The real estate industry is one of the most sought after industries for young entrepreneurs across the globe. The reason is clear: There’s no other industry in the world where you can make $100,000 in your first six months of becoming an agent. While that may sound easier said than done, the key is training newbies, providing the proper tools to execute, and teaching them how to avoid personal branding mistakes. As a broker owner it’s your job to create a platform and culture conducive to their goals.
The real estate industry is mostly a spectator sport. 99% of the agents are just sitting on the sidelines watching the 1% dominate in their space. So the question is, how can you transform your lower producing agents into powerhouse agents? The answer lies in something most companies don’t think about, and that’s your brand itself.
Branding isn’t simply your visual’s (ie, logo, website, marketing collateral). Branding is everything from visuals to company culture and market perception. Every interaction an agent has with your brokerage is an opportunity for you to leave an impression. Whether it’s a phone call, email or in-person engagement. People are always making their own opinions of your brand, whether you know it or not. This ignorance is precisely why these real estate branding mistakes are so common.
“Marketing is what you tell other people you are. Branding is what other people say about you behind your back.”
In this article I will reveal to you the 5 Most Common Real Estate Brokerage Branding Mistakes. Once you’re aware of these mistakes you can pivot and build a solid foundation to grow you brokerage upon.
1. Mastering Your Onboarding Process
You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with my branding? Well I’m here to tell you, a lot. I have recruited hundreds of agents and while those agents are shopping around for the right place to hang their hat, they are concerned about one thing… themselves. How are you going to help them achieve their goals and what processes do you as a brokerage have setup to ensure their success? First you must ask questions, lots of them, until you discover their WHY. Once you have discovered their why, you can to talk about the aspects of your brokerage that align with their why. No need to go over every feature and detail you offer until they’re bored to death. You don’t want them to feel like they’re back in real estate school. Focus on them first, then your company culture.
After this step talk about what’s going to happen right after they sign up with you. Be detailed so they know what to expect. Transparency is very important here and your new potential agent will respect you for it. Everyone respects someone who is real. If you haven’t already outlined your on-boarding process we recommend taking some time to do so in detail. And remember to listen, because they will tell you exactly what they are looking for.
Without systems and organization you just look like a fool. We all know that every document signed by consumers are time and information sensitive. And without powerful systems keeping everything organized, things can very easily slip through the cracks. The last thing you want is for agents to talk behind your back about how they are always waiting for broker approval on their contracts, or that their contracts get bounced back all the time. Systems like SkySlope and DotLoop remove most of the human error and allow you to focus on what’s really important – building your brand.
3. Training & Support
Most of the agents I have recruited came from another brokerage and their number one reason for leaving was lack of training and support. It’s impossible to create a contagious culture within your brokerage without consistently providing high-quality training and support. Although these elements are technically two different things, for this example I wanted to combine them because you can’t have one without the other. Powerful training (online or in person) will naturally reduce the amount of support needed. Agents need to know that you have their back and when you get this step right the first time, they will start referring your brokerage to other agents. Not only that, but their confidence and commission checks will reflect this effort.
Most brokerages get graphics made from their title or lender partners because they don’t have art departments. This is very common but also creates a massive disconnect for branding. Unfortunately, the level of brand disconnect in the real estate industry is astronomical. This can be easily resolved by making everything consistent, online and off, and you will also differentiate yourself from your competition. This process takes time and requires your daily attention. We recommend making a brand guidelines document so any outside design vendors have access to exactly what you’re looking for and also know what they can and can’t do. The question you need to ask yourself is “Is this ON BRAND or not?” You can’t let anything go out that’s OFF BRAND.
In this day and age, brands can’t simply tell people who they are. Typically, brokers lead with all the features of their company but what we propose is that your focus is on the human element. How is working with you going to benefit and enrich their lives? How is your organization going to compliment their lifestyle and help them reach their goals. Every broker says they offer training and support, but how is that going to enhance their existing lifestyle? When marketing focus is on the human element and creating strong emotional connections with your prospects, that is when the magic happens. Don’t lead with features.
Awareness and intention is key to building a meaningful brand, and when you take a bit of time to evaluate where you actually stand, you will find lots of areas for growth and opportunity. Most of these mistakes aren’t something that can be corrected overnight. In fact, some of them require ongoing attention and reflection. Be aware what changes need to be made and remain committed to work until they are.
Your efforts won’t go unnoticed.