For real estate professionals, marketing and branding play important roles in how you set yourself apart from your competition and greatly influence how you create a valuable product, service, or experience. Commonly mistaken as the same thing, marketing and branding are interrelated but fundamentally different.
While marketing typically falls under the branding umbrella, branding establishes the foundational guidelines that ensure consistency in your messaging and design. In other words, master your brand and your marketing will follow.
Follow these four must-have strategies for growing your real estate brand so you can effectively market your business starting today.
Developing a distinct and memorable brand voice and tone will help prospects and new leads recognize your unique communication style. When you describe your real estate business and services, will you be friendly, authoritative, humorous, or helpful?
No matter the tone, ensure your brand voice is consistent across all channels, from direct mail to e-newsletters, social media posts, and your website.
If you’re an independent agent, identifying your unique brand voice is one of the most important first business decisions you will make. Knowing your unique communication style will not only help you avoid writer's block, it will allow you to reuse and repurpose content between different marketing campaigns and avoid being overlooked or mistaken for a different company.
When it comes to finding your own brand voice, think about how you engage with others in real life. What style of communication comes naturally to you? If you’re direct in person, be direct on paper and online. If you are witty, weave some clever one-liners and puns into your copy. Your readers will actively look for common threads.
If you’re feeling stuck getting started, visit some of your favorite websites for inspiration and ideation. Collect key elements from various sources and incorporate them into a sample email template. Send a copy of the email to a trusted mentor or colleague and ask for honest feedback.
Equally as important as finding your voice and using it consistently is establishing the same best practices for when you use visual elements in your website, social media channels, signage, and other printed flyers, and promotional materials.
This includes your logo, the fonts you use, and the colors you select.
Without a larger corporation enforcing brand standards, you essentially have a blank canvas for creating your own business’s unique look and feel. When selecting visual elements, think about how they complement your brand voice in spirit and the impression they make on anyone visiting your website or receiving a piece or direct mail.
For inspiration and ideas, create a dream board style document or folder of images, logos, and photos that resonate with the appearance you are trying to create. Again, look at some of your favorite brands and websites or use visually-heavy sites like Pinterest or Etsy.
If your time is better spent helping clients buy and sell homes, you may find the quickest and easiest way to achieve professional visual design elements is to enlist the services of a graphic artist or web designer. If you’re in a local business networking group, ask for referrals. If you’re on a tight budget, consider using a multinational freelance online marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork.
A brand style guide is a reference document with guidelines and instructions on how to use and represent your brand consistently. Having a brand style guide sets you up for growth.Ensuring your visual elements, tone of voice, and messaging are used consistently and accurately will better enable you to work with freelance copywriters, graphic designers, web developers, print vendors, and more.
If you are a one or two person shop, a brand style guide may not seem important at this stage of your business. However, having even the basic elements of a brand style guide documented and organized will help you onboard new employees in a more efficient and effective way.
To get started on your own brand style guide, consider using a free design template from Canva. Begin by writing your mission statement and personal values. Think about who you serve and what matters to them the most.
Follow along with the template and record any guidelines on how your logo and fonts should be used, including any direction on size, placement, and restrictions. Consider the types of photos and images you have on your website and printed materials. Record the tone and feel you’re trying to convey and add a few good and bad examples. Repeat this exercise for your writing style as well.
As a Realtor®, you should already have a strong understanding of your clients’ buying and selling needs, current market trends, and pulse of the local community. Knowing the demographics of who is visiting your real estate website, where they live, what devices they use, their ages, incomes, etc. will solidify your overall brand strategy and help you market to the correct users online.
If you are an independent agent, your website is a major component of your brand. A section of your brand style guide should clearly list what you know about the prospects and leads who find you through an online search. To do this, you may find that writing customer profiles helps you to articulate your marketing messaging according to the wants, needs, and interests of your online audience.
Tip: For more ways to optimize your real estate website to attract new leads, be sure to include these five features. (cross link to this document : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HxmztFtirPdnQw2AN76q1tJTM5gTUjgRajgeGgX7PiQ/edit)
Google Analytics is a powerful and universal measurement tool for gaining insight into who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, and what they are searching for once they arrive. If you do not have a Google Analytics account created and registered with your domain, employ the assistance of a web developer or developer partner (link here).
When your website is configured and successfully tracking visitors, expand the Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior tabs and review the data. If you are running paid advertisements through Google Ads, you’ll see this information as well. As you run marketing campaigns, Google Analytics will show you if your message is being well received by the audience you are targeting.
No matter what your brand looks and sounds like, staying consistent over the long run will solidify your business in the minds of your client base. To achieve this on your real estate website, Elevate by Elm Street Technology is an industry-leading solution for automating and streamlining your marketing and lead generation activities. Take your business to the next level with a CRM that does a lot of the groundwork for you. Learn more today!Tags: