Dear Ginny WTH,
I’m a relatively new real estate agent with a well-known brokerage “brand.” I see many agents who have created a brand mark or a personal brand for themselves. I’m never sure if this type of thing works for real estate agents or not. Should I invest in this for myself? Does this help me be better remembered or recognized? What do you think?
I’m so thrilled that you asked this question. If I see another photo shot of a Realtor with standing next to a city monument, looking like some gargantuan Goliath, I think I’ll throw up. You know what I’m talking about, it’s the ubiquitous arm cross or telephone in the hand or whatever, they are all bad!
I’m not sure where all this and that got mixed together, but someone – double H – put it into real estate agent’s minds that personal branding themselves would help them get mindshare with consumers and allow them to maintain a brand outside of their broker, god help them they should ever leave their broker and no one would know them after that. And to further confuse, the personal brand got connected with attempting to be transparent and showing the consumer a softer side.
I remember seeing a brochure that on the cover had these two real estate agents, a married couple, standing next to a piano. The brand mark/logo for their name, which ended in an S, let’s call it Smith, featured a treble clef. I thought they were piano teachers. I didn’t see anything about how they helped clients buy and sell homes differently than any other local Realtor in the brochure at all. It didn’t even mention real estate until the second page of the brochure. Tisk, tisk. Bad marketing.
We won’t go into how that representation isn’t transparency at all; rather it’s all ego marketing. I’ll stay with the question about creating a distinct brand for you.
Attempting to have a brand within a brand takes a certain finesse to be successful. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but let’s start with why you joined the brokerage you joined? I hope it was in part due to the brand and image of the company in the marketplace. Certain brands have distinct images with consumers. I hope you are thinking about your brand association in those terms because it is true that consumers form certain opinions about brand, even real estate brands. And your association with that brand conveys impressions to you, good and bad.
With the assumption that you are proud of your brokerage association, why would you want to downplay or confuse the consumer by placing another logo within all of your marketing materials that in essence competes with your broker’s brand? Distinct brands take time to create and strategy to craft what they mean and represent to consumers. Trying to back into a brand just won’t work.
You position yourself with the consumer in so many more ways than a logo or mark. Your name itself positions you. Your activity in the community positions you. Your interaction with clients and their resulting satisfaction positions you. What you do differently during the process positions you. And remember a happy client says your name first to their neighbor, and then the broker affiliation (if at all).
Embrace your broker and position yourself and gain mind and market share with your words and actions. Yes, your marketing material must represent you and your broker well, but I can emphatically tell you that it is not necessary to spend money getting a personal brand logo.