(MARKETING) — Many people use the terms “marketing” and “branding” interchangeably, but they have two separate meanings.
Marketing works to make the brand flourish. The brand is your image and your mission. It’s your company’s promise to your client of what and how you can deliver. Marketing makes the brand successful through finding and growing the market for your brand.
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The brand is the thoughtful expression of your company’s value and message. Marketing is sowing, weeding, and daily labor needed to make your brand the beautiful garden it should be. As a new age taking the colossal tasks of starting things out on your own, here are some ways you can build brand awareness.
Here are four ways to Build Brand Awareness as a new Agent:
Your Brand’s Identity
Your brand is the unique suit you will be putting on everyday as a broker. It’s not just about the logo; forget about the logo and design for now and focus on answering key questions that you will be asked by a future agency, like:
1. What is your mission statement? This comes with knowing your brand’s base values.
2. Why are you going in this direction? How did it all start? Explain the seed that was your business.
3. What sets you apart from the crowd?
4. What is the brand’s image? Give a sense of the style and the company’s work culture.
5. What will your company’s vibe be? Will it give off a homey, local feel or a luxury, high-end. Or maybe something somewhere in the middle? Wherever you want your brand to be on the spectrum, you want to make sure you emit that feeling.
6. It is important to sit down and imagine how someone will describe your company when they see its brand. This gives you an important reminder of your company’s execution of your brand and whether or not you were successful. This is the tie-back from your starting point to your end point and the point of revision.
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This is not a quick exercise. This is something you should write down and be able to elaborate. A good way to exercise your knowledge and deliver the message to the best of your ability would be recording yourself and practicing, as if the video would be sent to an agency. If you’re not sure on how others feel and understand your brand, ask a former client or a colleague what they think. You can ask some of these very questions, or just a general understanding about your message and image.
Graphic Design may not be an area of expertise for all us, creating brand visuals and collateral could be the most crucial aspect of a branding exercise.It is important to research ways in which you can create your own logos, many websites offer creative tools that will help you select the best logo to represent your brand.
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Visuals that tie together with your logo could include business cards, a website, for-sale signs, open house signs, sign riders, listing flyers and direct mail pieces. Visual branding can be used to influence an audience’s perception of you, it can be more than just photos, it includes telling a story based on your values. Is your style sophisticated? Authoritative? Maybe even acerbic. An audience may be able to answer that question simply by taking a look at your visuals. Such visuals can include color choices, fonts and text size, and mood of your design can state the values of your brand.
Your audience & Offering Value
Knowing your audience is fundamentally important for branding, it is the first step you should take in creating a successful visual brand identity. Ask yourself about specific locations, income, occupation, marital status, who do you want to attract?
An example is Nest Seekers International, Nest Seekers is a rapidly expanding global real-estate marketplace. Their audience includes brokers, real-estate companies and agents, and potential customers. The visual branding of Nest Seekers is minimal and professional but all appealing.
Does your visual branding offer value? Why would your audience want to work with you ? What makes you stand out? As a real-estate brokerage you may want to include customer testimonials, insights, land inks to social media accounts . Feedback from your audience can be very important, it gives insight on how your brand may be perceived and how well its functioning.
Color Scheme & Font
How do you combine color theory with business? A color theorist, Faber Birren links colors with our emotional state and provokes several different responses. Colors trigger responses differently in every person which is an important factor to take into consideration when selecting a color scheme for your brand. By consistently using the same sophisticated colors for your brand you substantially strengthen your brands association with those colors. Certain colors such as blue portrays safety, institutions such as banks may select this color for finance and insurance purposes. Green portrays health and growth, essential for organic products and healthful foods. Deciding on which colors conveys the personality of your brand can be difficult and confusing but finding online tools to help with the process is beneficial.
