There’s a great old saying that the best way to predict the future is to create it, and the key to any agent’s future is their brand.
The reality is every agent is a brand, and creating equity in this brand allows you to be recognised by current and potential clients to consistently secure more business.
So how can you build brand equity?
Brand equity basics
In an age where the internet is in the palm of our hands and social media is a simple click away, the digital interview is a daily reality.
Long before the listing presentation, a potential vendor is weighing an agent’s skill through the content, information, and insight they provide.
When this information is consistent, valuable and recognisable, an agent is forging a relationship with a potential client that creates familiarity and, ultimately, trust.
But it’s not just about creating a social media account or updating your website profile. Everything you do and don’t do either builds or destroys your brand equity.
With statistics indicating 60 per cent of all sellers select an agent based on an evaluation of their market presence and branding, ensuring you are the agent of choice before they even get to meet you should be your number one goal.
Time, money and the long game
Building brand equity takes time, money and consistency; in the knowledge, you must play the long game to win.
It involves developing and sticking to a predetermined marketing and prospecting plan in order to enjoy consistent new inbound business.
When you build your own brand equity, it brings clarity, business, freedom of time, and financial security.
It’s what separates the attraction agent from the transactional agent who is always struggling for leads.
How to build your brand equity
There are a number of key elements to creating brand equity, and it’s important to remember this is not something you can set and forget.
Consistency is essential, as is interesting information that is of value to your market.
There’s truth in the saying a picture paints a thousand words. Images allow you to be recognisable and evoke an emotional connection.
Take the time to regularly create new images, including personal photography, lifestyle shots, and emotive and memorable phrases.
Consistency of message
Consistency builds trust. Ensure your imagery, tone and content are consistent along with your message.
This reinforces your past marketing messages and amplifies future marketing.
Do not underestimate the power of clients receiving an email from you at a particular time of the week.
Whether they open it or not, that consistent timing amplifies your brand.
Your voicemail and email signature
Your voicemail and email signature are two of the most underestimated elements of communication.
Make them different, allow them to represent what you stand for, and above all, make them memorable.
Exceeding customer expectations is often thought about but poorly executed. Exceptional customer service should be about understanding the client, knowing them and consistently going above and beyond to meet their needs.
For example, you might surprise your sellers and buyers with a pizza delivery on move-in day.
It’s a small gesture with a high impact. But if you only do it once, it will have low “brand equity” relevance.
Do it for every transaction you do in the year, and that “customer experience” will form part of your brand equity.
If you are a standalone agency, you have full control and flexibility of your brand collateral, but you must protect your brand integrity by ensuring all marketing materials meet your style guide.
Think of famous brands and observe how consistent their branding is across all their media, including their website, advertising, social media and more.
If you are an agent within an agency or part of a well-known network, you still have the ability to “personalise” your brand and build brand equity so that your target market can identify you from the crowd.
This approach does take longer, but again if you apply the same principles as above, you will still be able to build brand equity.
Manos Findikakis is chief executive and co-founder of the Eview Group.