New Real Estate Agents: How Your Personal Brand Can Help You Get Ahead
Whether you’re a new hire at a firm or new to real estate in general, it can be difficult to get the ball rolling in growing a customer base – especially when so much of a consumer’s decision is based on an agent’s established reputation. With 90 percent of home buyers searching online during the home buying process (National Association of Realtors), building a positive personal brand and online reputation is more important than ever when attracting new clients.
We’ve outlined a few simple steps you can take as a new real estate agent to leverage your personal brand in order to secure potential clients who are Googling you as well as attract new clients during their search process.
Create a personal website that’s dedicated to your unique skills, accolades, and interests, even if you’re with a firm that already provides you a profile page on the company website. When a potential client Googles you, it’s important there’s a single destination to learn more about who you are as a real estate agent and as a person. Free tools such as WordPress and Tumblr allow you to easily create and customize a site.
TIP: Buy domain names for your website that contain your full name or variations of your full name (ex. John Smith or JohnSmithRealEstate). Domain names show up high in Google search results, so if prospective clients are Googling you, they’ll be more likely to find your website. Domain registrars like Hover.com will show you what’s available and allow you to buy them right through the site.
2. Get online profiles and stay active on them
If you aren’t already on social media, start getting some profiles on the top sites – think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. (and if you already have these profiles, make sure they reflect what you would want potential clients to find!). There’s also a few social networks that cater to real estate, such as Zillow and Trulia. These sites have communities specifically for real estate agents to answer questions, provide advice and interact with home buyers. Growing a presence on these types of sites helps you stay plugged into the latest real estate trends and happenings as well as connect with potential clients.
TIP: As with your website, make sure to select usernames that contain your full name (or variations of your full name) to help them show up higher in Google search results.
3. Connect with influencers and publications in the industry
Once you have your social media profiles set up, follow top influencers, publications and organizations/associations in the industry. Not only follow them, but engage with them as well – comment on articles, respond to questions/polls, ask your own questions and share interesting posts with your own network. You’ll form valuable business connections while also learning from some of the best minds in real estate – You never know what sort of opportunities this type of networking could lead to.
4. Become a real estate expert
You might be the newcomer to the real estate game but you can still establish yourself as an authority within the field. As you go through the trials and tribulations, share what you learn. You could start a blog and share tidbits about what you’re learning from the more experienced agents, observations of emerging trends and success stories. Also, stay active on your social media profiles, as we mentioned above.
Try to become an authority within a niche topic (a geographical area, residential vs. commercial, buy vs. rent, etc.). This will help highlight you in specific home buyers’ search results. (Ex. residential agents in Buffalo, NY). As a new agent, you have a unique perspective on the industry – you’d be surprised how many people are interested in learning from it.
5. Build a brand, but still be yourself
Although it’s important to maintain a level of professionalism in your online communications, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Buying a home or property can be one of the most important decision a consumer can make. When finding an agent, home buyers are looking to connect with a human – someone they can feel comfortable with and who they can trust to find the right home for their unique lifestyle. Letting your personality shine through will resonate much more with potential clients than dry, formal language on your sites and profiles.
Breaking into any industry can be a trying process but, by following these few simple steps, you’ll start to build a personal brand online that will kick-start your career and get you noticed as a go-to real estate agent.
Need some help getting started? BrandYourself offers free tools and custom services to help you manage your personal brand and online reputation.