How to Build a Powerful Personal Real Estate Brand

By Dr. Hubert Rampersad

The housing market improved over the past year and is expected to continue doing better in the coming years, many experts agree. However, in this new housing landscape, many trends are emerging that home buyers and real estate professionals should keep in mind. One most important trend in the age of social media entails authentic personal branding. realtorsAbout 70% of a realtors’ career success can be attributed to his/her authentic personal branding and presentation skills, versus 30% resulting from his/ her technical real estate knowledge. So, real estate agents with strong people skills are more likely to attract more clients and sell more than those with just knowledge about Microsoft Office, commission structure, listings, inspection, appraisal, etc.

The most effective real estate agents understand the importance of authentic personal branding in today’s market. For real estate agents and brokers, authentic personal branding is, essential to establishing a stronger and more viable business presence. As a real estate agent, you must anticipate on the new housing developments by building a powerful authentic personal brand. Remember, most buying decisions are based on trust, confidence and the feeling of connection people have related to a product, service, or person. It’s the trusted relationship that counts, which often seems to be more important than performance. This is all about branding. A brand is the expectation, image and perceptions it creates in the minds of others when they see or hear a name, product or logo. Microsoft, Nike, Toyota, Volvo, and Coca-Cola tell us how they want others to perceive their products. These Company/Corporate Brands communicate what they want our perceptions and expectations of their products to be.

Minimizing marketing costs and extending market exposure are areas where real estate professionals can really excel. Real estate professionals understand what buyers, sellers and investors want and why- and they may even be experts in the art of the close – but what separates those at the head of the pack is becoming an expert on how to get there. In today’s modern marketplace, where the power has clearly shifted to the consumer, being ‘findable’ and accessible to all potential and current clients is very important.

tipsBranding is more important than marketing and sales. There is a difference among these three activities: Marketing is presenting, sales is convincing and branding is influencing. Branding is about creating a brand identity that associates certain perceptions, emotions, and feelings with that identity. Branding happens before marketing and sales. Without a strong brand, marketing is ineffective and selling is like beating your head against a wall of sales resistance. So don’t waste all your time and money on marketing and sales by not maximizing your brand. It’s about time to focus on branding. In life, as in business, branding is more effective, powerful, and sustainable than marketing and sales.

Remember: people do business with people they know and like. There are literally more than a million real estate professionals, more houses than ever in your market, but there’s one thing that no other agent has…it’s you! Creating an emotional bond with consumers in your market with a personal brand identity is the perfect way to take your real estate business to the next level. The key principle is to find something unique about what you offer as the basis of your sales message. Even if what you offer is a commodity, there is always one thing unique in your business — you. A big error made by many real estate agents and brokers is to try and develop an institutional image like most big companies. People do not like to do business with institutions; they like to do business with people.

Your personal brand is the synthesis of all the expectations, images, and perceptions it creates in the minds of others, when they see or hear your name. Here are some examples related to this aspect of personal branding.

Donald Trump brings to mind President of the United States of America and successful real estate investor with a massive ego.  download
Dave Liniger brings to mind visionary leadership in the real estate industry and founder of RE/MAX.  remax
Gary W. Keller brings to mind a best-selling author and the founder of Keller Williams Realty International, which is the largest real estate company in the world.  keller

Personal branding is about creating strong, favorable associations in the minds of people that you encounter. If you don’t actively do this, they will still make associations. Therefore, it may be better to be proactive and undertake the branding exercise for yourself, you cannot control what they think but can give them some information to assist with the associations. You can shape the market’s perception of your personal brand by defining your unique strengths and values, sharing it with others in an exciting, persuasive manner, and cultivating your brand continuously. It’s something that you can develop and manage, which is essential for your success in life and real estate business. It involves developing your personal reputation

trumpDonald Trump to Hubert: “ALWAYS THINK BIG

Everyone has a personal brand but most people are not aware of this and do not manage this strategically and effectively. You should take control of your brand and the message it sends and affect how others perceive you. This will help you to actively grow and distinguish yourself as an exceptional real estate professional. Having a good professional reputation or brand seems to be a very important asset in today’s online, virtual, and individual age. It is becoming increasingly essential and it’s the key to success. It is the strategy behind the world’s most successful people, like Donald Trump, Dave Liniger, and Gary Keller. It’s therefore important to be your own personal brand in order to attract success just like they did.

