Personal Branding Techniques for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

A key principle of marketing is to find something unique about what you offer as the basis of your sales message. Even if what you offer is a commodity, there is always one thing unique in your business — you. A big error made by many Real Estate Agents and Brokers is to try to develop an institutional image like most big companies. People do not like to do business with institutions; they like to do business with people. In advertising terms, branding is the "image" created in the minds of people when they see or hear a name, product or logo. Companies invest a lot of money in creating and maintaining their brand, but the Internet has sparked a new trend called "Personal Branding". Personal branding isn’t only important for promoting a product, business or political cause, but also for promoting yourself for advancement within your own organization. It involves developing your personal reputation. Branding can be done to any product, or any person. Before undertaking an exercise in personal branding, however, consider your distinctive strengths and abilities and what they offer the market place. Traditionally personal branding was for sporting celebrities who gained enormous coverage and following through their sporting prowess. Movie stars have also had celebrity status and association since movies began.
A personal brand is about creating strong, favorable associations in the minds of people that you encounter. If you don’t actively do this, they will still make associations. Therefore, it may be better to be proactive and undertake the branding exercise for yourself, you cannot control what they think but can give them some information to assist with the associations.
WHY BRANDING OURSELVES?

Places you in a leadership role
Enhances prestige
Attracts the right people and right opportunities
Adds perceived value to what you are selling
Earns recognition
Associates you with a trend
Increases your earning potential
Differentiate yourself from the competition
Position your focused message in the hearts and minds of your target customers
Confers top of mind status
Increases authority and credence of decisions

HOW DO WE BRAND OURSELVES?
Like any branding exercise, the key to personal branding is having a good product, one which you understand and pitch to the right market. The first step in personal branding is knowing who you are, find out what strengths your brand possesses and how these strengths can help you. Personal branding is not about presenting a façade to the public; a poor product will not stand up to market scrutiny. This is also a choice of brand elements, people you deal with, the look that you have, and how you conduct yourself. Once this has been done, determine what you are going to offer. As a product what do you do, what need does the product of you satisfy in the market. Next figure out the position you will take in the audience of your mind. What unique space do you wish to occupy and what unique associations do you want people to recall when they think of you? Finally, once you have established the first three steps, manage your brand over its lifecycle. That is keep visible, be consistent and be yourself. According to Montoya, the well-known personal branding guru, the key to managing your personal brand is word-of-mouth (WOM), the most trusted form of communication.
How does one go about building a personal brand? Recognize your personal strengths and gifts! Think about how you best connect with people, consider what your target audience needs and wants, identify the value you deliver to meet those needs and wants, and communicate in a way that reaches your constituents in their hearts and minds and via the channels that work best for you
Functional associations are important such as timeliness, quality, dedication; as are emotional associations like inspiring, leadership, being an innovator.
The three C’s of personal branding are clarity, consistency and constancy.
Clarity deals with being honest about yourself and your strengths and promises of value attached to your personal brand and being clear in the way you communicate them. Often, for simplicity, you must focus on one or two aspects that are most vital and focus on communicating them. Think about the things you associate with prominent artists or mangers, and they are unlikely to be complicated.
Consistency is keeping things consistent for the customers. This does not mean staying stuck in the past, but just not undertaking drastic changes. Coca Cola have had a consistent message for 50 years; the message evolves continuously and is not stagnant but is consistent. Artists like Madonna change every three or four years, but there is a consistency to the change.
Constancy means being visible with your brand and maintaining an on-going level of awareness in the marketplace. Oprah Winfrey is visible constantly, and although most of people do not have the visibility or exposure of Oprah, they can still be visible in a smaller audience. There is no point trying to build a brand image quickly to coincide with a new exhibition or performance you may have coming up brands take time to build in consumers minds.
A FREE PERSONAL BRANDING TOOLKIT FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS
NetReal.net, a company noted for its template-based Real Estate Web design solutions, offers a Winter Holidays Gift for Real Estate Agents and Brokers the Personal Branding Toolkit: netreal.net/personal_branding.php The Personal Branding Toolkit contains the “Essential Marketing for Real Estate Professionals” ebook and 17 Real Estate Reports and the tools to personalize them with your name, contact info and photo.
NetReal’s editorial team put together the top 25 highest- rated Real Estate marketing articles of 2004, and created a must-have e-book – “Essential Marketing for Real Estate Professionals”. The ebook covers Marketing 101 , Network marketing, Personal Marketing, Customer acquisition and retention, Telemarketing & Direct Mailing, E-marketing. You can personalize this e-book with your data and send it to your contacts, absolutely free of charge. This is a great way to offer a helpful gift to your colleagues and partners.
The “17 free Branded Reports” allow you to create your own branded Real Estate reports (for buyers, sellers, investors, movers) with your contact info and photo/logo and an exquisite design. Distribute them to your prospects or clients as e-docs or printed materials, or upload them on your website. Show your professionalism with these great tools to acquire new clients.
The Personal Branding Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals (netreal.net/personal_branding.php) is free for everyone.

