Tonya Eberhart is the founder of personal branding firm BrandFace, LLC. Michael Carr is a former BrandFace client-turned-co-author and partner. They focus on helping real estate professionals become the face of their business and a star in their market. Learn more at BrandFaceRealEstate.com.
5 Signs Your Brand Resonates With Clients
Gaining business isn’t the only indicator that customers are buying into your messaging. If your brand is really strong, you’ll lose some things along the way as well.
April 4, 2017
So you think you have a strong real estate brand, but how do you know it’s working to attract your ideal customer? Here are five ways to tell if your brand is resonating with the people you want to serve in your community—and a few of them may surprise you.
You feel pigeonholed as a certain type of agent. The truth is you can’t be all things to all people, and you can’t specialize in everything in real estate. If your brand does a good job of defining who you are and what you do, it will focus on a particular customer, property type, neighborhood, or another specific. You want your business focus to be narrow in order to attract the exact customer you’re looking for. Agents who don’t define themselves will get lost in the crowd. So if you feel like your brand boxes you in, don’t consider that a negative. It means your brand identifies exactly who you are as a professional.
You lose some customers. While a well-defined brand is designed to increase the business you’re best suited for, it should also decrease the business you don’t want or that doesn’t make you money. Remember, a brand that defines yourself more clearly to your clients should lead to a loss in customers you don’t want to work with. And while you may lose some business, you’ll gain more of the kind you want, allowing for the cream to rise to the top of your customer base.
Your clients ask for more specific advice. The ultimate purpose of a great brand is to showcase you as an authority in your chosen niche. If it achieves that, prospects won’t call you about just any old real estate topic; they’ll call to ask your guidance on specific areas in which you specialize. And, by the way, that’s fantastic for attracting more referrals. You’ll have customers who can tell their sphere of influence with confidence: “I know someone who specializes in that.”
Your tagline becomes an inside joke (in a good way). A great brand not only displays authenticity and credibility but also inspires humor. For example, Sheri Sperry, SRS, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Sedona, Ariz., is known as “Your Solutions REALTOR®.” She might poke fun at herself with clients, friends, and family, saying, “Stick with me, I’ll solve all your problems!” Have fun with your brand and others will, too. A little humor is a great way to forge a bond with your customers—and, above all, keep you top of mind.
Other agents downplay your brand. How do you know when someone’s jealous of you? They usually try to diminish your accomplishments or make you feel less important—which, you should know, is more a reflection of them than you. Now we’re not saying you should want other agents to scorn your brand or that it’s even necessarily a sign that you’re doing well. But frankly, if your colleagues share negative or snide remarks about your brand—assuming they’re not responding to something that is actually offensive—you should see it as a sign that you’re hitting a nerve with your competitors. If your customers respond well to your brand, that’s all that matters.