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Company Brand vs. Personal Brand: What is the Difference in Real Estate?

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 16 October 2018 09:37

It used to be that announcing their brokerage was enough to generate business for a real estate agent. Now we live in a world with multiple brokerages, independent, local, and nationwide, and name-dropping isn’t enough to build a career in real estate.

Even if an agent’s brokerage has a strong brand, a realtor should also consider creating his or her personal brand. While a brokerage could have a strong reputation, that reputation could deteriorate, or the agent could leave the company.

Building a personal brand is crucial from the beginning of a real estate agent’s career. The average realtor spends four years at a brokerage before moving on to another one or starting their own business. One of the most significant advantages of building a personal brand is that, when an agent does decide to leave the firm, the personal brand goes with them.

If an agent has worked hard to create a strong bond with clients, those relationships will transcend a brokerage. Even if the client once had a negative experience with an agent’s current company, a good experience with that agent will often override that negative past.

Whether an agent wants to build their personal brand or a brokerage’s brand, here are a few tips on how to distinguish the two.

Building a Brand on Social Media

Social media has become a powerful tool for reaching and growing a real estate agent’s audience. Its visual nature lends itself perfectly to interior shots of staged houses or landscaped yards.

Personal social media

The goal is to build a brand that transcends a picture of a beautiful kitchen on Instagram, so agents should consider how they want to present themselves. The agent who is also a mom of three who knows all the best schools and neighborhoods could post pictures of her kids, the local schools, and content relatable to other moms who might be house hunting. An up-and-coming realtor who can help a twenty-something find a great condo near all the hot spots could share articles about the ten best nightclubs in the city on social media.

Brokerage social media

A brokerage’s social media streams could contain listings handled by their agents, but to build a company brand, it should have a broader focus. Brokerages can share articles about citywide trends in new home building, awards that the brokerage receives, and stories about how the company gives back to the community.

It’s essential for anyone using social media to build a brand to know what they’re doing. Read more about common mistakes real estate professionals make on social media to stay on the right track.

Building a Brand Through a Blog

Which questions do clients ask over and over again? Consider starting a blog and treating those questions as ideas for posts. A good blog post takes a central topic or question, provides useful information in response, and can be a great way to differentiate a personal brand.

Personal blog

For example, an agent who focuses on one area of the city can write about the best schools or housing trends in that neighborhood. A fun post about local coffee shops could reach a wider audience if local residences share the post. If an agent’s business focuses on selling condominiums, he or she could write about the pros and cons of serving on the board.

Agency blog

Similarly, if a brokerage seeks to distinguish their company as being the go-to for a certain type of property, neighborhood, or price point, their blog posts could reinforce that message. Posts titled, “What to look for in your first home” or “What you need to know about buying a million dollar property,” both send very different messages to potential clients.

Network with Talking Points

Networking is key in the world of real estate. Customers want to meet their agent and have a good impression of them before starting to work together.

Personal networking

Going back to the example of an agent who’s also a mom of three; let’s say she’s at a PTO meeting and another mom mentions that they’re thinking of listing their house. Jumping up and down, waving her hand in the air yelling “I’m a real estate agent, I can help!” isn’t likely to get her the listing. As an agent, she should be able to describe her brand, what she sells, what she does, and the value she brings to her clients in just a few talking points.

These talking points take networking beyond handing out business cards at a local event to creating an actual connection with the prospect. What’s the agent’s story? Why did he or she become a realtor? An agent should know what makes his or her services different from other agents.

Agency networking

Knowing the brokerage’s story and communicating its talking points to the agents and other representatives is important. Agents decide to work with a brokerage for reasons that often align with the brokerage’s overarching culture. The story of why they became a real estate agent usually contains similarities to the brokerage’s story, and agents should be able to tell both stories.

While a personal brand can be key to a real estate agent’s success, agents shouldn’t forget that they still represent a brokerage. And if their personal brands no longer align with the brokerage’s, it might be time to make the move and seek new opportunities. For agents ready to launch a dynamic personal brand, find out how PropertySimple can help.

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Adrian Fisher

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

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