Introduction to Marketing for 1st time business owners

Marketing is determining which orders you would like to win. Selling is getting out there and winning orders once you have decided which orders you would like to win. Marketing is a continuous process of creativity, research, testing, analysis, development and implementation. We must stay close to our customers. We must satisfy our customers’ needs and anticipate their wants. We love our customers and we always do that little bit extra for which we do not get paid.
Specialize and be excited in what you do
There is a strong relationship between high self-esteem and peak performance. The more you love doing something, the greater will be your success. All successful businesses specialize in their areas of excellence. Many unsuccessful people drift into areas where they do not have the excitement, enthusiasm, energy, knowledge, etc., to establish competitive advantage and find their market segment.
A few questions for you to answer at this point are:

Which product or service would you like to produce and sell?
In which area of human activity would you like to improve the lives of other people?
To which area of human improvement can you bring excitement and enthusiasm?
What is your area of excellence?
What is your core business?
For which product or service are you prepared to be a product champion? What would you love to do to improve the lives of others for 16 hours each day, even if you received no financial reward?
What is it that makes you feel valuable and worthwhile?

Differentiate for a competitive advantage
Perhaps the biggest question in any business is: why should anybody buy this product or service … from me? This is in fact two questions. The first question is: why should anybody buy this product or service?
What is the benefit?
What is the improvement in the life of the customer?
How is the customer’s life enriched by acquisition of the product or service?
If you cannot answer this question, then you do not know why a customer should buy your product or service. Remember the law of cause and effect. There is a reason for everything. There has to be a reason why your customer buys the product or service.
Segmentation or the creation of a market niche
If people buy from you because you are such a lovely person, then your market niche may well be your circle of friends and friends of your friends. If you own the village grocery store, then your customers are probably restricted to those living within a five-minute walk or two-minute drive, i.e. the local community. If yours is the best or cheapest product on the market, then this opens up huge opportunities. Who is your customer? Who buys this product or service? Identify your market segment. Describe your customer – age, sex, income, occupation, education, other interests, area where he or she lives, type of family, other products he or she buys, etc. Where exactly is your customer? Identify the geographical concentration, understanding that 80 per cent of your customers will be within 20 per cent of your catchment area. How is your product normally distributed? How would you expect your customer to buy your product or service? To which customers does your competitive advantage make a big difference? Is there a small segment of the market which you could dominate?
Answer these question when considering your market niche:

Who are your customers?
Where are your customers?
Who cares that you are the best?
Who cares that you are the cheapest?
Who cares that you are the local dealer?
Who cares that you are such a nice person?

The answers to these questions establish your market segmentation, or your market niche, i.e. a small segment of the market which you can dominate.
Concentrating your efforts
With a view to succeeding in business, we have to concentrate all our resources, hitting our market segment with our competitive advantage in our area of excellence. We have to concentrate our creativity, our marketing, our sales skills, leadership skills, finance, time, energy, excitement, enthusiasm, advertising and promotional efforts, production facilities, etc., all of these resources being concentrated in enriching the lives of our customers – at a profit.
Is the benefit we offer worth more to the customer than the price the customer is expected to pay?
Can we provide the benefit at a cost which is lower than the customer is willing and able to pay?
Can we provide the benefit at a profit?
These are four of the most important steps to consider as a business owner.

