Guide to building your brand as a real estate agent

happy female agent using a tablet
happy female agent using a tablet

Guide to building your brand as a real estate agent

Every real estate agent has a personal brand – whether or not you are managing this brand and what it portrays. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or you’re an industry veteran with decades of experience, your brand is speaking volumes about who you are and how you do business. Make it your mission to be proactive and meet your specific personal and professional goals by putting the best practices of brand building for agents to work. You’ll find out how in this guide.

Here’s what this guide covers:

  1. Reasons for building a brand
  2. Steps to building a personal brand
  3. Visual storytelling for personal real estate brands
  4. Creating intriguing headshots
  5. Building a community is different to just growing followers
  6. Being consistent across marketing channels
  7. Content marketing strategy and long-term content strategy
  8. Frequently asked agent branding questions

Reasons for building a brand

Building your real estate brand is the first step towards meeting your professional goals. By constructing and monitoring the message that you’re portraying, you can take your career to the next level. Here are five quick reasons for building your real estate brand:

1. With new real estate agents entering the market every day, you need to stand out as a beacon of positivity, professionalism and industry knowledge. Your personal brand will set you apart from your competitors.

2. Having a personal brand that is portrayed consistently across online and offline channels helps prospective clients to get to know you. Real estate is an industry in which your survival depends on relationships with clients. Your personal brand can build your credibility and help prospective clients to get to know you and trust you.

3. A well-constructed brand creates a memorable message that your clients will remember long after you have sold their property for them or helped them find the home of their dreams. Your personal brand will create a bond between you and your clients and help you build a strong, loyal client base.

4. A real estate brand is a great way to show your potential clients that you are an expert in your field. If you had just launched your real estate brand yesterday, it would seem unlikely that you’d have an established brand. Your personal brand can help you be seen as an expert in your field.

5. Once your personal brand is established, it will reflect an authentic version of yourself and what you believe in. Your personal brand will showcase what you stand for and enable your clients to relate to you.

Steps to building a personal brand

Brand building for agents may seem like an overwhelming task, but by breaking it down into smaller steps, you can make it easy to win over your audience. The very first step is to define a buyer persona. It goes without saying that your audience is made up of people looking to buy, sell and rent out property. By narrowing this down further, however, you can ensure that your brand will resonate with your target audience. Think about the area that you specialise in, the most common types of listings in your area and what your clients tend to look for. This will help you define your audience.

Another important step in building your brand is letting your audience get to know you. Answering some questions about yourself can help would-be clients feel at ease with you and be able to relate to you. Think strategically and tell a story about yourself that inspires people to want to know more.

Here are some at-a-glance strategies for building your brand:

• Your website

Your website – or your agent page on your company’s website – needs to tell browsers more than your name and contact details. It should inspire people looking to buy, sell or rent property to contact you. This means it needs details of your professional experience and information about who you are and why you are the perfect agent to help someone navigate the ins and outs of a property transaction.

• Social media

Having your own social media presence on social networks like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be a great tool for your brand – but only if they are kept up to date regularly with an authentic voice. Use these platforms to talk about your current listings, general property information and factors that make you an ideal property partner.

• Your logo

Having a professionally designed logo accompanying your name on social media and other marketing materials helps you create a consistent and sophisticated look. As the old saying goes, a picture says 1 000 words and a logo is a visual element that will go a long way towards getting you noticed.

• Content marketing

Content marketing is about sharing valuable, informative content with your audience to attract new followers and show the world that you’re an industry expert. From tips for successful home staging to tenant-vetting strategies and everything in between, the expert tips and industry information you can share will set your brand apart.

Click on the image below to download the PDF.

Agent Branding Flow Chart

Visual storytelling for personal real estate brands

Your brand needs to show your story as much as it tells it. Visual storytelling provides quick ways to make your brand stand out and win over a larger-than-ever percentage of your audience. Visual content is the beating heart of storytelling and without accompanying images or videos, your words are unlikely to be read.

Pictures can be a great way of engaging with your clients and getting them actively involved with your brand. Here are a few examples:

By asking people to comment on your post with a picture of their favourite part of their home, you encourage them to start sharing information with you.

By uploading one picture from five listings that you currently have available and asking people to choose which they like best, you can get an idea of what type of properties they are interested in.

Showing pictures of yourself and your interests allows your personality to shine through, which will immediately make your brand more memorable.

Uploading an infographic with details of the area that you specialise in provides prospective clients with information that they need to know at a glance – and creates an image of you as a local area expert.

Create intriguing headshots

There’s a time and a place for a bland identity-document-style photograph, but your agent bio isn’t it. Your realtor headshot is one of the important ways you present yourself online and by following some simple tips, you can create a memorable image that portrays your brand. First impressions count and studies show that your potential clients take only one tenth of a second to form their first impression of you. Here are six strategies for making an intriguing headshot that counts.

1. You need a professional photographer and this is non-negotiable. Asking a friend who has a great DSLR camera can save you some money in the short term, but to get the kind of headshot that’s going to get you the attention you deserve, you need a professional’s eye. Check out the photographer’s portfolio before you hire them.

2. Your image needs to match your real estate speciality. If you’re selling luxury multi million-rand apartments, your look will be different to that of an agent selling rustic country homes.

3. Choose your background wisely. A white wall isn’t going to be good enough – but the good news is that your photographer is sure to have some great ideas. Some real estate favourites include outdoors in a natural setting such as a garden, in a home (which can be staged) or sitting at your desk in your office or a co-working space. While taking the shot, the photographer can experiment with blurring out the background to ensure that you’re the focus of the shot.

4. Bring a few different outfits to the photo shoot so that you can change and get a variety of looks. Choose clothes that make you look professional and feel your best. Stay away from patterns and excessive jewellery – these should never detract from you being the focal point of the picture. Similarly, use makeup to accentuate your natural features – not to make you look like somebody else.

