In Part One of this series about real estate branding, we covered exactly what branding is, including how to make market differentiation and how to identify your key target customers.
In Part Two of our Real Estate Branding 101 series, we’ll dive into ways that you can successfully communicate your brand to your target customers.
If we consider the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when and why) as they relate to branding, we’ve already covered the who, what, where and when in our previous exercise. What we have left to do is answer the question “Why?”
There’s a super-simple reason for this.
Prospective clients of any business are looking for the reason WHY they should pay that business. If the marketing tactics and branding for that business do not supply the answer to “why,” it’s highly likely the client will take their business to a firm that answers this question for them.
Think about WHY you entered the field of real estate to begin with.
Is it because you simply enjoy taking people on tours through gorgeous homes in upscale neighborhoods?
Is it because you have a passion for helping new homeowners find and purchase their first home?
Is it because you fell in love with a particular neighborhood and wanted to do whatever it took to develop that neighborhood?
The answer to WHY will vary from real estate agent to real estate agent. Your answer will very likely not be the same as anyone else’s—and that’s okay! Remember: creating marketing differentiation for yourself is one of the key elements to creating a successful brand.
The point, though, is that you need to come up with an answer to “Why?”
Why should your prospective clients choose you to do business with?
Is it because you’ll get their property seen by more buyers than your competitors?
Is it because you close more deals than anyone else in your market?
Whatever your answer to “WHY?” is, this will become your mission statement. You absolutely must believe in it, and it’s exactly what will both attract and retain new business.
Once you have the answer to “Why?” you can use it as a motivator for your prospective clients.
But first, we have another exercise for you to perform. It’s time to figure out how to position your services strategically.
Harvard Business School defines strategic positioning as “choices a company makes about the kind of value it will create and how that value will be created differently than rivals.”
To put that in real estate terms, the way you position your brand should emphasize the value you bring to your clients. Take a look at the venn diagram below:
And grab a pen and paper and a highlighter. We’re going to do more written work now.
First, let’s focus on the relevance part of the diagram.
Go back and look at all the customer similarities you highlighted in the exercise from Part One of our Real Estate Branding 101 series.
This provides the answer to the “Relevance” portion of the diagram.
Now flip to a new page and jot down answers to the questions below:
What are your greatest strengths as a real estate agent or broker?
What about your personality or working style makes you great to work with?
How do you market homes differently than competitors in your market?
Once you’ve written down answers to these three questions, repeat the exercise from Part One of our Branding 101 series and highlight all the similarities between your answers.
This time, what you’ve highlighted provides the answer to the “Differentiation” portion of the diagram.
Finally, flip to yet another page and jot down answers to these three questions:
How long have you been in business, and what is your track record like?
What is your area of specialization?
Are you able to provide client testimonials? If so, what do your clients have to say about you?
Now, for a final time, go through your answers and highlight the standout points.
This set of highlighted notes provides your answer to the “Expertise” section of the diagram.
Now that you’ve figured out your answers to each part of the brand positioning venn diagram, let’s use that information to implement it as part of your strategic positioning.
Now that you know how to answer your “Why?,” and you understand your brand’s strategic positioning, you can start building your brand. We suggest beginning with a slogan.
Your slogan should include the answer for your “why?” For example, The Close says some of the best slogans of 2019 were:
Client Focused. Results Driven.
Move to What Moves You
The Power of Deep Roots
All of these slogans provide both emotional cues and practical cues. They are dynamic and inspiring and rooted in the 5 W’s—and provide an answer to “Why?”
Moreover, all these slogans convey a sense of the relevance, differentiation and expertise.
Over the next week or so, carry a notebook with you that you can jot down possible slogans in. Anytime you think of a potential slogan, write it down in your notebook.
Don’t worry about sounding stupid or silly—just write down any ideas as they come.
Then, once a week or so has passed, go back through and review all the slogan ideas you’ve written.
And—you guessed it—highlight the similarities in all the slogans.
(At Broker One, we love our highlighting exercises.)
Then use those similarities to draft a solid slogan that communicates your “why” as well as your relevance, differentiation and expertise.
Once you’ve got your slogan down, you’ve completed your first step in building your brand.
In Part Three of our Real Estate Branding 101 series, we’ll cover how to build out your brand kit—including a logo, visual identity and messaging strategy.
Then, finally, Part Four, we’ll learn about choosing marketing tactics for getting the word out about your brand.
Real estate branding is a task every agent and broker has to tackle at some point. And it’s not easy for anyone.
So stay tuned as we continue to roll out more tips and ideas for how to build your brand so you can attract more business than ever before—and keep your clients returning to you for repeat business again and again.