The Words That Sell

What You Say, Who You Say It To, How you Say It:
If you have or can get a list of people who are already interested or genuinely likely to be interested in your product or service then you are well on your way to being successful with your postcard marketing. Before that, you have to answer the key question, “Who should I send my postcard offers to?”
After that is answered, your next problems are what to say to them and what to ask them to do.
Let’s Look At What To Say To Them:
It is vital that you get attention fast. If you don’t get attention fast your offer will not get read.
1. An excellent way to get attention and hence get read is to boldly give the 5 or 6 key benefits of your product or service.
Put the biggest benefit on top and list off the rest in descending order of importance.
For example:
How Would You Like To Get:

Biggest benefit
Second biggest
Third biggest benefit
You get the idea

People are interested in things they want. If your benefits are really beneficial to them they will read your postcard (and if your list is good and you really know what benefits your ideal customer is seeking they will respond too).
2. Next thing to do is give a very brief explanation of how you can provide the benefits you named.
3. Next, persuade them to act by giving them a good reason to contact you.
4. You can offer a testimonial from a really happy customer
5. If you have or can give a guarantee, give one. Guarantees take the risk away for the person receiving your postcard.
6. Make them an offer that no reasonable person who had an interest in your product or service could easily refuse.
How Should I Say It?
Urgently ask the people you send postcards to, to order from you or contact you for free information about your products and services.
Example:
Now is your chance to take advantage of our special offer. Don’t miss out. Call NOW!
Be sure to explain exactly how to order or contact you for further information.
When you follow this structure for creating your postcards you will get good response to your mailings.

The Marketing Secret Every Child Knows

Little Kids Ask Until They Get What They Want.
Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, can I have an ice cream? Can I, Can I, Can I, Can I? Please, Please, Please, Please. I’ll be good for a whole year. I promise. Just give me a dollar. I won’t ask again for a long time. Pleaseeeeee!
Regular, repeated mailings are the way to create big predictable results. When you mail every 30 days for a year you will cause a dramatic growth in your business.
People respond to repetition. If you are a parent you know how hard it is to refuse repeated requests for an ice cream or a desperately wanted toy.
If you are not a parent, I’m sure you remember asking, even begging for a toy, a treat or permission to stay up past your bedtime, until your parents finally gave in. Your customers and prospective customers are similar. They need to be asked repeatedly too.
Who You Should Ask:
You should be asking 3 groups of people to do one of 3 things:
1. The first group is your house customer list (your own list of existing customers).
You should be asking your existing customers repeatedly to contact you about some offer you make to them for your products and services.
A clear offer with an easy way to contact you should be made, like:
“We will give you 5000 full color postcards for $389, simply give us a call at 800-628-1804 to set up getting your postcards.”
Or some other offer you reasonably believe they will be interested in based on your personal knowledge of them and preferably based on their actual previous buying behavior.
2. The second group is your house prospect list (prospects you have caused to inquire about your products and/or services through your own marketing efforts).
This group of people is interested in your service but hasn’t made the decision to go for it yet. They will be the most likely to respond to a special when you offer it to them.
3. The third group of people are people who can reasonably be expected to be interested in your products and/or services, but who have never purchased anything from you and have never inquired about your products and/or services either.
The likely reason they haven’t contacted you is that they don’t know that you even exist.
You remedy that by contacting them with a series of postcards offering free information about how they can benefit from your products and services.
If this list of people is properly selected and if you make an offer that a reasonable person will find very, very difficult to refuse, then your response rate will be high.
That is the whole game in a nutshell. Create or get a list of people who have demonstrated they are interested in the type of product or service you offer. AND/OR Get a list of people extremely likely to be interested even if they haven’t already proved they are by buying from you or one of your competitors.
Once you have these lists of people contact them with postcards which offer them the benefits of your products and services and keep making them offers until they inquire and/or buy from you and then ask them to buy more on a regular basis.
If you do what you have just read about you will have more business than you can shake a stick at.
You will have a smile on your face just like the little kid with a belly full of ice cream he/she convinced mom to buy.

Postcards Work

What’s the fastest, simplest and cheapest way to promote just about any business?
The answer is postcards sent by direct mail. You can get your message to a targeted group of prospects or to your existing customers for a cost of about 25 to 30 cents each including postage. You can actually send someone a postcard every 30 days for only $3 a year. Postcards Work.
You can generate leads, create sales, ask prospects to give you a try or convince existing customers to buy more or buy more often. Postcards Work.
What are the 2 biggest secrets of marketing with postcards?

