With the rise of the internet, the term “real estate branding” has become a loaded one. Not only that, there are more self-proclaimed “real estate branding experts” these days than ever before.
That’s why we sat down with Lesley Everett — an actual, bonafide real estate branding expert — and asked her how today’s luxury real estate professional can give themselves a chance at standing out among the crowd.
Lesley is an award-winning speaker and author, internationally recognized authority on personal branding, and is highly sought after as a personal coach.
During our conversation, we delved into the world of personal branding, and how real estate professionals, along with their personal company, can use real estate branding to their advantage.
More specifically, we discuss:
What is meant by the concept of “you are your brand,” and how your reputation equals referrals.
Why it’s important to consider how you make people feel when they interact with your brand.
The importance of making every single client feel special.
How to teach the luxury real estate professionals on your team to be their own, unique brand as well.
What to do and what not to do for your brand.
Translating outside of massive budgets and checking your language.
How your brand is the “intention” and how your reputation is the “reality” (plus how to make it easy to be “referable”).
How to get your brand more exposure — and how to do it consistently.
Real Estate Branding Is About How You Make People Feel
The reality of real estate branding is that you can spend thousands on nailing the perfect brand aesthetic, the most professional website, and beautiful direct mail marketing.
However, the way you make people feel is what they will talk about with their peers. Not only that, it’s what they talk about consistently that makes up your reputation. And your reputation is what makes it easy to refer you to their social circle — or not.
So, while it’s easy to get caught up in the “buying” and “selling” of real estate, Lesley says clients are really buying you.
She explains, “When you work with a client, whether it’s buying or selling, what they’re actually buying from you is the end result of all your years of experience — meaning how you apply yourself, your characteristics, your skills, your value set. They’re buying into the result of what a combination of that gives them…They’re interested in the end result.”
The Difference Between Brand and Reputation
At first glance, “brand” and “reputation” may seem like the same thing. What’s the difference?
Lesley says your brand is your intention, while your reputation is your reality. In other words, your brand consists of what you intend to set out to do, like being a person of value and integrity. Your reputation, on the other hand, is whether or not those things you intend are actually true or put into action.
Later in the episode, Diane Hartley, President of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, brings up the point that personal brands are still somewhat of a mystery to “unlock,” implying there is no perfect template or hard and fast guidelines that can help every personal brand shine the same way.
Yet, both Diane and Lesley are in agreement that demonstration — or truly living, breathing, and speaking those intentions you have for your brand — is really the only way to align your brand and reputation in a positive way.
Focus On Your Message First
Again, the internet has had a major impact on real estate branding. It’s easier than ever to get distracted with “shiny object syndrome” and focus on lots of small, busy tasks rather than anything that actually moves the needle.
To make a bigger impact, Lesley says to get perfectly clear on who you really are as a brand and what you have to offer before getting sucked into social media or any other time-consuming marketing efforts.
The clearer you are, the easier everything else will become. Why? Because it’s easier to come from a place of authenticity and alignment than it is to force yourself to do tasks you believe will get you exposure.
The final takeaway? Prioritizing authenticity and consistency will always get you further than chasing marketing and branding trends.
Want to Know More About Luxury Real Estate Branding and How to Stand Out In Your Market?
The Institute has a wide range of resources for you to invest in yourself at any stage in your luxury real estate career — even if it hasn’t begun yet.
Visit your Membership Portal for brand new training sessions, as well as our book, Rich Buyer Rich Seller: The Real Estate Agents’ Guide to Marketing Luxury Homes, which is available for free to all Institute Members and also available on Amazon.