Building Your Agent Brand Is About Intangibles

A recent post on ActiveRain was entitled How To Become a Real Estate Marketing Superstar.

The post promoted their ebook by the same title. It was a good post and worth reading. The writer lays out three essentials for any modern real estate marketing plan:

  1. Marketing Strategy: indeed, looking at what you’ve done over the past 12 months is essential to understanding the plan you put in place over the next year. I agree with their suggestion to look at what other top agents in your area are doing. In that there are no original ideas in marketing, you might be able to gain some insight that you can apply to your own business.
  2. Financial Outlook: as a small business owner, marketing is one of many line items in your budget.  A mistake many small business owners make when it comes to their finances is looking at marketing as an expense instead of an investment. Brand building is an on-going commitment and might be the most critical item on your spreadsheet.
  3. Business Action Plan: what are your specific goals for the coming year and how do you plan to use marketing to achieve those goals.

These are all essential and often overlooked aspects of brand marketing.

The post also includes two suggestions for picking a marketing consultant to help guide your efforts:

  1. Hire someone with a strong background in data analytics: Clearly, it is important to understand how all of the elements of your marketing plan work to drive traffic to your site and convert that traffic to leads. We often work with agents with sites not programmed for Google Analytics. So, they have no idea as to the source of their visitors, nor if they are able to convert those visitors (i.e. get a phone number, email or request for information)
  2. Hire someone who can offer you unique insights: it’s great to have someone with data analytics background, but can that person interpret the data then translate what they learned into business building insights? For example, can your consultant identify a better keyword strategy based on an analysis of your current business?

If you are a high-performing agent who wants to take your business to another level via stronger marketing, you should hire a marketing consultant. And I agree it is important to consider someone with a solid orientation toward analytics and digital marketing.  However, having a digital guru alone is not enough to build a compelling brand presence in today’s market. You need someone with well-rounded skills and experience.  In addition to digital skills, your marketing partner should bring a number of other qualities to the table. I call these “soft” or intangible skills:

  • Marketing experience across a variety of industries: the real estate world tends to be myopic. All you need to do to understand this point is look at most agent websites. Very few agents are willing to risk building a website that tells their story in a unique way. That’s why it helps to have a marketing consultant with rich and varied experience. You may find unique solutions that might not come from someone who is only schooled in real estate marketing.
  • Strong writing and storytelling skills: Surely you’ve heard the saying “facts tell and stories sell.” Your resume alone is not your story. Find a marketing consultant who can help you to craft your story so that it stands out in a sea of me-too real estate agents. Remember: the term “digital” is about delivery, not communication. Keyword strategies alone will not bring your brand to the promised land.
  • Compelling design aesthetic: your marketing must tell a strong visual story, especially these days when fewer people are taking the time to read posts and articles. How you use color and imaging can be a critical component of your branding strategy. This strategy obviously extends to video strategies.
  • Confidence to push back: you need a marketing consultant who is not afraid to push back, to tell you-you’re wrong. This might be a hard pill to swallow for many high-driver agents who tend toward greater control. But just like a homeowner hires you for your expertise, your brand is best served by having an un-tethered marketing consultant.

It’s important to remember, brand building is a long-term process. It won’t necessarily translate to leads today. But a strong brand can be a game changer over the long haul. A trusted marketing consultant is a great way to develop and nurture your personal real estate brand. Taking the time to find the right partner, one with broad skills and experience, pays huge dividends over time.