Are You Overbranding?

By March 15, 2017 Blog No Comments
avoid overbranding

Particularly in real estate, personal branding is important. You are your business, and buyers and sellers choose their agents based primarily on their impression of personal qualities such as trustworthiness and friendliness.

But there is such a thing as overbranding: becoming so immersed in creating a personal brand that you cross the line from savvy real estate agent to walking billboard. Here’s how to tell if you’ve gone over the top.

You constantly remind everyone you’re a real estate agent. Lapel pins in the grocery store, “Ask me about real estate!” signs in the coffee shop, “Sold” signs poking out of your purse: they’re all fun, catchy ways to tell people you’re a real estate expert. But if you can’t leave the house without them, you’ve gone too far.

Especially if you’re visiting a small business (where it really matters if you distract from their brand), going to a friend’s house, or attending a family gathering, leave the visible branding at home. You can always keep some business cards in your purse or pocket, just in case. Baby steps.

All your closing gifts have your brand on them. Be honest: if your lawn service gave you a birdbath with their logo on it, would you actually put it in your yard? So why would you think that your newest buyer or seller wants a cheese board or knife set with your name on it?

A mass-produced gift pre-stamped with your name or logo is generic. You’ve just walked with someone through one of the most significant, most vulnerable periods of their life: the choice of a place to call home. That kind of proximity should have given you some insight to what matters to them. Pick out a meaningful gift accordingly, and stick with putting your name on a hand-written thank you note to go with it. If it’s a truly thoughtful gift, they’ll remember where it came from.

Every transaction is about you. News flash: you are not the hero of the real estate story – your client is. You are just the guide. So put your buyer or seller front and center every chance you get. Focus on answering their questions and finding out what they think, instead of proffering your expert opinion at every turn. Celebrate their successes, not your own (you don’t have to be in every closing photo). And don’t press for referrals. Research shows that, if they’re happy with you, they’ll tell their friends and family on their own.

You’ve got a one-track social media mind. Don’t have a separate Facebook page for your real estate business? Your friends probably wish you did. Plus, you’re missing out on some fantastic marketing opportunities: boosted posts, hyper-targeted (and incredibly affordable) ads, call-to-action buttons, and other features that help you maximize the ROI of social media. Even if you do have a separate page, if all your posts are about you, you’re missing the point.

Today’s consumers pay attention to marketing that helps them achieve their goals. That means informative, helpful, and entertaining posts that demystify the real estate process, help them get to know your community, and bring a little fun into their day. So whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or somewhere else, remember to mix up your content.

Recognize yourself in any of these signs? Don’t despair – you can break out of the overbranding cycle and be a real person again. So set up that Facebook page, leave your “Sold” sign behind the door the next time you get coffee, and let your clients be the hero. We promise: you’ll actually enjoy your career more this way.

Leave a Reply