Having an authentic personal brand has benefits. It:

  • Stimulates meaningful perceptions about the values and qualities that you stand for.
  • Tells your customers: who you are, what you do, what makes you different, how you create value for them, and what they can expect when they deal with you.
  • Influences how your customers perceive you.
  • Creates expectations in the mind of your customers of what they will get when they work with you.
  • Creates an identity around you which makes it easier for prospects to remember who you are.
  • Gets your prospects to see you as the only solution to their real estate problem.
  • Puts you above the competition and makes you unique and better than your competitors in the marketplace.
  • Places you in a leadership role and enhances your prestige.
  • Attracts the right customers and right opportunities and adds perceived value to what you are selling.
  • Increases your earning potential and differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Positions your focused message in the hearts and minds of your target customers.

The term “brand” comes from the distinctive mark that cattle ranchers would burn onto their cattle so that they knew the animals belonged to them. However, just having a “distinctive mark” (your logo) is useless because everyone has a logo. So, your distinctive mark isn’t so distinctive. The term “personal brand” has come to mean the collective set of services and attributes that set you apart from others in the real estate industry. Your “brand” is how people perceive who you are and what you do. Your brand must stand for something. This means that your name or logo is essentially meaningless to the general public unless it stands for something in their minds – and that something has to be unique enough to set you apart from everyone else.By reinforcing your message and its association with your name/logo throughout everything you do, you will make an emotional connection with your clients. Every communication they have with you and your staff must reinforce that message. You must highlight your best features and communicate them to your prospects clearly and frequently. This must be consistent with your expertise, your personality, your hobbies and career choice. It must also be consistent with how your co-workers, family and friends see you. Sure, there will be differences depending on how close you are with each, but the core characteristics will continue to stand out through each interaction. If what you tell people isn’t genuine, they will see through it and this will damage your brand. Most personal branding concepts are from a personal marketing (selling) point of view and image building, which can turn into an ego trip. Authentic personal real estate branding is more than just marketing and promoting yourself.Your brand is not your nice logo and slogan. You are your brand and you are in charge of your brand.

You are the CEO of your life. You must think of yourself differently and grow and promote yourself like a business. Your brand is a unique promise of quality and value. Authentic personal branding is a leadership concept that involves creating an image that resonates with the attitudes, behaviors & perception of your target market. Your personal brand should convey a sense of trust. You must dig deep and find out what is unique about you! Then let everyone know about it.In the real estate industry, the concept of personal branding would be defined as the attempt of real estate agents to distinguish themselves as a separate entity from the brokerage they are associated with- so that prospective clients will think of the agent instead of the brokerage when the time comes to buy or sell. It’s therefore important to set yourself apart from your competition by branding yourself as a real estate expert. And with an online presence you will have a strong command of attracting potential clients. Authentic personal branding is therefore an important way to stand out from the other real estate agents and draw clients to you.

Importance of Authenticity

When your brand is combined with powerful tools ii introduced in my book, it will deliver peak performance and create a stable basis for trustworthiness, credibility, and personal charisma. This inside-out approach is durable and differs from traditional methods. This new approach places more emphasis on understanding yourself and the needs of others. Meet those needs while staying true to your values, improve yourself continuously, and realize growth in life based on this personal branding journey. It focuses on the human side of branding, and includes your reputation, character and personality. If you are well branded according to this approach, you will find it easier to convince your clients and you will attract the people and opportunities that are a perfect fit for you.

cropped-branding-book1.jpgThe underlying assumption of my authentic personal branding philosophy is that each of us has unique gifts and a distinct purpose and dream in life. By connecting these gifts, purpose and dream, we open ourselves up to greater happiness and success in life. In my new book Authentic Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents; The Ultimate Breakthrough Formula For Standing Out From the Crowd” I focus on a holistic and authentic personal branding model, that will help you to unlock your potential and build a trusted image of yourself that you want to project in everything you do. It is in harmony with your true values, beliefs, dreams, and genius.

