By Rebecca Chandler
This is the first in a series of conversations around practical tips to building your personal brand locally.
Let's say that you were buying or selling your most highly valued personal possession and wanted to hire someone to help you. Would you just put your name in a hat and hire whomever pulled it out randomly? Certainly not. Then, why would you think a home buyer or seller would? Real estate is way too valuable to base a home purchase or home sale on a random selection of a real estate agent.
Several home search websites do just that. They require that the consumer register in exchange for information, so they can pass along the name to a real estate agent who has paid them for the lead. This method may generate leads, but rarely wins new clients. Why? Consumers today choose with whom they want to do business, not the other way around.
The process is frustrating for the consumer. They want the information, but would probably rather choose their real estate professional themselves. Home sellers and buyers want someone knowledgeable about not just real estate, and not just real estate in their town, but real estate in their local neighborhood. And, they know that to find that perfect agent, registering on a listing aggregation site just won't do it. And, the agents who work these leads may be wasting time, money, and energy following up with prospects who are not open to being contacted at all.
So, what to do instead?
Create a marketing campaign for you and your brand that builds not only top-of-mind awareness among local consumers, but that also makes them want to contact you and makes them open to you contacting them. How?
Think about how big brands drive demand. They create an expectation of what it is like to do business with them, to walk into their store, shop on their website, or call them for assistance. They tell the consumer what to expect. No surprises. Before you ever walked in to a Target®, McDonald's, or Macy's, you had an idea of what the experience would be like.
Those with strong personal brands do this very well. Think about Oprah, Jimmy Buffet, Rachael Ray, or Barbara Corcoran. If you were to meet them on the street, you already have an expectation of what that experience would be like – and most likely, it's a positive one. They place a high priority on their personal brands – and it shows.
Shouldn't that be part of your marketing program for your brand? Placing your listings on a listing aggregate site (while a good thing to do), doesn't sufficiently build your brand with local buyers and sellers. Instead, look for ways to let your prospective customers know why they should be calling you to help them through the transaction for the most highly valued possession they own.
Looking for guidance? Contact your local Real Estate Book representative. Go to Store.RealEstateBook.com to find your local representative.
This is the first in a series of conversations around practical tips to building your personal brand locally. Next week: Top tips for building local traffic to YOUR website.
For more on building your brand, read this post and download "Your Personal Brand Workbook."