How to Stand Out as a Real Estate Agent by Creating a Powerful Brand

How to Stand Out as a Real Estate Agent by Creating a Powerful Brand

Branding – what is it? It’s more than a logo, a color palette, or a social media advertisement. Branding is the culmination of everything that makes your business unique - some may describe it as the impression that your business leaves on prospective customers. Because of that, it’s important that every aspect of your brand is chosen with intention and carefully crafted to leave your prospects with the impression that you want them to have.

So how can real estate agents brand themselves in a way that is unique, efficient, and, most importantly – brings in leads?

5 Cs of Personal Branding

Real Estate is an intensely personal business - home buyers form relationships with their Realtors® and want to feel like they can trust a partner for what is likely the biggest purchase of their life. There are a few essential "C"s to personal branding for real estate agents that can help any Realtor® make a name for themselves in their community and continue to build their brand. The 5 "C"s of personal branding are:

1. Clarity

This is where imagery comes into play. While the imagery isn’t the single most important aspect of branding, it does play a vital role – you want your brand to be instantly recognizable, and that means selecting unique logo designs, color palettes, etc., that feels uniquely "you." It’s also important not to muddy these waters - pick a design and then stick with it. Clarity is also important when it comes to messaging – providing prospective clients with information on exactly what you do and how you are great at it.

2. Competency

Competency in this context refers to the resources, products, skills, and services that give a business an advantage over its competitors. In the context of real estate – maybe you have a really great lending partner or provide exquisite home-warming gifts. Competency is about knowing the value that your services bring to others and then clearly communicating that to prospective clients.

3. Consistency

Consistency is another cornerstone of brand marketing – a good brand is a consistent brand. How many times has Apple rebranded since 1976? The answer – just twice. Their first logo design only lasted a year! They soon changed to the bitten apple that we all recognize today. Consistency is also about more than imagery – it’s about continuing to do the things that make your brand different. Consistency is also important for social media marketing – it plays a large role in algorithm pushes and helps create brand recognition.

4. Credibility

Building credibility in personal branding is about building trust. It’s about showing the community around you what you can do and how you can contribute. Storytelling is an important credibility tool – telling the stories of clients you have successfully helped and properties you have successfully sold. Showcasing your successes well in a place where prospective clients can easily find them (like on a website) can be a useful tool in building your reputation as a credible real estate agent.

5. Customer Centrality

Customer centrality is especially important in real estate - and it’s also one of the best ways to establish a unique brand and client base. Real estate clients want to partner with people that they can trust, someone that they feel is going to take care of them in a business deal – satisfied clients can instill trust in prospective clients that they send your way. You can’t buy that kind of loyalty!

Best Practice Techniques for Building a Unique Personal Real Estate Brand

Okay, so now that we’ve covered the 5 Cs – let’s get specific. What are some actionable ways that real estate agents can build a unique brand that gets results? Sometimes, it’s difficult to come up with strategies that will differentiate yourself in the market and bring in leads – on a limited time and budget. After all – many types of advertising are not free, and ads and social media posts don’t write themselves!

That’s why it’s important to build your marketing and advertising strategies on the basis of a sustainable brand strategy - don’t fold your business and practices into something it isn’t or something that you won’t be able to maintain for every client. Remember the third C - Consistency!

Setting Your Offers and Services Apart as a Realtor®

One of the best practical ways to set yourself apart from other Realtors® in your area is to develop the 2nd C of branding - Competency. Practically, this looks like having a great offer or offering a great service. Here are a few actionable ways to set your offer and service apart from others.

1. Community

This is a big one – not every client will prefer to communicate in the same way. While you might prefer a phone call, they might want a text or an email. Or it may be the other way around – a small update might be text-worthy, but you learn that they want to be contacted by phone for every update – no matter how big or how small.

Learning a client’s preferred communication method is critical, and it builds trust — so make this a part of your client-in-take process. Learn how they like to communicate right away so that you can get started on building a great client-agent relationship! Setting hours of communication can also be important. For example, if you receive an update between the hours of 7 AM and 10 AM, a text is fine. However, if an update or question arises between 11 AM and 4 PM, they’d prefer you call. A simple form for your clients can make these preferences in writing – so that you always have something to reference in case you forget.

2. Offer staging help

2023 study by the National Association of Realtors® found that 81% of buyer’s agents said that staging a home made it easy for buyers to envision themselves living in the home. The 2021 Home Staging Profile found that many buyers’ agents reported that staging increased the home’s offers by up to 20%. While it’s not necessary for you personally to pay for new furniture for the home or pay for professional staging (although some Realtors® do) – it might be impactful for you to give your sellers some help in using what they already have to make the home sell quickly. What would you recommend – a change in paint color? Decluttering the walls and shelves? Re-arranging a room just so?

3. Send them to lunch

If you need your sellers out of the house for a photoshoot, staging, or a showing – send them to lunch while they wait. A gift card is a special extra touch that communicates to your clients that you care about them. If you’re touring homes with buyers, even a quick coffee gift card to allow them to debrief in private can make a big difference. Let them discuss what they liked, and didn’t like, and clarify their expectations and where they would like to go from there.

4. Curate a vendor network

Buying and selling a home can be a stressful process. If they’re selling a home – do they have one to go to? Is there anything you can do to help? Curating a vendor network that clients can use, such as preferred inspectors, a moving company, trusted cleaners, and other moving services, can have a big impact on a client. This can greatly impact your offer and services because it helps you to be seen as an all-in-one service – even if you don’t personally handle anything except the home process.

Identify your Target Demographic and Market to Them Specifically

Another technique that can have a big impact on your brand is your target market. Who are they? Do you want to work specifically with first-time homebuyers? What about house flippers – clients who buy homes that need a lot of work and then renovate them from top to bottom?

Identifying your target market can have a large impact on your brand because it narrows your focus. You can market specifically to these demographics and build your other offers and services to cater to those populations. Identifying a target demographic can also establish your business as an expert in that niche and build your trust factor with those clients – you specialize in helping this type of client, so you must be pretty good at it, right?

Next Door Programs, for example, specialize in helping teachers, nurses, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, military personnel, and government employees. This type of specialization makes Next Door Programs a go-to for clients in that demographic - reducing some of the stress of casting a wide net in branding and marketing.

You Don’t Have to Do It All on Your Own

We’ve given you quite a bit of information to think about when it comes to building your Real Estate brand. While there is a lot of work that goes into it I have some really good news for you. You don’t have to do it all on your own. 

There are many companies out there that have already been building their brand and credibility in certain niche markets that are looking to help Realtors reach those niches in their own communities, such as Next Door Programs®. 

We understand that branding for Realtors® can be tough – it’s a tight market, and everyone wants to find ways to make their services and offers competitive. Many real estate agents could benefit from a community of other agents to offer branding tools and assistance in crafting unique offerings - something that the Next Door Programs® Preferred Partner Program can help with.

Whether you’re a sole proprietor or work with a large brokerage, joining a partner program can be immensely helpful – like suddenly having a well-known niche brand of your own, to make you the expert in your community. Best of all, you do not need to switch brokerages to work with Next Door Programs®.