers and sellers select a Realtor based on personality, presentation, and negotiation skills, which means branding is a key ingredient to success and serves as the foundation for a strong selling strategy.

For real estate agents, standing out from competition and creating a unique, recognizable online brand, is a must. Here are five must-read tips that will help you get ahead of the game.

Tip #1: Identify your brand and voice

It’s important to think about your unique selling proposition and how to showcase it online. To start, consider who is your clientele -- what do they want to hear and how do they want to hear it? Do you work with retirees? People looking for a vacation home? Families? Each of these groups has a different way of looking at real estate, so it’s important your brand focuses on them, using language and visuals that can capture this market’s attention.

Next, consider what is your uniqueness and how you are different from other Realtors who target this group. What can you offer that no other Realtor can? What are your goals and values in real estate? All of this information is important because it sets the tone of your brand and separates you from the competition. Put together, all of this becomes your online brand and your selling point. It should stand out and be memorable so customers know what you can do for them.

In reality, we all have a brand. It’s partly our personality, partly our work style, but not many agents utilize their brand to gain clients. Establishing and harnessing the power of your personal brand can push you to the top of the industry, which will help you gain followers and more clients.

Tip #2: Brand your website and agent profile

Now that you’ve created a brand, it should come across in both your website, agent profile, outbound emails and any third party services you use. Write all content (including blogs, website copy, etc.) in your voice so customers get a sense of you, how you work, and what it will be like working together. Invest in branded visuals instead of stock photos to push branding further.

Create a customized agent profile to showcase your personal story, so clients learn more about you, your experience, and areas where you excel. A branded website and agent profile on third party websites will help capture the attention of your market online.

Tip #3: Choose social networks based on demographics

Developing and implementing a social media strategy is a time-consuming process, so don’t just decide on social networks based on gut instinct. Research where your target market networks online and invest time in those spaces to be sure to grab their attention. Trying to remain active on all social networks is a difficult task, so invest the most time on social sites that your target market actually uses to maximize the benefit. The best social media strategy is one that you will actually stick to.

Tip #4: Offer customer valuable information

Once you know which networks are worth the biggest time investment, provide useful information for potential clients. In addition to posting properties, photos, and testimonies, try offering content that is informative for the target market. Teach, don’t sell. This type of branded content is engaging and shows your expertise, reminding potential clients how useful your services can be. Content can be simple ‘how-to’ posts or ‘things to remember when selling,’ and should always include your contact information, so when readers are ready to take the next step, they can easily contact you.

Tip #5: Personalize online messages for buyers and sellers

Buyers and sellers are looking for different information online, which means your posts should offer both. Realtors who don’t recognize the value of segmenting these groups may find themselves with little to no interaction online. Using automated tools such as Hubspot, Realtors can break down these two groups, offering useful content surrounding their buying or selling stage. This builds your online brand as a real estate agent who takes time to personalize content and guides a buyer or seller along the process.

When building an online brand, consistency is key. If you are going to start a blog, a Facebook page or Instagram account, it’s important to maintain it with well-written, thoughtful content, instead of posting once and leaving it. Potential clients follow and interact with brands that offer them something useful, so keep this in mind when posting. Real estate agents with a strong online brand will reap the benefits of all of the work because when clients are ready to buy or sell, they’ll have your name front of mind.

Adrian Fisher is the Founder and CEO of PropertySimple, a real estate technology company that allows agents to take control of their personal brand by automating social media posting. Follow him @adrian_fisher.

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Adrian Fisher

Adrian Fisher is the founder of PropertySimple, a social real estate platform. 

propertysimple.com

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