RISMEDIA, October 16, 2010—Today’s challenging market has proven to be a career-defining opportunity for real estate agents looking to stay ahead of the competition. Agents who understand that real estate is a marketing business have taken the first step toward finding success in today’s market. Robb Murry, chief marketing officer, The Personal Marketing Co. discusses why your personal brand matters more than ever.
Dramatic increases in inventory, challenges in the financial sector, and reversing home values have created a unique opportunity for forward-thinking agents who understand that real estate is a marketing business.
In a market where homeowners believe their homes will sell no matter what, the decision-making process often comes down to commission. In this kind of market, deep commission cutters and even FSBOs become popular. But when the market is more uncertain, homeowners put more value on which agent they choose. For agents committed to building a long-term business on the marketing principles of value and visibility, today’s challenging market can be a career-defining opportunity.
Five ways to prepare for a breakout success:
1. Be a specialist. Become an expert at some aspect of your market and then make sure everyone knows you’re the expert. When you specialize in something, you become very valuable to a specific group of people. Consumers see you as worth more than the “average agent.” Whether you choose to specialize in types of properties or even types of people, the important thing is to become known for something specific.
2. Be different. If you really want consumers to see you as different from the rest of the flock of agents, then be ready to do something the other agents aren’t. It’s difficult to convince people you’re different if you’re doing the same things, marketing yourself the same way, and saying the same things as all of the agents in town. Your marketing materials must make you stand out from the flock and communicate the unique person that you are. Remember, people choose to work with you because they like you.
3. Be visible. Many agents have responded to a slower market by stopping their marketing. For agents who are out there marketing themselves, they’re getting noticed more by consumers. Today, you’ll get more bang for your buck in terms of getting noticed and remembered than ever before.
4. Be memorable. Now is a great time to benefit from creating your own personal brand image. Think about creating a personal logo and slogan and then make sure that all of your marketing materials look the same. You don’t have to see the name to know what restaurant is under the golden arches; make your brand just as recognizable in your market.
5. Be consistent. Once you start … don’t stop. Repetition is the key to getting people to remember you and commit to your marketing plan up front. Don’t start unless you’re willing to finish it. Only doing half of a marketing campaign may amount to half the expense, but it gets none of the results.
The important thing is not to let market conditions derail your long-term business plan. Recently, the president of a major company shared with me his company’s long-term strategy. When a market is slow, they build market share so that when a market returns, they catapult to the top of the industry. The same is true for agents who understand that real estate is a marketing business.