News and advice
Your biggest brand asset: Trust.
In an increasingly competitive real estate market, establishing trust with potential clients has become more important than ever.
It’s no secret that real estate agents aren’t always held in the highest esteem.
We are all aware of the general public’s perception of real estate agents (recently covered by ABC 4 Corners episode, “Agents of Influence”) corrupted by a small percentage of agents practicing unethically and focusing on the deal more than helping their neighbours at a highly emotional time.
In fact, the 2022 Australian Ethics Index placed real estate agents as the third least trusted profession, ranking just below federal and state politicians.
More broadly, leading multi-national marketing agency Ogilvy Consulting + Caden revealed a fascinating insight: nearly 60% of consumers admitted that they tend to distrust something until they are given a reason to trust it.
This highlights the significance of brand marketing for real estate agents, as it offers a unique opportunity to build trust and differentiate yourself from competitors. Not only for those agents operating in an established franchise that are constantly combating inherited reputation from agents who precede them, but for independent agencies who need to out-market their larger competitors.
What do people think about when your brand pops into their head?
In a recent podcast leading marketing professor, Byron Sharp explains being recognised is not enough; what triggers people to think about your brand matters most. He uses the example of University of Oxford, everyone knows it as an Ivy League college, British, does rowing, but not much else… and that’s one of the biggest brands in its industry.
So, if you were to ask a homeowner in your area to list real estate agents or agencies near them, would you appear in that list? And if you did, would they be able to tell you apart from your competitors and know why they should pick you?
Lessons for Real Estate Agents
To differentiate themselves in a crowded market, agents must go beyond simply offering quality service.
- Embrace authenticity: Customers appreciate brands that are genuine and transparent. Be open about your strengths and weaknesses and communicate your commitment to earning their trust.
- Consistency is key: Build a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, from initial interactions to closing deals. Ensure that your messaging, visuals, and values align with your target audience’s expectations.
- Connect emotionally: Demonstrate you know your customers’ needs and aspirations, and establish an emotional connection with them. Show empathy, actively listen, and tailor your approach to create a personalized experience.
- Leverage social proof: Utilise testimonials, case studies, and success stories to highlight your track record of satisfied clients. Highlighting positive experiences from others can significantly boost your credibility and trustworthiness.
And here’s where independence can have a huge advantage – experienced agents who have broken away and established their own agency are able to build their own brand and differentiate themselves from the market without restriction. Plus, they don’t run the risk of being tarred by the reputation of poor agents within a larger brand. This strategy will result in more cost-effective marketing making sales happen faster.
What does this all mean in a practical sense?
In a real estate industry where trust is paramount, brand marketing plays a pivotal role in establishing a competitive edge. Being recognised is not enough; what triggers people to think about your brand matters most.
Your marketing strategy must include long-term brand building. This includes emotional, authentic, and entertaining content and ads that are not designed to generate immediate leads, but build an emotional connection with your audience. You must be comfortable knowing that this is about reach and engagement, not lead generation (however, lead generation tactics should be run in conjunction, but each should be measured independently).
As you know, it takes time to turn a cold homeowner into a vendor and you cannot give all the credit to the last piece of marketing or prospecting. Just because they called you off a DL, it does not mean you should give up on everything else that created touch-points with you such as your newsletters, property ads, Facebook and google campaigns, testimonials, prospecting. It only works if all done together.
By focusing on trust building and creating an authentic brand experience, real estate agents can differentiate themselves, attract clients, and cultivate long-lasting relationships based on trust and loyalty which will build a successful, long term attraction business.
Ready to really make a name for yourself? Build your own brand and partner with UrbanX today.
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