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If you’re just launching your real estate business or are thinking of rebranding, standing out is going to be your biggest challenge. According to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), there are an estimated 2 million active real estate licensees in the U.S.—that’s a lot of competition.

Your best bet at an edge against these competing agents is going to be your value proposition and how you deliver your message. So, this week, take some time to develop (or re-develop) you brand, shaping and sharing your offerings in a way that speaks to your local market area and assures consumers of your unique value.

Step 1: Don’t focus so much on what others are doing. Do your due diligence to find the value proposition of competing agents, but don’t go so far that you’re obsessing over their tactics. In order to stand out, you want to offer something that’s truly a differentiator. If you’re looking too closely at the strategies of other agents, you’ll have a difficult time thinking outside the box, where you’ll find your distinguishing value.

Step 2: Find a niche. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What have they been missing in the real estate process? From home search, to offer, to closing, there must be something that you can do better or differently than what your competition is already offering. You can even survey consumers to find out what this missing puzzle piece is. Once you find that missing link, you can start formulating a strategy to fill the gap.

Step 3: Develop your voice. After you’ve determined your value, start building your brand, and the voice of your business, around it. The key here is consistency. Streamline your messaging—tone, branding and content should all align with your value proposition. Regardless of the different avenues in which you market yourself, a consumer should be able to immediately recognize the brand as yours. If you’re changing colors or tone of voice across marketing platforms, you’ll never create that cohesiveness that ultimately leads to brand recognition.

Step 4: Share the news. You’ve done all this work to find your unique place in the local market—now shout it from the rooftops! This is where a comprehensive marketing strategy comes into play. Formulate a plan that reaches your audience in the widest sense possible. Think online, in print and even a visual impact throughout the community. Put your brand out there with your photo, name and a logo—and maybe even a catchy slogan to tie it all together. If consumers aren’t seeing your name out there, they won’t come to you for business. And get involved! The more people see you helping out around town, the easier time they’ll have remembering who you are and what you offer.

Step 5: Build your reputation. Once the community is made aware of the value your brand brings, you’ll find that business comes in pretty steadily. As you build (or add onto) your client database, leverage these contacts as much as you can to build a reputation of expertise. Ask for testimonials and publish them across various online and social platforms—in video formats as well as written, if possible. Today’s buyers and sellers do their research before signing with an agent, and a pretty lengthy history of 5-star reviews can do wonders for your business. Lastly, keep in contact with your past clients and check in, personalizing the conversations so you continue to build the connections. These will ultimately lead to other referrals and repeat business, and that’s when your business really starts taking off. 

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Liz your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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