By Richard Kearsey
The real estate industry is one of the most competitive in the services sector. Trying to carve out a name and brand for yourself in such an industry can, at times, feel like a herculean task.
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What will aid and guide you in this venture? Experience—the experience of those who have come before you, those who succeeded and those who failed.
There's a great repository of information which can help you avoid pitfalls while seizing the opportunities in this line of work. Navigating all that information, however, can be no less challenging. Fortunately for you, here is a convenient list of some common dos and don’ts when it comes to building out your real estate branding:
DO: Utilize Mixed Media Channels
The modern world of the services sector has changed considerably in recent years. No longer can cold calls or relying on word of mouth alone be enough to support a REALTOR® who's trying to make a name for themselves.
Audiences are fickle, with their attentions diverted between different mediums, and it's your job to capitalize on this. Your marketing and branding efforts should be channeled across multiple mediums from print to digital and social media to personal meetings. Only then can you attempt to find the broadest audience.
DON’T: Neglect Financial Ratios
Early on, when you're trying to make a name for your brand, it's easy to neglect your finances and spending in a bid to try whatever is going to work. You may be too busy or concerned with other more important things as well.
This is one of the biggest traps for any individual trying to give the services sector a go. The fact is, neglecting your financial ratios and how much you're spending compared to the return you're getting will catch up with you sooner than you might think. This is why it's imperative to always keep track of your finances, spending and return.
DO: Invest in a Good Website
This is the age of the internet. More than anything, your website will be your online profile and character. Often, it will be what potential clients will see first.
It might not necessarily lead to definite clients, but any shortfalls on the website will reflect poorly on you and your service. For this, you have to ensure that it has an attractive and smooth interface and that relevant information is visually appealing. With a multitude of excellent website design services out there, you have no excuse to have a substandard one.
DON’T: Rely Exclusively on Others for Your Brand
One action you can do as a budding agent is partner up with an established brokerage. This may get you certain advantages like finding your bearings, allowing you to test the waters, develop your skills and collect a list of clients.
Although it's important to adopt the branding of the brokerage that you join, don't let your own identity be completely dependent on or controlled by it. It's important to form and develop your own brand, which is distinct from that of the company. Otherwise, you may work for years without forming a brand identity of your own.
DO: Polish Your People Skills
If you plan on entering the real estate market with a sour disposition, then check yourself at the gate. With a plethora of options available, clients will not give the time of day to someone who does not pay them due regard and care. Practice your people skills and learn the ways of charming and convincing people naturally. In this field, "fake it 'til you make it" will be your mantra.
All this will be necessary because being a successful agent is not just about clinching deals, but building relationships. Those clients that you build rapport with, in turn, act as agents of your brand to bring more clients to you. Forgetting your clients after a deal is done is one of the worst blunders to commit.
DON’T: Be Overbearing
There's nothing more annoying to a person than an overbearing real estate agent who is all too transparent in getting you to sign up with them or make a deal.
Either out of over-enthusiasm or desperation, many entrants in the real estate market come off as desperate and pushy. This can turn off prospective clients and get you a bad reputation. Never commit this mistake; try to spark a prospective client’s interest and agreement naturally.
DO: Be Receptive to Feedback
Pay note to your reviews—the good and the bad. It may be frustrating to see a string of bad reviews, but they're opportunities to learn and improve yourself. Don’t dwell on the negativity; take the correct lessons, implement them and move on. That's how you find the silver lining. It will eventually pay off.
There are many other dos and don’ts of this trade. The final word of advice for anyone entering any kind of service industry is to exercise due diligence and keep on continuing regardless of the setbacks. Persistence, tenacity and adaptability are key to conquering any field of the service industry, including real estate!
Richard Kearsey is a digital designer at Emerald Color, one of the top exhibition stand builders in London. Along with that, it also specializes in website design services and brand design and development. Kearsey loves creativity and enjoys experimenting with various design techniques for both web and print. He also enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest design trends and upcoming marketing ideas.