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Real Agent Story: Online Branding Key to Winning New and Past Clients

April 23 2019

How are real estate agents building their business online? To find out, we've been speaking with successful Realtors. Today, Delaware-based agent Debbie Phipps shares how she reaches buyers, sellers, and past clients through lead generation and strategic branding on

Your branding on—is this a tool to secure listings?

move Debbie PhippsI use® Local Expert as an important element in my listing presentations. I log them onto® and I show all of the exposure and how it drives everything to my site.

I have a 15-inch laptop I bring to the presentation. I talk about®. I tell everyone that it's the only site that's affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS®. I recognized early on that this was where I should focus my marketing dollars because the site would be there over the years. The other sites don't have the same correctness and accuracy and the amount of people looking at them. Other sites come and go. But® will always be there. I tell my potential listing clients that this particular program I use gives them maximum exposure that is better than you could ever get with any other agent. Of course, it's a tool to make sellers understand the exposure you are giving them; but it's also a presentation tool.

While presenting, I show them an example of a listing. I put in the appropriate Zip codes, so they see that my listing and my links to my website where they are featured are coming up 50 percent of the time as they scroll through three or four pages.

If I get an appointment where I don't have the Zip code, I will still be able put it in nearby areas. Usually they're very impressed when they see how their home will appear on®.

Does this help you on the buying side?

I use the featured property piece of the Local Expert for listings and the other piece of it as a way to help us close our leads.

When the® leads come through, they recognize me as someone that's a local expert. I have worked primarily in New Castle County, Cecil County, Chester County area most of my life. I've been in this business 30+ years. I want past clients to know how to find me.

So past customers are reminded by your branding?

You can't imagine how many calls I get because people remember me from our past association. When it comes to selling their house, they're still calling me. I keep my brand out there so that they can see I'm strong in business.

Most people say they would use their agent again. But although they were happy with the agent they used last time, most don't even know what their name is now.

If they can't remember their agent, how could this help draw them to you? Are they seeing your branding?

As an example, I recently went to a $550,000 listing in our average $250K marketplace. They didn't know me at all, but they were impressed with my marketing.

I am always marketing my brand through my website, social media and print ads. It is not easy to measure, but you eventually can see the effect. My marketing appears in quite a few places, but the® Local Expert really grabs their attention. Many of my listing leads say, "Oh, we saw you on the internet," and when I drill down, they saw me on®.