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Op-Ed: Are You in Your Business?

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By Kaira Sturdivant Rouda

RISMEDIA, April 4, 2008- For the past 20 years, I’ve been helping people define their brands. I’ve learned to build my own personal brand, in fact, within the company brand I was creating.

This is an especially important time to make your brand work for you and your real estate business. This industry is bursting with entrepreneurs. The best in our business are able to harness the power of their passions-including, but not limited to, real estate-and articulate them. How do you convey your individual expertise, your personal brand, to each of your clients? Do you have a vision of your brand? Of your target audience? I mean this literally. I encourage you to make a brand board. And that’s just one activity.

rouda_kaira_0407.jpgThe goal is to help you put the real you in your business. I challenge you to think about personal branding in a deep, meaningful way-beyond your name, slogan and headshot. Consumers demand more today-and you are uniquely qualified to deliver it. No one knows your brand like you do. But it may be time for a new look.

There are several exercises that can help you define your personal brand and bring it to life as a unique competitive advantage. Here are five to get you started:

- Take some time to look in the rear-view mirror because the answer is probably there. You have a busy life-work, kids, responsibilities. But it’s critical to step back-take the time to think about where you are going in your career. Set goals. Reflect. Going through the process of introspection is amazingly revealing.

- Define your passions. I encourage you to keep them to four or five. These are the people, things and activities that make your heart sing. Hopefully, one of them is real estate. How can you make sure your other passions are expressed through your real estate business and vice versa? That’s what it takes to become more real. More you.

- Find the real people in your life. You are on a personal mission. To get where you need to go, separate yourself from negative influencers, aka snarks. But remember, the more real you become, the more polarizing you’ll find yourself to be. If you’re making waves and pursuing your passions, people notice-real people and snarks. Don’t let the snarks get you down.

- Don’t go it alone. Ask for help when you need it. I can’t overemphasize this. With the pace of change in our business, and in the world, there is no way you can be an expert on all aspects of our industry. Asking for help is a sign of strength and confidence.

- Follow your instincts. Now, more than ever, business is intuitive. Use yours to your advantage. Nothing is stopping you from redefining your passions and putting them into action today. RE

Kaira Sturdivant Rouda is president of Real Living and author of Real You Incorporated.

For more information, please visit www.RealYouIncorporated.com.

For more business development articles, see:

Selling Homes Is All about Marketing
5 Reasons Why Journaling Works
Your Ethics – How to Give and Receive Criticism

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