5. A genuine smile is a must in every agent bio photograph. Your smile conveys your friendliness, approachability and openness.

6. Stand tall and look confident. Your posture can say as much about you as your choice of clothing and background.

Building a community is different to just growing followers

Here’s the big difference between followers and a community: if someone is following your real estate brand, they’re interested in what you have to say. If they’re part of your community, on the other hand, then you have earned their trust and yours is the agent page they’ll click on when they want to buy or sell property. It is your community – and not your followers – who will help you meet your specific personal and professional goals. The key to building your community lies in networking – both offline and online.

The secrets to successful offline networking lie in putting yourself out there and using every opportunity to let people get to know you. From joining local business networking organisations and attending conferences to taking people’s business cards at every opportunity and contacting people to get to know them, there is no shortage of ways to grow your network and your brand in the real world.

Digital media provides many more ways to build your network and your community. Creating a website and an online presence is key to your credibility. At the same time, staying active on social media encourages your followers to become part of your community by showing that you’re knowledgeable and active in your field.

Be consistent across marketing channels

Whether you’re marketing your brand or that of your business, consistency is king because it breeds trust. Once you have carried out the critical step of defining your buyer persona, everything needs to be crafted to appeal to that persona. Your look, your logo, your content and the ways you present yourself online all need to be saying the same thing: that you are the friendly and most reliable real estate agent in the business. When would-be property buyers and sellers can easily recognise you and your brand, they immediately feel more comfortable interacting with you and entrusting you with what could be the biggest transaction they ever enter into.

You’ll also need to ensure that your brand is consistent with your agency’s brand. If your agency has chosen red as their primary colour, don’t make blue your primary colour – this creates a conflicting message that will have your target audience wondering where you belong.

Keeping the tone of voice that you use consistent is also important. Think about what you’d like your brand to embody. Words like “authoritative”, “knowledgeable” and “positive” should come to mind whenever anybody listens to you speak, reads your latest blog post or engages with you on social media.

Speaking of social media, a great way to implement consistency in your posts is to use a few well-thought-out hashtags. Your hashtags should be short, memorable and conversational.

Making the most of technology and artificial intelligence is another great way to show your clients that you are consistently there for them. If you were talking to a client face to face, they would get an answer immediately. People have come to expect the same treatment online and if your agency’s website has a chatbot built in, new prospects can start their journey to becoming your newest client at any hour of the day or night. Thanks to developments in technology, you can be consistent in your approach to excellent customer service.

Content marketing strategy and long-term content strategy

In a nutshell, content marketing is about creating and sharing online material that subtly creates interest in your brand without directly promoting it. Videos, blogs and social media posts about every topic from home decorating tips to getting your property ready to sell can fall into this category. Here are seven simple steps for building your content strategy.

1. Keep an eye on what content your competitors are putting out there and what’s doing well for them. You should never copy what they do, but you can glean ideas about what themes and topics are working well – and then create your own superior content.

2. Your website and social media should be a showcase of the very best that the areas you specialise in have to offer. Remember, when you sell someone a house, you need them to see you as an expert in your area.

3. Publish regular articles or even write an ebook around a hot real estate topic. Sharing your vast knowledge creates an impression of you as an industry expert and leader.

4. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your listings. First impressions count – and a potential buyer’s first impression will always be shaped by what the property looks like.

5. Upload virtual tours of the properties that you have available. This creates interest and gives would-be buyers a convenient way to establish whether this property will meet their needs.

6. Appeal to people’s emotions and tell stories about the clients that you’ve been able to help.

7. Ask a client who you’ve helped to find the perfect home to write you a testimonial and share this on your social media. You can’t sing your own praises, but if someone else is doing it for you, that’s great content marketing.

Frequently asked agent branding questions

What is an agent profile?

An agent profile is a web page that shows your prospective clients who you are and what makes you the real estate agent that they want to do business with. It introduces potential clients to who you are, what you specialise in and why they should look to you for assistance with real estate deals.

How do you write an agent profile?

Writing a great real estate agent profile is about introducing yourself to your prospective clients. You should write in a friendly, professional tone and break the information down into sections to make it easy to read. Your profile should cover who you are, what areas you specialise in and what makes you passionate about real estate.

How do you introduce yourself as a new real estate agent?

The best way to introduce yourself as a new real estate agent is to be as friendly and open as possible. Give people all the information that they’ll need to know about you, including your contact details, the areas that you specialise in and the type of properties that you can help a potential client buy or sell. Make yourself somebody that your would-be client can easily relate to.

What is an agency profile in real estate?

An agency profile in real estate is a web page that introduces a real estate agency and details their background, speciality and areas of focus. This is different to a real estate agent profile page, which would introduce a specific person rather than a company as a whole.

What should a brief bio include?

A brief bio should include everything that you’d want a potential client to know about you. The bio contained on your agent profile page should include your name and contact details, as well as information about your background and reasons why someone should choose you to be the real estate professional that they work with. It should also include a professional photograph that showcases your brand.

How do you write a short professional bio?

The best way to write a short professional bio is to think about what you’d want to know if you were choosing a real estate professional to work with. Your prospective client wants to know about your experience, your areas of expertise and why they can trust you to find them the ideal property or help them sell their existing property. Write with warmth and friendliness to encourage people to see you as kind and approachable.

Ready to build your agent brand?

Building your real estate brand is hard work, but if you’re following these tips and strategies, you’re on the right track. In an industry in which your client relationships are your greatest asset, it’s very important to stand out for the right reasons and be remembered. For more advice and assistance, get in touch with Prop Data or contact your dedicated account manager.