Don’t make the same Personal Branding mistakes as many other agents
In my 16 years selling real estate and working with a real agents and real clients in the competitive listing arena of suburban lounge-rooms, I heard and read a lot of content about how “personal branding” could mean the difference between winning and losing the listing. “Personal Branding” seemed to me to be one of those marketeer $10 words that felt like it belonged in board rooms rather than the lounge rooms where I was working, listing and selling.
What is Personal Branding?
What I learned as I progressed through my career was that while most of the real estate agents that I was competing against for listings were at least as good as me with marketing property for sale – they didn’t know how to market themselves – as a valuable or professional service, worthy of a valuable, professional fee.
While many agents understood that the production value of marketing added value and desirability to the homes that they were selling – few were willing to make the same investment in themselves, yet wondered why they lost listing opportunities or were forced into awkward conversations about free marketing and fee dropping.
When the internet and the advent of realestate.com.au hit our industry and changed the way we presented property and qualified buyer enquiry – few agents realised that it had also changed how vendors discovered and qualified real estate agents.
Personal branding traditionally comes down to the saying that: “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. In the 21st-century-24-hour-digital-marketplace, you don’t even get that one chance. Potential vendors are pre-qualifying agents, and making a shopping list of agents, based on their online profiles and deciding who to call from the information they seek on their smartphones.
We call this the digital interview and what you present in your digital interview will determine whether or not you make that shopping list.
Good Personal Branding gets you on that shopping list…
To understand what appeals to potential vendors during the digital interview, you need to take a walk around in their shoes. Step outside of our industry for a moment and have a look at how most real estate agents present themselves. It is usually some sort of ego-centric-agent-centric claim to results and it is usually the same sales-jargon-heavy claim made by several agents who service the same area. With so many different metrics to measure “#1”, it is difficult for someone outside of the industry to determine what actually makes a good agent. It is even harder to distinguish between agents, where we all sound the same.
One way to distinguish yourself in the digital interview is through your real estate qualifications. If you are a fully licensed real estate you can make that a cornerstone of your personal branding.
Few people would trust a surgeon who did not have his formal surgical training recognised and registered; and I always wonder if the “personal branding” of a Degree in the medical sciences is why surgeons face far less scrutiny than real estate agents when it comes to their professional fees. I digress.
Without starting a debate about the general perception of the trustworthiness of real estate agents, a full real estate licence qualification seems like a no-brainer if you are looking for a way to get out, ahead of the pack of competitors who (to the untrained eye) may look and sound the same.
My own career became supercharged once I became fully licensed. Some of it was no doubt down to the effect that the qualification had on my personal brand during the digital interview. Some of it too came with the confidence I gained from knowing that no matter how talented my competitors may have been in the lounge-room listing presentation, I was always going to have an advantage because with my full license, I was more qualified for the job than they were.
Forget the hype about Personal Branding: get licensed, get listings
If you aren’t already licensed and struggling to get or convert opportunity, check out LinkLearn.com.au – our courses are designed for the 21st century with simple, supported and flexible learning and assessment that means you don’t need to take time off work or miss out on opportunity in order to get qualified.