Regular, repeated mailings are the way to create big predictable results. When you mail every 30 days for a year you will cause a dramatic growth in your business. People respond to repetition. If you are a parent you know how hard it is to refuse repeated requests for a cookie or a desperately wanted toy. If you are not a parent, I’m sure you remember asking, even begging for a toy, treat or permission to stay up past your bedtime until your parents finally gave in. Your customers and prospective customers are similar. They need to be asked repeatedly too. Postcards Work.
There are really only 4 reasons people don’t buy your products and services. Look at your own buying behavior and see for yourself if you believe me when I tell you these 4 apply to you too.

a) No need.
When people don’t buy from you, it’s because they don’t want what you are offering. They may need what you are offering and not know or acknowledge that need, but the bottom line is they don’t want it.
Save lots of time, effort and money by targeting your postcard mailings to groups of people who have demonstrated they want your product or service or one’s similar to yours and then mail to them. Follow at least this one piece of advice and become more profitable immediately.
Examples of those who have demonstrated they want your products and services are:

your own customers,
your competitor’s customers and
people who have bought products and services which your products and services supplement or complement.

Target your marketing. Promote your business exclusively to people likely to have a strong desire for the benefits provided by your product or service.
Postcards Work.
b) No money.
Businesses and consumers don’t usually avoid purchases because they don’t have or can’t get the money necessary to purchase. They usually don’t buy because they decide buying something else is more important to them (like food).
You can get them to buy from you by making it clear to them that buying your product or service will get rid of something they don’t want or will get them something they do want or will get them more of something they already have that they like having.
It is your job to get your people and businesses to see that your products and services give or get them what they really want. Consumers and businesses rarely avoid buying something because they don’t have (or can’t get) the money needed to make the purchase. They avoid buying what you offer because they place a higher priority on spending money for something else. What is the most nagging problem you can solve for prospects in your targeted market? Make it real to them how they’ll feel when your product or service eliminates that problem. Use postcards to communicate how they can get their problem solved.
Postcards Work.
c) No hurry.
People tend to drag their feet after they decide to buy something. The longer they wait to purchase the more likely they are to forget why your product or service is valuable or even absolutely necessary to them. Keep your message in front of them with repetitive mailings. If you don’t…You’ll lose the business. The reason repetitive mailings are so effective is that they remind your customers and prospects of what they are missing by not having your product or service working for them in their life. You can avoid losing sales because of “no hurry” by rewarding customers for taking immediate action and penalizing those who don’t. For example, offer a special discount price or a special bonus for ordering before a deadline.
Do repetitive mailings to targeted customers and prospects and you will make more sales.
Postcards Work.
d) No trust.
Most people’s fear of losing something is a bigger concern than getting something that they want.
This fear causes them to frequently avoid buying something they truly want.
They don’t want to buy and then find out that your product or service won’t solve their problem. They don’t want to be or even feel ripped off or still at a loss over the solution to their problem.
You must take away their risk in doing business with you.
You must provide a way that they can “trust” you.
If you don’t they won’t buy and you will lose business.
Most people fear losing something they have more than they desire gaining something they want. This fear causes many people to avoid buying something they really want. They’re reluctant to buy because they might not get what they expect from your product or service and they’ll lose their money. You have to remove this perceived risk to avoid losing business because of “no trust”. Here are 3 ways I’ve found effective for any business…

Eliminate the risk with an unconditional money back guarantee.
Give them testimonials from satisfied customers and/or provide references that prove the quality and reliability of your product or service.
Make it easy for your prospects and customers to communicate with you and get their questions and concerns answered. Let them see you and your business are real and that you value getting and keeping their trust and present and future business.

These are really the only 4 reasons why people don’t buy from you. You can increase your sales and profits by knowing them and doing everything you can to mail your postcards to the people and businesses most likely to want and benefit from your products and services, make it clear to them how valuable the benefits of your products and services are to them, get them to see the urgency of getting the value of your products and services now and finally that they can trust you to help them get the benefits you promised your products and services would give them.
When you do all these things, guess what? People will buy from you like crazy. Postcards are a perfect low cost medium to overcome the 4 reasons people don’t buy from you.
Use postcards in repetitive mailings and make your business soar.
Don’t ever forget.
POSTCARDS WORK!

