Where do I start?
Starting out as a new agent, like any new business owner, you have to get across your personal brand and your point of difference to your target audience. As an agent fresh to the market, you are trying to stand out from over 10,000 other more experienced agents seeking new property listings in New Zealand.
Your personal brand represents who you are, your values and your uniqueness. With a career in real estate, you are living and breathing what you do every day in your community, so it has to be a genuine reflection of who you are.
The importance of having a brand
Why is having a brand so important? Because you are operating in a crowded field and you need a core message to set yourself apart. Homeowners are entrusting you with their most valuable asset and they are also inviting you into their lives during a stressful time. They need to know they can count on you.
Top Mt Eden Barfoot & Thompson agent, Ketiesha Elliott has had her son, Frankie, 22, join the business she runs with husband Frank Excell. She has encouraged him to start door knocking on the Mt Eden street where he was born and raised.
“It’s really about getting out and about and selling yourself and who you are,” she has told him.
Frankie is a ”pretty awesome human being, not self-serving and he is disarming with people, he’s not what people expect,” she says. She hopes this comes across in his personal branding.
For many agents, they have had other careers before real estate – they may already be known in their community so their personal brand could already exist and just needs to be honed and presented properly.
For Mt Albert mum and Anne Duncan agent, Kerry Glengarry, when she was starting out a few years ago, she was very well known in her neighborhood.
Glengarry says what you have done before is important to your personal brand.
Her personal brand since the beginning has been: “I do a really good job and treat everybody the way I would treat my mother, sister, or brother,” she says. The result is, people trust her and tell others about her too.
Glengarry recommends that you show you love your area. Be out walking the dog, she says.
“If you show you enjoy your area, it’s a lot easier to sell, ” she advises.
What does your personal brand achieve for you?
Your personal brand differentiates you from your competitor, creates a positive reputation, builds trust, gives you recognition, creates a lasting impression, gives you credibility, visibility and hopefully sends clients your way.
Bayleys Christchurch agent, Julia Ashmore-Smith was Rookie of the Year when starting out. Her reward for having a good personal brand from the outset is she is now a Bayleys Top National 5 % agent.
In her case, she had a negotiating and marketing background, as well as training in conflict management so she has sold herself as an agent who can deal with tricky properties or situations.
Her personal branding has attracted the kind of business she enjoys, clients come to her with complex scenarios, people selling from overseas, marital properties that are tricky, it works well.
Her current tagline is “redefining real estate.” She wants to convey her professionalism in her personal branding.
“We deal with people’s biggest assets, it’s a very responsible job,” she says.
The successful agent’s experience suggests if you establish your point of difference and be visible in market (both on and offline), then people know how to place you or who to go to when they need some special help.