How to Build and Grow Your Personal Brand in Today’s Socially Connected World
This weeks Agents Boost post is from a mentor and friend Greg Herder. Since 1986 Greg and his company, Hobbs Herder have had an incredibly positive impact on thousands of real estate careers over the years. He has personally consulted with and designed the marketing/advertising campaigns of many top agents in the nation. He’s also written books, manuals, articles, critiques, seminars and other programs on the subject, as well as having consulted with many of the industry’s top agents and companies.
Branding and Hyper Personalization
The hot topic being thrown around the marketing world today is “hyper
personalization.” What they mean is that a company has to adapt its
marketing to each person that clicks on one of your ads based on their
browsing history and the mountain of information that Google, Facebook and
the rest of the world are collecting about everyone as they interact with
the internet. The point is that marketing is getting more personal and
intimate by the day.
What Does It Mean for Real Estate Agents?
So what does this mean to you as a real estate professional, especially if
you don’t have the technical skills and resources to take advantage of all
the information about your prospects that big companies are tapping into?
What it means is that your personal brand, what I have called your
“personal brand advantage” for the last two decades, must be more focused
and emotional, in short, more personal than ever before.
The problem is most agents resist being both focused and emotional.
They say, “I don’t want to limit my options by focusing on a particular
segment of the marketplace.” The age old excuse so many agents use is, “I
have a wide range of past clients I don’t want to lose any of them.” These
are the same agents who complain they have tried personal marketing
themselves and it is not effective, does not produce a decent ROI and
figure it is best to go back to the basics of cold calling, door knocking
and holding lots of open houses to generate business. The problem is that
what they tried was not personal in any way. They tried running things
with as broad of an appeal as possible, thinking “if I cast out as wide of
a net as I can, I will surely catch something.” The reality is, mass
appeal is dead.
Building Your Brand into a Household Name
The amazing thing is, in today’s socially connected market place the
best way to become a household name is to start by focusing on a small
targeted group of people you can provide real value to and are a
perfect fit for your personality. Then you build a deep emotional
connection with them through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Over time,
you can broaden your appeal by small amounts so your core target
market spreads your message through social media to the next level of
influence. To do this you have to take the risk to be personal to expose
who you really are. In the great book “Daring Greatly,” the author talks
about how powerful this is but how fearful most of us are from taking the
risk to expose who we are, flaws and all.
I have been creating marketing campaigns for real estate agents since
1986, and without fail, when an agent is willing to create their campaign
around who they really are, it works — whether it is their passion for
family, their values, their beliefs or an activity they truly love. And it
never works when an agent tries to focus their campaign on how hard they
work, how much they know, what great service they provide.
Personal (And not Logical) Spreads Virally
In today’s socially driven marketplace it’s the personal, emotional
information that spreads virally and allows you to build and grow your
brand. That is why YouTube videos of listings that just focus on the house
don’t get lots of views, but videos where an agent gives a tour of the
home and lets their natural personality come across to build an emotional
connection gets watched dramatically more and is more likely to spread
How Do You As a Real Estate Agent Do This?
So lets make this practical. Well, the key to creating an effective
personal brand as a real estate agent is to first look inside yourself and
make a list of the three most important values or beliefs about yourself.
Then look at the marketplace you are working in and ask:
“based on my values and who I am at my core, is there a segment of my
market that would naturally be attracted to doing business with me because
we share a set of common values or beliefs?” Campaigns built
around a shared set of values or beliefs are always the campaigns that
produce the best results. Agents often ask me, “Greg, if this is true, why
don’t I see more agents who do it?” The answer is simple. It’s because it
is very scary and an agent has to be willing to look at themselves, flaws
and all, and then risk being rejected.
A REALTOR® Rising to the Challenge
Realtor Priscila Rodriguez in Chula Vista, CA is a great example of what I
am talking about. Her slogan is “Rising to the Challenge.” Priscila’s
basic message is, she will face any challenges that arise for her
clients because she has overcome challenges in her own life and shares
those challenges with her prospects which makes her real. When you talk to
her, she is exactly the person her marketing talks about. See
Keeping it Real
agent who shares who she really is with her prospects and it has paid off
in a huge way. She is one of the top agents in the OC in a hyper
competitive real estate marketplace. Robin is known for posting everything
she is thinking and feeling on her Facebook page, some would say she
But mixed in with her passion for football, hating stupid people, and
relationship challenges, Robin shares how she is fighting for her clients
and her clients talk about why they love working with her. Robin admits
she is in your face with her opinions and if you have a problem with
that, it is clearly your problem, not hers. Her clients will tell you
the reason they work with her and love working with her is because she
always “Keeps it Real” and they want and need someone who is willing to
tell it to them like it is.
A Powerful Concept: “OK REALTORS® Are You Ready to Go “Hyper-Personal?”
The bottom line is this: To build a strong personal brand you have to be
willing to be personal. It sounds easy, but most agents are simply not
willing to take the risk because it requires you to put the “real you” out
into the world. No list of accomplishments to hide behind. I know it’s
very scary, but it is so very powerful.
Such a simple concept but can you see why it is so powerful and effective? People want to be real and want to work with people who also are real. Why not sit down tonight and take an hour to think of the 3 most important values or beliefs that make you, “you”. Now the question in the balance is… “are you willing to share “you” with the world”? Strength and courage, Wade Please pass on this post using the buttons below… or take a vulnerable step and share a bit of “you”in the comments below. We are a safe bunch and promise not to bite : )