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down-arrowhtml-bracket-lefthtml-bracket-rightslashtwo-linesboldclosehyperlinkicon_19502icon_248icon_299italicmedia1media2media4media5media7media8musicnotehideshow Check out the new MetaFilter Reader interface! (MetaTalk) Ask MetaFilter querying the hive mind Log In Sign Up MetaFilter AskMeFi FanFare Projects Music Jobs IRL MetaTalk More Best Of Podcast Chat Labs Search MetaFilter… Menu Home FAQ About Archives Tags Popular Random Brand Identity for Real Estate Agent November 18, 2016 4:21 PM   Subscribe A friend, who is a real estate agent, is looking at creating a personal brand. A friend, who is a real estate agent, is looking at creating a personal brand. She has moved to another agency and sees how a personal brand identity would make it easy for potential clients to find her and allow her to promote her own portion of the business even if she moves again or creates her own business. Creating this identity is the tough partNot sure where to go or who could helpLogo sites, like 99 designs, are easy to find but this more basic part is perplexing. Any advice would be great. posted by ashtray elvis to Work & Money (11 answers total) (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});   My opinion is that for realtors, a phrase is more important than anythingFor example, there is a local agent who puts "Sold by [Name]" on just about everythingI think it's helped her a lot, especially being able to put something different to read on the yard signsShe also maintains with her listingsI'd suggest your friend should come up with a few words that she's willing to shamelessly promote, and then she can find colors and such that fit that later.posted by michaelh at 5:04 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite] What michaelh said: the most successful Realtors in my area come up with a very short positioning phrase that targets what their speciality is in a large regional market, such as "[Realtor's Name] Sells the Foothills." Almost of them seem to hinge their visual branding around a photo of their smiling face.posted by jamaro at 5:17 PM on November 18, 2016 She needs to think about her market, what makes her highly effective in that market, and develop the brand from the results of brainstorming thatWhat makes her different or better and how to sell it.posted by vrakatar at 5:18 PM on November 18, 2016 Years ago, you'd see agents capitalizing on personal quirks (e.gThe Hat Lady), the idea being that you played on something memorable about yourselfThis was when agents started using headshots on their business cards Around the 2000s, the branding emphasis was on teams (e.gThe Michaels Team), emphasizing a full-service business within the brokerage business that relied on the star power of the principalBlogging to raise one's profile by sharing expertise also became popular, though that proved ineffective because the vast majority didn't know how to expand their blogs' reach. More recently, the branding trend is to keep one eye on an exit strategy, which is to say, selling your book of business when you decide to get outA business built on the personality of the principal is going to have less market value than a going concern named something like "International Specialist Group" or ""This trend has included getting the principal's face off of business cards(Successful agents today are tech savvy and, in part, use telephone, email and text systems designed to capture the casual Internet browser.) Today, it's hard to differentiate yourselfYou do it by being first, and being bestYou have school data, crime rates, community info and area sales stats memorizedThat is, you need to know everything about your market that the casual Internet browser doesn't know, and be willing to share it with them the moment they inquire about an ad (or whatever) to keep them on your hook. So..branding emphasis? ExpertiseExperienceResponsivenessReliabilityWarmth and friendliness(That's right, nothing new here!)posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites] Something connecting the realtor to the market is important - my favorite realtor (whom I've recommended to people a zillion times) brands her group as "your home team," as in, you're buying a home (duh) but more important, they really, really, really, REALLY get the specific market they're working in.posted by Pearl928 at 7:48 PM on November 18, 2016 My favorite realtor and a couple of her business partners brand themselves here in Seattle by the name of a local species and are very involved in community sustainability and environmental issuesObviously this kind of thing may vary in success depending on the cultural factors in the community at hand.posted by matildaben at 8:00 PM on November 18, 2016 If you're looking for outside help, your friends could best be assisted by a marketing firm or a freelance marketing