Authenticity is about being real and true to yourself. Your brand should therefore emerge from your search for your identity and meaning in life, and it is about getting very clear on what you want with your life, accepting it, fixing it in your mind, giving it all your positive energy, doing what you love and improve yourself continuously. Traditional personal branding approaches are focused on personal marketing, personal sales, social media marketing, image building, and styling, which can turn into an ego trip. Authentic personal branding is more than just marketing and promoting yourself and it is not about being famous and not about trying to be someone you’re not. It is about the Real You and influencing others based on integrity and delivering what you promise. If you are not branded in an authentic, honest, and holistic way, if you don’t deliver according to your brand promise, and if you focus mainly on selling and promoting yourself, you will be egocentric and selfish.

Dr. Hubert Rampersad is a recognized Personal Real Estate Brand Coach. He is the founder of Realty in America in Florida and author of the best-selling book Authentic Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents; The Ultimate Breakthrough Formula For Standing Out From the Crowd (IUF University Press, 2017).This article is based on this new book. He can be reached at info@iusv.university and www.realtyamerica.wordpress.com

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cropped-branding-book1.jpgPraise for this book

” This revolutionary handbook shows the step by step process of how realtors can stand out, differentiate themselves, and set themselves apart from the crowd. It includes killer marketing and sales strategies for anyone looking to be a top performer in the real estate industry. It also shows very clearly and concisely what a real estate professional should do to succeed in life and in business.”. —Dr. Robert Bense, Director Real Estate Management MBA Program at the Innovation University of Florida

“Honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and credibility are critical components in today’s real estate industry and are the most fundamental character traits of real estate professionals and crucial ingredients in building a successful career in the real estate industry. This great book introduces a unique methodology on how to build this sustainably. It puts you above the competition and makes you unique and better than your competitors in the marketplace. It’s a great step-by-step guide into real estate sales and easy to follow. I love the 4 stages of building an authentic personal real estate brand in a holistic way. If you follow the processes outlined in this revolutionary guide you are sure to have success in the real estate industry. If you are in the real estate business, do yourself a huge favor, pick up this great book and learn from it.”— Dr. John Johansen, Chairman of the Ethics Committee for Real Estate Professionals at the Authentic Governance Institute

If you are in real estate, this is a definite must read. This is one of the few books that I will probably read to over and over again. I felt like Hubert Rampersad was personally coaching me on how to succeed in real estate. I love his personal real estate coaching system to enhance the sales performance and engagement of real estate agents by creating a motivating happy workplace and a learning culture within brokerage teams. This unique book is phenomenal and gives you great tools to grow your business throughout your entire real estate career. This is truly an amazing book that can help you in every area of your life, if you decide to act on what you read. I am more focused, more passionate, more determined, gaining more trust with my clients, attracting more customers, have better relationships with others, better visibility and a stronger position on the Internet.”— Frank Lewis, MBA, Chapter Director Personal Real Estate Branding at the Authentic Personal Brand Coach Federation

This excellent book is really a life changer. I’ve been reading a lot of real estate books and this one is really one of the best, it gives creative and innovative guidelines to manage yourself effectively like a business, attract success, create work-life balance, develop team spirit, use technology & social media effectively and build trust. I definitely recommend it to anyone that works in the real estate industry and want to be extremely successful in this business. This complete guide has given me great insights and innovative strategies to ensure that I will certainly overcome the challenges in the real estate industry. Best investment I have ever made. My life has been changed forever. Excellent and highly recommended for real estate brokers, lenders, and agents. A must read for everyone who like to becoming a successful real estate professional. Worth every penny!” — Vicky William, Co-founder LinkedIn Group “Realty in America

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Donald Trump to Hubert: “ALWAYS THINK BIG”

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12 Tips for Building a Powerful Personal Real Estate Brand

tipsIn the new housing landscape, many trends are emerging that real estate professionals should keep in mind. One most important trend entails personal real estate branding. Having a good professional reputation or personal real estate brand seems is a very important asset in today’s online, virtual, and individual age. It is the key to success and the strategy behind the world’s most successful real estate professionals, like Dave Liniger (founder of RE/MAX) and Gary W. Keller (founder of Keller Williams). Remember, most buying decisions are based on trust, confidence and the feeling of connection people have related to a person. It is the trusted relationship that counts. People do business with people they know and like. Creating an emotional bond with customers in your real estate market with a powerful personal real estate brand identity is the perfect way to take your real estate business to the next level, just like Dave Liniger and Gary Keller did.

