Who Should Be the Branding Machine?
It’s time your agents were a powerful marketing force.
Your agents have left the barn! It is hard to find them, get them to sales meetings and keep them tethered to the mothership. It’s time to round them up and let them become a powerful marketing force.
The rise of the unconnected, modern real estate agent was exacerbated by legal mechanizations and independent contractor rules. At seemingly that same time, a wide array of products, tools, services and lead generators arose that hinted that the modern agent could succeed with just their personal brand. Along the way, brokers got comfortable with agents doing their own thing—as long as said agents produced results.
Hold on—don’t these agents represent your company? Don’t they represent your life’s work building your company or nurturing a family business through the roller coaster years? And, if harnessed correctly, shouldn’t these agents empower the brokerage and themselves?
It’s time to reclaim your position as the brand!
The term branding came about from ranchers identifying their cattle. Then, in the last 1880s, producers began putting their marks on everyday products, like flour and sugar, to identify who made the product.
Today, most look at branding as how consumers view a company or product, both emotionally and factually. You’ve taken the time, effort and money to build your brand. You’ve created the inherent feeling consumers, agents and recruits have about your firm. Yet, brokers often forget to nurture their brand.
Your agents should be piggybacking off of your brand and showcasing their personal skills and style to earn a positive reputation.
Back to Basics
To reclaim your status as a brand, start with your look and feel. If feasible, we would all hire in-house videographers, photographers, copywriters, and designers. We would have professionals creating our listing collateral and agent farming materials. Of course, that’s not always financially possible, but you should at least maintain a long list of recommended local professionals. Also, you should meet with them to make sure these vendors know what your company stands for. Being aware of the offerings at the national level is critical. Being a trusted resource allows you to maintain brand standards.
Your look and feel are not the only critical parts of becoming an exceptional brand steward. Here are a few items that stand out:
- View the brokerage as the Air Force: The agents are in the market fighting for listings, dealing with challenging customers and getting deals done. Most do not have the skills or financial resources to become a brand. That should be the job of the brokerage. You should be advertising and letting your agents know about how your efforts support them. An advertising campaign doesn’t have to be costly to be effective. You can do lead gen but make sure you have some branding elements included.
- Agents are influencers: If you can provide your agents with a wide variety of video, graphics and blog content, they will share it. This increases their level of professional and continues to get your brand out there.
- Know the market. If you want to get really nervous about how your agents represent your brand, ask them to describe current market conditions. “I’m really busy” or “it’s a great time to sell” is not a great response. In a time where there’s so much available information, your agents can’t be caught not knowing. You want them to be perceived as the most knowledgeable in town. Brokers should provide granular market information and help the agents understand, explain and share it.
Focus on these three things, and you can reclaim your brand.
David Siroty has spent 30-plus years in marketing and communications, the last 15 in real estate. He launched Imagine Productions, a marketing and communications consultancy focused on assisting real estate brokerages, in December 2016 after 13 years leading global communications for Coldwell Banker. He can be reached at [email protected].