consultantThat person could help your friend evaluate the market, and guide your friend through designers and figuring out how best to hit her target market.posted by hydra77 at 8:17 PM on November 18, 2016 Some great responsesAs I was reading them I hadn't realized how similar even the :Sold by (name) approach was across the country Seems like motto and photo are both helpful on signs? An out of the ordinary motto I like from Web Foot Painting is "Seriously Great Painters, Serioulsy," Can humor be used when creating a good brand and identity?posted by ashtray elvis at 3:32 AM on November 19, 2016 Dunno how effective it is, but there's a prominent realtor in my area who trades on her name "Faith" and Christianity/hope in a variety of ways. There's another realtor who acquired a moving truck, put his photo and name on the side, and also a phrase something along the lines of "If you buy through me, you get to use this truck for free." A lot of female realtors, especially more photogenic ones, around here feature their likeness on adverts. Many realtors around here with a non-Anglo name usually add an Anglo-sounding 'nickname' to their advertsNon-Chinese realtors often include their Chinese names in their adverts. When my mom was a realtor way back when, she always used the phrase "house" to sellers and "home" to buyers.posted by porpoise at 8:51 AM on November 19, 2016 Your friend is on the right trackA strong brand helps realtors in a lot of ways; referrals is one of the key ones First, determine what service or segment they will focus on providingOften realtors are naturally more talented/suited for one service than anotherThey can think back over their work history and consider when they have delivered the most value to their clients -- when have they really connected with their clientsAlso think about when the job has been the most stressfulAre their particular kinds of services or clients that seem stressful? Any patterns or trends that can be identified are useful here. Typical service delineations are residential buyer representation, residential seller representation, residential buy-sell, commercial buyer rep, commercial seller rep, and commercial buy-sell Some segments they might consider focusing on are new home buyers, downsizing couples, senior citizens, minority home buyers, out-of-town buyers/sellers, and other Once they have identified a service delineation and ideally a segment, get thee to the googleThey'll want to make sure that there isn't already a very well established realtor and or agency in this same nicheIt can be expensive to gain ground thereSecond, they should do some soul-searching and ensure that they have the necessary experience to serve the segment they identifiedIf the realtor doesn't have an understanding of the hierarchy of the Hispanic family unit, for example, they shouldn't try to sell homes to Hispanic home buyers. A common question here is whether or not a realtor can take business outside of their segment and nicheOf course they canBut they should do so only when financial survival depends on itSpecialization takes time to develop but it is worth itI should also note that they should size the specialization in the market -- that goes beyond the scope of a mefi ask answer -- but make sure that there are enough of that kind of client in the area where you do business. Ok, good, they know who their services will be marketed to and what those services areNow it's time to learn a lot more about those clientsIdeally I would recommend that they interview 5-10 clients in that group who are in various stages of the service they will offerFind out what the clients like or don't likeTake note of the clients' languageThey'll want to use this specific language laterYou'll probably have to compensate other peoples' clients for 30 minutes of their timeA $10 gift card usually will work. Now they can develop a value proposition and some of the tag and copy lines that will come in handy laterThere are a lot a great guides for this on the webIf they're not fabulous wordsmiths or strategists, hire some help for this stepIt can be a bit of a struggleAnd it is impossible to get right if the steps above are skipped. Then (still with me) it's website time! Every realtor should have a site that is separate from the "canned" site that their agency provides them withAgency sites allow little customization -- and they go away when the realtor leaves the agencyTo start, build a basic website that features your value proposition, has great local SEO, etcIt can redirect back to your agency page for listings if necessaryDon't forget to get that email addressThere are more complex things with the website that are going to be important, but get it builtI do not recommend using any of the services out thereI would get a simple WordPress site build using Thrive Themes or something similarThere may be great options