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defining_your_niche“When you define your value, it helps you give your best ‘yes’s and your clear ‘no’s.” This sound piece of philosophy comes from Debra Trappen, chief of sass, moxie and experience at d11 Consulting, who was the guest of Homes.com’s webinar, “Fire Up Your Personal Brand.” During the webinar, Trappen discussed the importance of real estate agents defining their personal brand and business goals, utilizing social media to amplify that message, defining their niche and meeting their personal goals.

The Core Four
When it comes to defining your personal brand, Trappen notes that people often don’t want to think of themselves as a brand. However, to be successful, this mindset has to change.

“Think of how you can use who you are from the inside out to attract clients and connections so you can build a business and a life to fire you up,” she says. “It’s about who you are on a day-to-day basis.”

Trappen says to consider celebrities and how they have defined their own personal brand. Whether it’s Oprah or Don Draper or Madonna, certain words come to mind that let you know who they are and what their brand is. These are the same types of identifiable factors that you want to create for yourself.

“Understand it’s not a logo or a tagline. It’s simply who you are. You don’t need a personal brand because you already have one,” she says. “Define it and nurture it.”

This can be done, she says, using the “Core Four”—values, passion, purpose and a niche statement.

  1. Values: These are your core values, or who you are on the inside. These values are those things that define you and the way you live your life.
  2. Passion: Trappen believes we all have soul tanks and the things we are passionate about are what fuel the tanks. She suggests creating a list of 5-10 hobbies or interests (cooking, wine tasting, pets, etc.) you’re passionate about, and then create “me appointments” to participate in these activities and refuel your tank.
  3. Purpose: This is what drives you. Trappen suggests asking yourself, “I ___ others” to define your “why” or your purpose.
  4. Niche: Your niche is what makes you unique, setting you apart from others around you. By creating and promoting your niche statement, you’ll attract the right kind of people. “A niche statement helps you help others send people in your direction,” she says.

Social Media and Your Goals
Trappen says, when you’re thinking about what to do with marketing, you should consider creating credibility, increasing your visibility, uncovering corporate business strategies and looking for new and old friends. Social media plays a big part in all of that. The purpose of social media in real estate, according to Trappen, is to create a community.

While many agents may have a personal Facebook profile, Trappen suggests looking in to either a Facebook page, which creates social validation that you are a business, or a Facebook group, which lets you create your own community and network with others. For the latter, Trappen herself created a group based on her passion for helping women in business. This wasn’t done for real estate purposes, but it has helped her find connections and clients.

Twitter is also a great way to find new connections, while LinkedIn, which she says is underutilized by real estate professionals, can help strengthen your presence in the industry. She suggests surprising someone with a recommendation each week on LinkedIn, to connect with others and, eventually, help further your own personal brand. Google+ is another great place to amplify your message, she says, while Instagram and Pinterest are both ways to show what you are passionate about through photos. Trappen promotes the use of Instagram to show your life behind the scenes and share your personal brand.

However, Trappen says that the most important thing about creating your personal brand is to be authentically you. “There are millions of people who sell real estate, so being yourself is your only differentiator. If you embrace your authentic self, you have no competition. At the end of the day, no one is you.”

Speaking of firing up your personal brand and establishing a social media strategy, Homes.com Social,  a comprehensive social media suite, is designed specifically for real estate professionals who are looking to build their audience and increase engagement. Start defining your brand and marketing your niche to your social sphere with Homes.com Social.

For more information please visit connect.homes.com.

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