realtorsRemember, 70% of a realtors’ career success can be attributed to his/her personal branding and presentation skills, versus 30% resulting from his/ her technical real estate knowledge. Therefore, real estate agents and brokers with strong personal branding skills are more likely to attract more clients and sell more than those with just knowledge about Microsoft Office, commission structure, listings, inspection, appraisal, etc. As a real estate professional, you must anticipate on the new housing developments by building a powerful personal real estate brand. It will stimulate meaningful perceptions about the values and qualities that you stand for, it will create expectations in the mind of your customers of what they will get when they work with you, it will get your prospects to see you as the only solution to their real estate problem, and it will put you above the competition and makes you unique and better than your competitors in the marketplace.

Remember also, your brand is not your nice logo and slogan. You are your brand and you are in charge of your brand. You must think of yourself differently and manage and promote yourself like a business. Your personal brand will convey a sense of trust if it is branding-bookauthentic and if it reflects your true character. In my new related book “Authentic Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents; The Ultimate Breakthrough Formula For Standing Out From the Crowd”, I provide an innovative holistic and authentic personal branding model and related tools and techniques, that will help you to unlock your potential and build a trusted authentic personal real estate brand. Based on this book you will create a life as real estate professional that is fulfilling and you will automatically attract the people and real estate opportunities that are a perfect fit for you.

Here are 12 tips for building an authentic personal real estate brand, based on this book (© Rampersad):

Authenticity; you are your brand, always be who you are and live your brand through your actions. It must be built on your true personality and reflect your character, behavior, values, and vision. It should therefore be aligned with your personal mission and values. Also, make sure your marketing collateral reflects who you are, so that you will attract clients who identify with you and your abilities.

Integrity; you must adhere to the moral and behavioral code set down by your personal mission and values.

Consistency; be consistent in your behavior and message and be predictable. People like to know what to expect. Can they always depend and count on you? Are you doing relevant things again, and again, and again? Statistics have shown that people need to see a message multiple times before it really sinks in.

Focus: focus on one area of specialization (your niche market). Be precise, concentrated on a single core talent or unique skill. Being a generalist with no specialized skills, abilities, or talents will not make you unique, special, and different. So, define your brand with a focused niche to connect with customers you aim to influence.

Authority; become a real estate expert. You must be seen as a recognized expert, extremely talented, highly experienced, and perceived as an effective real estate professional. For example, Dave Liniger and Gary W. Keller are seen as an authority in the real estate industry.

Distinctiveness; distinguish yourself based on your brand. It needs to be expressed in a unique way that is different from the competition and needs to add value to your customers. It must be clearly defined that its audience can quickly grasp what it stands for.

Relevant; what you stand for should connect to what your target audience considers to be important.

Emotions; strong brands tap into emotions. Most buying decisions are based on feelings and emotions. Find out how to make an emotional connection with your clients and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Visibility; it must be broadcast repeatedly, continuously, consistently and repeatedly, until it’s embedded in the minds of the audience. It is about repetition and long-term exposure, using a unique selling proposition express in a concise and memorable slogan and with a nice logo, color palette, and design standards that reflect well on your brand. Post a nice picture of yourself on social media and make it your visual signature.

Persistence; your brand needs time to grow. It should be developed organically. You have to stick with it, don’t give up, believe in yourself, and be patient.

Goodwill; people do business with people they like. Your personal brand will produce better results and endure longer if you are perceived in a positive way. You must be associated with a value that is recognized as positive and worthwhile. For example, since 1992, RE/MAX has been the official real estate sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Performance; if you don’t perform, personal real estate branding will be a sham. Your personal real estate brand should therefore be translated into your personal balanced scorecard.

When you are branded according to these criteria and you commit yourself to act accordingly, your brand will be strong, you will distinguish yourself from the crowd, and your target audience will trust you.

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Dr. Hubert Rampersad is a recognized Personal Real Estate Brand Coach. He is the author of the best-selling book “Authentic Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents; The Ultimate Breakthrough Formula For Standing Out From the Crowd” (IUF University Press, 2017).This article is based on this new book. He can be reached at info@iusv.university  and www.realtyamerica.wordpress.com

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