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Realtor Branding Tips

How Important is My Online Presence as a Realtor?

Home buyer looking at real estate agent home listing

According to one recent study, the vast majority of all experiences between a services provider and customers still begin in the exact same way: with a search engine. If you needed just a single statistic

According to one recent study, the vast majority of all experiences between a services provider and customers still begin in the exact same way: with a search engine. If you needed just a single statistic to underline the importance of your online presence as a realtor, let it be that one. Thanks to the rate at which technology continues to advance, consumers are doing more research before purchases than ever before. They want to collect as much information as possible and weigh all of their options carefully before making the decision to part with their hard-earned money. If they're putting in hours upon hours of careful research before investing in something like a new computer, how much effort do you think is going towards some of the larger purchases they'll ever make like a home? In short, quite a lot. This is why it's critical for you to understand that, as a realtor, your online presence is one of the most important elements of your business that you need to keep a careful eye on. This is true for a wide range of different reasons, all of which are worth exploring. Keep an Eye on Google – How Well Does Your Brand Rank? As stated, most experiences between you as a realtor and the people you've dedicated yourself to serving are going to begin with a search engine like Google. This means that if you go to Google right now and type in your business' name, you'd better show up as high on the page as you possibly can. This means not only creating a real estate website or using an online social media platform to showcase yourself, but elevating it above acting as a simple "virtual business card" and into the realm of a helpful online resource that people actually want to use. You need to write blog posts, record videos and offer other helpful content to help people understand why you're someone worth paying attention to in the first place. People have questions and concerns when it comes to buying a home - your website is an opportunity for you to answer them in a way that builds trust and empowers your larger SEO (search engine optimization) efforts at the same time. Improve Your Reviews on 3rd Party Sites Like Zillow and Yelp Of course, people aren't just going to take your word for it that you know what you're talking about when it comes to real estate - they want this confirmed from other real people that you've worked with in the past. Reviews on Zillow or even Yelp may also come in handy when servicing new clients. Use Facebook and Instagram to Make Yourself Available 24/7 It's equally important for you to keep in mind that when it comes to the level of research people are doing ahead of a major purchase like a home, they're not limiting their activities exclusively to "normal working business hours." They're doing research early in the morning and in the middle of the night. They're pouring over options on weekends and at virtually all hours of the day. This means that a successful online presence as a realtor depends on making yourself available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via sites like Facebook and Instagram. Think about it like this: if someone has a question, they want an answer now. They're not going to wait for you to get back to them - they're going to keep trying until they find someone who will. By giving people the opportunity to contact you anywhere at any time, you're making sure they complete the majority of their customer journey with you. In the end, traditional word of mouth may still be the best way to secure real estate leads - but that doesn't make an online presence any less important. Still, both of these things are in service of the most important marketing opportunity of all: doing whatever it takes to generate as many satisfied customers as you can. Love, Kartik
Realtor Branding Tips

Essential Real Estate Agent Branding Strategies You Should Not Ignore

Close up of an apple computer ready to create logo

It has been said that branding first started in ancient Egypt as herders and livestock owners branded their cattle as a means to distinguish their property from another's. This way, if cattle was stolen,

It has been said that branding first started in ancient Egypt as herders and livestock owners branded their cattle as a means to distinguish their property from another's. This way, if cattle was stolen, whoever saw the branded symbol could figure out who the actual owner was. In modern times, branding is a way of marketing and communicating one company, or in the case of real estate, one real estate agent from another. Proper branding results in brand awareness, which is essentially the ability of a customer to understand what products belong to a given company and what products belong to another. The goal of effective branding is to have what marketers call “top of mind” awareness. Essentially, this happens when the customer thinks of a specific need and a brand will immediately come to mind in a given product category. A good example of branding are the following associations: Bleach = Clorox. Face tissue, Kleenex. Coffee=-Starbucks. These companies have done an excellent and deliberate job of branding and creating top of mind awareness with their consumer. How does this relate to the individual real estate agent? One of the first steps to branding for a successful Realtor is defining the market area that they are attempting to be an expert in. Become an Expert in a Defined Market Area Consider web and print assets that specifically are tailored to these farm areas. For example, if you are focused on a specific condo community in your town, consider registering some domain names that have the name of that condo complex in them and frequent updates as to the market in that building or area will help solidify your brand as an expert in that neighborhood. Example: If the condo complex is the “Jolly Arms Condos” the agent might register the URL www.jollyarmscondos.com. Create a Strong Logo As it relates to branding, a strong logo is critical. If you work for a national real estate company like Coldwell Banker or Keller Williams, you may want to check with their brand compliance guidelines before executing your strategy. Generally if you have colors or a marketing scheme that fits the area you're branding in, this can help give you top of mind awareness. Remember to choose your colors wisely in your logo. We've all walked through a department store and it's obvious that professional branders and marketers use certain colors to elicit certain emotions. Red and yellow tend to pop more than more muted colors. Invest in Offline and Online Marketing Also, remember to use both online and offline methods of branding and advertising. Open house signs, yard signs, and door knocking, along with direct mail, are all strategies to employ to effectively brand you as the local expert in that area. There is a need for differentiation. Remember, there are a lot of real estate agents out there. Over one million people have membership with the National Association of Realtors once they obtain their real estate license. Consumers have a lot of choices and it's important to be able to differentiate your strategy and marketing from your competitors. Is a Niche Market Right for You? Consider adopting a specific niche market. Do you focus on retail tenant representation? Do you focus on short sales or bank owned properties? Do you focus on condos or luxury marketing? Being able to brand yourself as an expert in any of these niches is useful to building your brand. Above All Else, Stay Consistent Finally, remember that consistency is more important than creativity. Branding is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if your marketing isn't perfect, it's important to remember that consistent branding and marketing will help keep you top of mind in the eyes of the consumer. If you're going to do a blog, make sure your blog comes out with some regularity. If you're going to record YouTube videos, make sure that you have a predefined content calendar and schedule. This will help the public see you as a consistent and reliable source of information when they are considering buying and selling a piece of real estate. Love, Kartik