Just how important is personal branding to a real estate agent?
Fact: Only about 3% of home buyers and 4% of sellers say they consider an agent’s association with a particular real estate brand (RE/MAX, Berkshire Hathaway, etc.) to be an important factor in choosing a real estate agent.
This tells us that your big brand association isn’t as important as the personal associations you establish. In the world of agents, your ability to effectively convey who you are and what you do through your personal brand is key to standing out.
Is Real Estate Branding a DIY Job? It’s a Could vs. Should Conversation
Does creating a compelling personal brand require the help of a strategic partner, or can you do it yourself?
Really, it’s a could vs. should conversation.
Do You Have the Full Tool Set to Bring Your Brand to Life?
Branding requires creative, copywriting, graphic design and development abilities. All of these skills have to work together in harmony. If one outweighs the other then it will throw the entire process off balance.
You may have a graphic design background, but there is a deeper foundation that has to be established before a single line is drawn. The best brands are born in conversations around an agent’s ideal customers. By not only understanding who those people are, but how they think and behave, your ability to reach them will be laser focused. From that level of knowledge, the foundation has to continue with an evaluation of who you, as an agent, truly are.
From another angle, you might have an extremely clear understanding of your ideal customers and who you are, but might not know where to go from there. The process of creating a robust brand is a bit mysterious.
Are You Willing to Risk Missing the Mark?
It can be tempting to approach the branding process with an “I can get it perfect later” mentality. This mentality often leads to half-baked brands that might help in the short term, but fail in the long term. Your goal should be to get it right the first time.
If this is your rebrand, your goal should be to create a timeless identity that will never require another rebrand. Rebranding is a costly process. It takes time to recreate the brand, tear down the old brand, and then it takes money to reprint all of the materials. Do it too many times and you won’t only be broke in the bank, but you’ll lose the trust of potential customers.
If this is your first time around the block, you should be aiming to nail it the first time.
This isn’t to say that your brand won’t evolve over time—it most definitely will. A half-baked brand requires a serious rebrand every time evolution occurs. A proper brand, however, is the foundation for continuous additions.
Should You Go At It Alone?
In business, you have to be able to realize your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.
To be truly successful in business, you have to realize your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. If the process of branding isn’t a strength then you should bring in trusted partners to help. Otherwise, you’ll be taking time away from what matters to try to figure this out alone.
Advantages of Hiring a Real Estate Branding Agency to Fulfill the Process
Related awesomeness: 30 Winning Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Guidance and Thought Leadership
A top-notch real estate branding agency comes to the table with a proven process. This casts a clear vision on the journey you’re going to embark upon.
They’re also constantly keeping themselves updated with best practices where it counts—strategy, copywriting, design and development. This gives them a unique perspective to guide you to your best brand possible.
Proven Methods for Identifying and Analyzing Audiences
In order for the branding process to be a success, you have to be identify and analyze your audiences.
No—you can’t be the real estate agent for everyone. To be laser-focused, you have to figure out three-to-four ideal customer types that you work best with. That’s the easy part.
Once we know the who’s-who, we need to dive deeper. Much deeper in fact. You need to know these people like your best friends. You should be able to state what they like, where they struggle and where they get their information off the cuff.
Your ability to do this will determine the end-of-day effectiveness of your identity.
A real estate branding agency is able to help you not only identify, but deeply understand your ideal customers. This will make their branding process a success and will make all of your future marketing efforts successful as well.
50-percent of your brand is written.
This is your tagline, slogan, about description and the wording across all of your platforms (social media, Zillow, your website, brochures, etc.). A real estate branding agency has the professional copywriting team to effectively cultivate all of these mediums.
Graphic Design Capabilities
The other 50-percent is graphic-design centric. This is your logo, your font selections, color palette and marketing materials. A real estate branding agency also has the graphic design talent to create these in a visually compelling way.
A Full Understanding of Your Brand, which Yields Unified Copy and Design
Copywriting and graphic design talent on their own can be disjointed. Not only do branding partners have the capabilities of both arenas, but the full context to integrated both.
Like I mentioned earlier, if one specific talent off-balances any others, the final result will be off-balanced. A copywriter who isn’t on the same page as a graphic designer will do much the same. That’s also the danger of piecemealing your brand with separate copywriting and design freelancers.
When you’re dealing with an agency, everything is coming from the same place. This makes every bit of effort unified and consistent across all touch-points.
How to Select a Real Estate Branding Agency
So how do you go about hiring the best real estate branding agency for the job? Here are a few key standards to look for.
A Proven Branding Process
If a branding agency isn’t able to communicate a journey of how they create robust brands from start to finish then be very weary of them.
Check out our full branding process.
Successful branding agencies have created, refined, perfected and proven their processes. This yields a clear roadmap of activity and also an efficient, repeatable system that will guarantee success.
An agency without a process is more than likely making it up as they go. Their efforts, in this case, would be just as scattered as the final product you’d receive.
Related Real Estate Branding Experience
Although it’s not an absolute requirement, real estate branding experience is a definite bonus. Proven success in this area is a great way to know you’re approaching the right people for the job.
A Transparent Track Record
What do other people have to say about working with the branding agency? If the agency cannot provide a track record detailing customer success stories then you may want to avoid working with them.
Copywriting and graphic design are minimum requirements. Development is a major bonus.
During the branding process, you also need to consider your website. Websites are key destinations for adding credibility to who you are as an agent, and showcasing success stories of your own. If the branding agency doesn’t have the capabilities to assist here, you’ll be forced to go it alone or to find additional help. During this transition, some of the true intent of your brand may lost along the way.
The more of the branding activity you can keep in a central location, from a central team, the more consistent the outcome.
Need Additional Hiring Tips?
If you’re looking for additional tips on hiring a branding agency, we’d love to chat.