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Relying on the Image of Being a Realtor Is Doing You a Disservice

October 31 2017

la realtor image disserviceOne thing I will never understand about real estate agents is why being a "REALTOR®" is such a big deal and and integral part of their marketing and branding strategy. On one side, you have the real estate lobby. The real estate lobby is one of the largest and most powerful groups in the United States. On top of that, unlike any other trade organization I can think of, the National Association of Realtors® pays a ton of money for public facing marketing campaigns, touting the professionalism, code of ethics, experience and results that only a true Realtor® can give.

For those reasons, I can see why it would be attractive for a real estate agent to join NAR and to be more than "just an agent." At the end of the day, however, this just doesn't track with public interest. Simply put, it does not work.

Using buzzwords and key slogans about being a Realtor® and not "just an agent" is not going to help you in your marketplace. Not only will it not help you, it's going to be taking up prime space on your marketing collateral that could be better used for much more proactive, targeted messages that will drive engagement from homeowners in your marketplace and get you closer to starting a relationship with them and listing their home.

Why Building Your Brand around the Idea of Being a Realtor® Does Not Work

One thing we often discuss with agents is that you should never confuse homeowners with things they don't understand, and you should never rely on "status symbols" that they don't care about. For instance, my favorite mistake to point out is the Realtor® that promotes themselves by saying they are in the "top 1 percent" or in the "President's Elite Club" or any other sort of status symbol. Homeowners do not care about this. They don't know what these things mean, the terms are over used and, at the end of the day, all the homeowner wants to know is what's in it for them.

Instead of touting these status symbols, why not let consumers know how you will sell their home faster, easier, for more money, or for any other number of reasons that will tap the interest of the potential seller?

Secondly, and possibly even more importantly, is the brand of the "Realtor®" itself. Remember when I said that unlike many other trade organizations, the National Association of Realtors® spends tons of money doing public facing marketing campaigns to homeowners? This marketing is not working. You don't even have to do much research to see that my point is correct. Just ask any homeowner if they know the difference between somebody that is a Realtor® and somebody that is merely an agent? They don't, not even after the decades of marketing that NAR has been pumping out to them, extolling the values of code of ethics, professionalism, experience, etc.

So the question becomes, why would you spend marketing dollars promoting something you perceive as an item of value that homeowner's don't even understand?

Please understand. I certainly do not think that being a Realtor® is a bad thing. I do think there are many benefits to you becoming a member of NAR and being a Realtor®. I just think this is not something that really matters when it comes to your marketing and branding efforts.

Building Your Brand Around What Matters

The bottom line is that you need to focus on what truly matters to a homeowner. There are many ways you can do this, but here are two of my favorites:

1. Market to the greed of the homeowner

This one should be obvious, but many people don't consider it. The fact is, no matter how great of a person someone may be, we are all just a little bit self-centered and greedy. It's a natural human characteristic that is universal to everyone. When you highlight specific differentiating factors you have over your competitors and draw SPECIFIC lines as to how nthat will benefit the homeowner, you will win. Show how No other agent in your marketplace is taking your approach. This will set you apart from your competitors in the eyes of homeowners and will help you build your brand awareness and, therefore, your business.

2. Be an indispensable resource to homeowners

Homeowners take pride in their homes and the communities they live in. Get involved in your marketplace. With this in mind, you need to figure out how you can be somebody that matters to homeowners in your marketplace. It might be you are the local resident advisor and can answer any questions they may have. You may build your campaign around your vast knowledge of the unique homes in the area and your unmatched ability to sell these homes faster and for more money. Or you may even decide you want to be community focused and set up a blog and marketing messages that talk about the community, social events and news that will pique homeowners' interests.

There are literally dozens of strategies you can use to build your brand in ways that homeowners will take notice of. The key is to always be sure you are of service to them, and craft your messages in ways that speak to THEIR needs, interests and preferences. If you do this, you will grow your real estate practice faster than you ever thought possible.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blog.