Written by Pierre Mizzi – Alliance CMO
The most effective estate agents can tell you precisely which properties in which streets have exactly what you are looking for and can speak to the owners on first name basis to arrange a viewing within hours. Then when it comes to it, they will facilitate a deal that’s fair for all sides and be ready to move on to the next one the following day.
You don’t build this level of confidence lounging around browsing socials, you build it through consistent hustling and bustling with people, being out there, seeing places, getting to know everyone there is to know and more importantly, making sure they know YOU and remember who YOU are. Yes, agency culture and office teamwork surely help this in big ways, but ultimately it is down to YOU to wear down your shoes walking the walk and talking the talk, personifying your brand every day.
Confident knowledge of the market is a key asset that requires skill to build professionally, and this is where personal branding becomes more relevant and very important for the agent to be more effective. Let’s start by looking at some of the basics of personal branding for real estate.
Step 1: Be yourself as everyone else is already taken
The first thing you need to do is think long and hard about who YOU really are. Your personal brand is about your authentic self and it’s pointless trying to emulate other people. Yes, you could look at your peers for inspiration, but blatant imitation just won’t take you very far. Think about what makes you different from other people. It could start with your age or your looks or your personality, your values and beliefs, your family or educational background or whatever else YOU makes you unique. Ask yourself, why would clients want to buy from you and not anyone else? Do a SWOT analysis on yourself if it helps. In which localities are you working? Which kind of properties are you most passionate about? What is your USP – your unique selling proposition? In this step you define your personal brand for yourself.
Step 2: Who is your target audience?
Once you have defined yourself clearly enough in your mind, you need to identify your target audience. If you’re just starting out, it’s going to be difficult to play with the big fish at first, so maybe you should focus on first time buyers for now. If you’re passionate about high-end luxury properties, then first-time buyers are probably going to be a waste of time, and if you’re mature and most of your acquaintances are boomers, connecting with hip young buyers may be a bigger challenge for you. So it’s very important to target audiences who YOU can identify with.
Knowing yourself and your audience are the vital first two steps. But before we get to reaching out to them, which is the obvious third step, let’s dispel two big misconceptions.
a) the everyman and everywoman
Many new agents try to be so multifaceted to appeal to as many different audiences as possible, that this makes them end up being wishy-washy and less effective. This is precisely why the first two steps are done very well as groundwork. Having said this, I must add that some qualities are fundamental and pushing on those, is often a very good start until you fully define your personal brand for yourself.
b) the fundamentals
Being a nice person is always good, being punctual and reliable, being efficient and accessible are all good traits for anyone in any line of work. Really working hard for your clients and being of value to them, are the most fundamental objectives on which you need to build your personal brand. If you think your brand can rely on fluff alone, you must dispel that misconception. Delighted clients bring you more business and create word – of – mouth advertising that’s hard to beat in sustainable brand building.
Step 3: Getting yourself out there
For many people, the word brand means a logo, a Facebook page and maybe a website, etc. Yes, branding is a form of advertising but it is very different. Meeting the locals over tea and pastizzi in a village café could be just as valuable as attending a high-end crypto conference. Yes, the audience is of course very different, but the networking is very much the same.
This is to affirm that personal advertising is less about logos, photos, graphics, SEO and reach, and more about the basics of putting yourself out there, in person and online. Sharing likes and comments and contributing feedback wherever you can, is free and very effective to get noticed. However, over-thinking may be one of your stumbling blocks here, and you can only overcome with more self-confidence. If you’ve done steps one and two properly, then step three becomes much easier.
When it comes to paid advertising, Facebook is definitely worth the investment and it’s relatively easy to self-manage, but even here there are pitfalls. Many agents end up falling in a rut, posting listing after listing without ever adding much value. Some results are seen by the sheer volume, as many posts boosted over time are bound to yield a hit every now and then. But this does not enrich your personal brand much. If you keep in mind that every post is building on your brand story, then it becomes easier to add something about yourself in a way that appeals to your target audience.
This makes it also about you and not just about the property you are presenting. You could sometimes talk about other interests or take another angle that’s different from your norm. You need to be creative whilst remaining consistent. Most importantly, share your opinions and suggest ideas that communicate who you are.
Building your personal brand on these foundations is bound to increase your potential for leads and opportunities generation, make you a more effective asset for your clients and your team and generally happier and more successful in life. As a professional estate agent, your superpower is your personal brand.
Pierre Mizzi is an accomplished marketing communications expert with vast experience, particularly in the field of real estate. He has held the position of Chief Marketing Officer, since inception of the Alliance brand in 2020. Here he manages corporate marketing, supports the personal branding efforts of over 140 agents, and carries out independent research to advise on internal and external communications using digital and traditional media tools and solutions. Email Pierre Mizzi or connect on LinkedIn.