Step 1: Consistency is key. Pick your visual style, and stick with it!
Choose a visual style that represents you and that you can scale across all of your marketing. This might mean always using the same color, font, image type or subject line to help your clients quickly identify your marketing whether it be on social or in their mailbox. Maintain the same look and messaging across all of your materials. Don’t over complicate this! Pick key visual elements that work and then keep them consistent. The goal is to have your client see a piece of your marketing and immediately recognize it as yours.
Step 2: Stand out from other agents in your area
Differentiating yourself and your brand is a huge element of driving success. Think about what makes you unique. This could have to do with where you live, where you spend your time, or a recognizable trait that people assimilate you with. Turn these into elements of your brand in ways that feel natural. This will help bolster your recognition among clients. Take a moment right now to write down a few unique things about yourself. Start with things like where you live, a neighborhood you love, a hobby or interest you have, etc.
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Here are a few tips that other agents have used to help them stand out:
- Send 1:1 emails with a personal touch. This could be for important occasions such as birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. Rather than sending a mass blast, send a note that actually asks the person how they’re doing, what’s new in their life, and share some information about what you’re up to.
- Giving back to your community in a meaningful way through volunteering or donating to charities on your behalf or in your clients honor. Consider leveraging Compass Cares to find a charity in your neighborhood.
- Giving gifts, such as closing gifts, home anniversary gifts, or surprise and delight gifts. Consider something that is for the home or has a longer shelf life so that when clients use it, they will think of you. The gift does not necessarily need to be high in dollar value, but rather something that is meaningful.
Step 3: Showcase your success without bragging
Show your clients, other brokers, vendors, and your network that you are the best at what you do. You can do this by promoting your sold listings, your market stats and client testimonials on your marketing collateral, on your social media platforms and in your videos. This will encourage people to send you business and continue doing repeat business with you. Finding a way to make sure this seems authentic and not self-centered, is important. Using things like testimonials allows someone else to speak on your behalf.
Step 4: Build strong relationships
If the people around you know you’re a real estate agent and that you’re someone they can go to for advice, market information, or general information, they’re going to be more likely to think about you when a real estate question or need comes up (whether it’s for them or for someone they know).
There are ways you can do this within your existing network and as you expand your network:
- Door knocking: To meet more of your neighbors in the area in which you live or are looking to gain expertise, go door to door. Meet everyone and tell them about yourself!
- Valuable communication: This includes providing relevant market insights such as “an increase in home prices in your neighborhood” or recommendations for “how to renovate your home on a budget!”
- Host Events: Create an in-person opportunity to nurture and grow your network. Human interactions ensure clients can put a face to your name, deepening your connection and increasing the chances of staying top of mind.
- Get involved with organizations like your college Alumni Association, your children's school, or your local community groups.
Step 5: Market yourself and your listings across many channels
Remember how we created a checklist to market listings across key channels? The same goes for marketing your brand. Having a presence across all marketing channels, such as social, direct mail, digital, or through events can help expand your reach. The best channels are typically the ones with the largest audience. When you market yourself in multiple places you are more likely to catch someone’s attention since they will have seen your message a few times and start to recognize you.
Step 6: Get testimonials from your valued clients
Reviews and client testimonials are some of the best ways to demonstrate your success and expertise. It also can give your client confidence that others have had amazing experiences working with you. At the end of every sale, consider requesting a testimonial from your client. Around 69% of recent home sellers surveyed said that they would gladly write a review for their real estate agent if requested (67 Shocking Real Estate Statistics You Need to Know, The Close, 2020). Testimonial requests can be included in your closing checklist so you remember to gather them from everyone you work with.
You can also seek testimonials from other agents or vendor partners you’ve worked with. This can demonstrate your breadth of influence and can help position your brand as established.
Step 7: Treat people well
This may sound like a given, but the more people who trust you and see you as a partner, the more business it can drive for you. Even though this is a more indirect tip, agents have seen this to be successful. Even in the biggest cities, the brokerage community is a tight knit group. If you become someone who other agents and clients want to work, you will likely ultimately see a positive impact on your business. Find meaningful ways to engage with others. It can be as simple as supporting an agent by attending one of their open houses or commenting on their social media posts.
Step 8: Reconnect with your contacts at a regular cadence
Find ways to be relevant without feeling like a salesperson. Reach out on a regular cadence that works for you, by phone, in-person, or with a hand-written note. Whatever the reason, make sure your outreach is personalized. Avoid sending mass email blasts and generic "new to market" messages.
Step 9: Use referrals and partners to drive more business
“The typical real estate agent receives upward of 30% of their business from repeat clients or referrals.”*
Become the subject matter expert for your sphere of influence on all things real estate. Note the vendors you’ve had great experiences with and their full contact info so that you can easily pass this along to a fellow agent or client. When your client moves into their new home and wants to paint it, they will know that they can call you to find the best painter in town. Tell the vendors that you are partnering with that you’ll be driving business to them, and ask them to do the same for you if they know anyone looking for a broker. If you receive a financial benefit from any vendor that you refer a client to, disclose that to the client when making the referral to help build a relationship around honesty and trust.
Step 10: Set goals and hold yourself accountable
Set realistic and achievable goals. For example, set a goal to meaningfully connect with 15 people each week via phone or in person. The goals should be centered around your schedule, clients and what works for you.
Have trouble keeping yourself accountable? Considering writing it down on a note on your desk, add a daily reminder to your phone, or identify an accountability partner. This is someone who you can check in with regularly and share your progress with.
Step 11: Spend money to make money
Focus on key areas you want to invest in. This could be video, more direct mail, or personal lifestyle photography. Best practice is to develop a realistic budget and stick to it. Your Sales Manager or Marketing Adviser are the perfect resources to assist with helping you strategize this. By investing in your growth, you’re investing in your business.
Tracking what you’re spending and what is successful can help you identify areas of high return. You can always shift and adjust your marketing budget and plan depending on what’s best for you and your goals.
By going through these steps and making clear lists for yourself, you can map out an actionable strategy on how you will invest in building and growing your brand. The payoff can be in many forms, including reaching new clients, generating new business, and being regarded as the go-to real estate expert for your sphere.
(Many thanks to Compass for sharing their knowledge)