How to “Really Get Your Customers”

What Really Makes Your Postcard Mailing Successful?
The biggest single factor in the success of your postcard mailings is who you send your postcards to.
You need a list of people or businesses to send your postcard offer to.
This can be a list of existing customers or prospects who have inquired as a result of any of your marketing efforts or a list which you purchase.
The list must contain the names of people who are likely to be interested in the benefits of your products or services.
If you send a postcard offering a free 6 pack of beer with the purchase of 2 large pizzas to a list of purchasers of a “pay-per-view” boxing match (a list which you purchased from your local cable TV company), you are more likely to get a big response than if you sent the same offer to a list of the ladies auxiliary bridge club.
This concept is known as targeting. You either have a list (existing from your own records or the records of a person or business willing to cooperate with you by letting you use the list), buy a list (of people who are likely to be interested in your product or service because they have purchased a related product or service, such as a magazine subscription on a topic related to your product or service), or a list can be compiled using characteristics about your target market.
When You Don’t Pay Enough Attention To Your List:
When you don’t pay enough attention to the list you select to mail to, you get a list which is poorly “targeted”. This means the people on it are not likely to be interested in your products and services.
A “good list” is a list which is a good match for interest in your products and services.
A “bad list” is a list which is a bad match for interest in your products and services.
House List, Response List, Compiled List.
The 3 basic kinds of lists that you can use in order of their effectiveness are:
1. Your own list of prospects and customers. This is a list that you collected with your own personal marketing efforts. This is known as a house list. These people are most likely to respond to your offers, because they have responded in the past.
You own this list.
2. A response list or an opt-in list’ is a list of people that have actually done something. They have either purchased something from the people who put together the list that their name came from or inquired in response to some offer. The last way they could have arrived on the list is to have asked to be on the list.
Presumably if they are on a response list the people on the list have some level of interest in the topic or purpose of the list.
This type of list can be effective if you are confident in the provider. They have not previously responded to you, but according to the provider have responded to someone in a related area.
This is a list you can purchase from the owner of the list or a list broker.
3. A compiled list is a list of people who were selected to be on the list because they possess the characteristics that you asked the list broker to screen for.
Examples of characteristics used to target correctly may include age, sex, geographic location, income level etc.
The characteristics are more fixed characteristics than response list characteristics, which are behavioral characteristics.
Again, if you trust the provider this type of list can be very effective.
This list you can purchase from a list broker.
Determine which list you should use to maximize the response to your postcard mailings. And really go get your customers!

How to Get Some of Paris Hilton’s TV Time

When your book is mentioned on television, sales go up. Immediately people start looking in book stores and on the internet to find out how to buy it. The more people hear about it, the more they want the book. When several shows are talking about the book, it become a best seller. Look at the success of Oprah’s Book club, The Today Show’s Book Clubs and all the other shows that feature a writer and their book. Sometimes the writer is interviewed but sometimes the writer doesn’t even have to be on the show in order to sell books.
It made Mark Victor Hansen, the Chicken Soup book author multi- millions. They have published over 85 books.
But how do you get your book on TV if you do not have a large budget for a PR company? Who can you call to get that first break? How can you get a tape of a good interview so other producers will take a chance and book you?
How do you show you are a good guest even though you are new? It takes a lot more than an simple email or phone call saying that you have a book and would be the PERFECT guest.
First- Look at your book and then look at the current news headlines. Is there anything in your book that can relate to the current news? If so, you have a reason to call TV shows and pitch getting on the show. If you are current with the news, you have an excellent chance of getting on. People are already talking about your topic. You can work your way in and then talk about the rest of your book
Second- Make a list of the show you would like to be on. Make sure they are shows that would want to have you. Don’t try to get on a cooking show if you are talking about cars. The Shows have to want to talk to you about your subject. Your subject matter should be on target with what the show is about.
Look at TV shows, and shows on the web. Watch them and actually see what kinds of books and topics they talk about. Watch the style used.
Third- prepare your pitch. This is where you write out what you want to say when you speak to a producer or leave a message over the phone. Plan what you are going to say. You only have a few seconds to get their attention. Sound solid in your voice and on target. Tell them WHY their viewers will want to see you , don’t just say you will be a good guest and they need you on the show. Tell them what is special and unique. Let them know if you give away books or any items when you appear. Leave your phone number 2 times for clarity. Make a list of who you called and what show they were with. Wait and wait for a call back. You can do a follow up call but wait a few weeks.