that I am not aware of -- new products are launched for RE each day. Of course the site will feature the realtorGet that professional photo takenMake sure it matches not what the standards of professional realtor photo say, but what will be most appealing to your chosen segmentSenior citizens do not want to see casual, but first time home buyers don't want to see a suit or pearls and a scarfDress appropriately Post testimonials with pictures of homes (if they are buyers) on the siteThese are very important as they give visitors another reason to trust you Add content to your site on a regular basis that will be of interest to your segmentGet a lot of good out of that content -- post it on social, send it out to your email list, etcYou can curate some, write some, contract some Respond to leads within the hour alwaysPromptness is key in this business. Okay, I hope that helped a littleI would recommend for a lot of good tips on realtor brandingIt does have a subscription fee but it's worth it IMHO.posted by Kalatraz at 3:48 PM on November 19, 2016 [3 favorites] We have a Hat Lady agent here who I admit stands out in my mindThat said, the local agent who most sticks out in my head is a woman who simply has fantastic hairIt is not dyed an odd colour, it is not particularly high-maintenance; it is just really remarkably well-done hairTidy, modern -- "relatable." > first time home buyers don't want to see a suit or pearls and a scarf As a first-time buyer I was put off by my agent's casual dress, which said "I am not a professional," and it seemed red-flaggyShe ended up being a terrible agent to use, and the sad part is I can't even poormouth her around town as not long after I bought the house her occupation switched to "Groomer -- PetSmart." (Quelle surprise!) I don't think there are classes of buyers large enough to be worth noting who could find somebody too professionally dressedI would avoid the "US female politician" look with the brightly hued suits and giant costume jewellery, but a JCrew suit offends nobody. If I wanted to move I would look for somebody committedI'm not sure how to convey that in advertisingYour full-service..Always on call..Taking care of the details..A neighbour tried to sell her house with no luckI recognised the agent as one I had contacted while househunting. Me, via e-mail: Hi, I'm interested in the property at [address]A few quick questions: [...]Thanks! Looking forward to hearing from you. Him, via e-mail: Thank you for your interest in [property]! Please telephone me at... Me: [on to next listing] She was using this dudeI knew from living next door that the septic had been totally replaced not that many years agoI suggested the problem might be with the realtorI had a friend contact the realtor to ask the age of the septicHe replied quickly -- to tell my friend that the seller did not knowHe certainly did not ask the seller, who I'd told I was running this little experiment and who was expecting him to ask herBig feature of the house, lazy-arse realtor"Detail oriented" is reassuringYou know what else would be good? If she took some basic courses in home inspections and sold herself as knowing real estate AND knowing housesToo many agents seem to be kind of house-clueless and unable to answer muchThe stupidity of outright lying about the septic to a pretend potential buyer was bad, but it was also bizarre that he hadn't thought to ask my friend at the get-go so he could find out if this costly and critical part of the house was, age-wise, a feature or something to downplay. Testimonials, especially speaking to honesty, hand-holding, patience, and thoroughness, are goodShe should encourage Yelp reviews instead of just offering cherry-picked titbits on her site, too.posted by kmennie at 10:13 AM on November 20, 2016 [1 favorite] « Older People who have succeeded in their careers without..  |   How to read a single tumblr blogNewer » (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); This thread is closed to new comments Related Questions Power animal for this specific branding project. July 14, 2015 I'd rather not be branded June 22, 2014 Best British Brand Builder May 25, 2009 Does a freelancer really need a brand, identity... January 8, 2008 How do I break into brand and identity design? December 21, 2007 (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Tags brand realestateagent identity Share Twitter Facebook About Ask MetaFilter Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problemsAsk MetaFilter is where thousands of life's little questions are answered. Sites MetaFilter AskMeFi FanFare Projects Music Jobs IRL MetaTalk Best Of Podcast Links Home FAQ About Archives Tags Popular Random Wiki Search Chat Labs Members Sign Up Log In Search MetaFilter… Fund MetaFilter Join 4,623 readers in helping fund MetaFilter Contact Us

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