Selecting the right font is crucial to your visual branding, your font should convey your values. Font selection represents your specified style as well, for a sleek or modern brand you may want to use such as ‘Sans-Serif’ which you can see consistently used by Compass Real-Estate which has a minimalistically modern diction. The selection of your font is another way to express your personality and the personality you want your brand to convey, you are generally speaking to your audience so it is important to understand how and what you are communicating to your audience. There are four steps you should consider taking when it comes to selecting your typeface:
1. Scour open sources for creating your unique style, open sources are free typefaces. Primary sources are typefaces your pay for but can give you more creative freedom and flexibility, with a wide variety of styles. Lastly custom typefaces are entirely unique and created by you, this can allow you to create your unique visual language specifically designed for your brand.
2. Narrow it down. Ask yourself, Is it distinctive? Flexible? Is it comprehensive? Is it legible?
3. Pair & Play, play around with different typefaces, be certain that they work together and create a strong typographic language.
4. Design your hierarchy, after selecting your top three typefaces create a design that puts them together in a coherent and intuitive style. Designate your primary type or your default typeface an overall reflection of your brand identity, a secondary type complimenting your primary and supporting your typographic design. Your tertiary type can be used for accents. Take these factors into consideration, each style is meant to serve its specific purpose and ultimately play a specific role in your design such as headers, subheads, and body copy.
Become a subject matter expert
If all people ever see is your logo and pretty website, memorable as they might be it will be very difficult to make a lasting impression on them. How do you stand out? Referrals happen because great businesses provide value, because they treat their customers well, and provide great service. Therefore how do you make yourself stand out as an agent in a fiercely competitive environment. It is important to list out your areas of expertise, for example, do you excel in high-end sales, investment properties, commercial properties or even eco-friendly? Pointing out keywords can help identify your personality in order to succeed when building a brand.
As a newer agent, demonstrating your expertise through marketing is practical. Marketing entails market research, sales strategy, public relations, product development, and customer support, it can take numerous amount of platforms to build your brand over time. Now more than ever leads are generated through digital marketing and meaningful content. Take the opportunity to flaunt your industry knowledge and establish trust by sharing content your audience will find valuable. Aspire to become the go-to source for the information today’s consumer is looking for.
Solid content marketing strengthens your brand and your reputation amongst consumers and your professional peers. The key to successful content marketing is creating the right content, research the type of questions buyers, renters, and sellers are asking, then simply create content that will give answers to those questions. Take a look at your email inbox and in the notes from your conversations with clients and prospects, from there create content that will strengthen your brand.
Remember, it all goes back to customer service
Your brands fancy logo, a genius tagline, and memorable body copy backed up by reams of content displaying your mastery of all things real-estate can mean nothing unless you provide an unforgettable customer experience.
Your logo or website may be easy to recall or remembered by its aesthetic presentation, but the thing they will remember most is how they are treated when they work with you. Your reputation is extremely significant in this business, and that reputation is solidified through consistently providing superior customer service, and product.
Here are five golden rules you may need to know for excellent real-estate customer service:
1. Let empathy be your guide
2. Be engaged and responsive
3. Remember to always be communicative
4. Go the extra mile
5. Show your appreciation
In this business it is important always satisfy and personalize your sales to you clientele, think of these five rules when working with them. Let empathy be you guide, put yourself in your client’s shoes, understand their perspective. Are they first time buyers? Investors? Down-sizing? Or Relocating? No matter the circumstance, empathy not only helps you relate to your clients but it will also guide your ability to communicate, problem solve, react and make a customer feel understood. By being engaged and responsive you are proving to your clients that you are dedicated to them, clients expect immediate follow up, this included responding in a timely manner, keep them updated, and most importantly follow through when you say you will.
Always be communicative, clear communication is key to success. How well you communicate will leave a strong impression on a client. Go the extra mile, leave your clients impressed by providing additional information, amenities, etc. Last but not least show your appreciation, make your customers feel appreciated for choosing to work with you. The reputation you gain and what customers say about your business is the most important part of your branding, and it will ultimately be what makes or breaks you in this business.