Viewing entries in
Branding

Balancing High Tech and High Touch Part 2

swords.jpg

In October of 2013, we wrote a post on this subject.  Almost 5 years later, we revisit the same concept of the double-edged sword of finding the balance between high tech and high touch.  High touch remains the winner

Not a day goes by without someone bringing up a new fix, a new link, a new SEO tip, or a Google change to lure leads into their website. And every day a new company pops up with some lead generation program promising leads, phrases and keywords, zip codes in order to make you rich. While some of these fixes may and do work, they do not guarantee success, or high placement on Google. This is true both in the luxury real estate and other real estate marketing segment.

The companies that offer all this stuff can outspend any real estate agent or independent agent on this planet, and they do.  And they are busy outspending each other in order to gain dominance for the same pool of buyers and potential listings.   The big box companies have also entered this game, and some of the companies are planning to go head to head with the three major aggregators.

Recently one of our friends in Los Angeles listed her magnificent estate with a high profile successful independent firm.  As we were reviewing the presentation on line, we noticed that it was difficult for us to find who the listing agent was.  What came up, when we looked up the listing by the address were the usual aggregators followed by the big box firms. The listing company was way down on the first page of our search.

Why did our friend list with an independent, when she could have had all the google juice with a big box firm and their star agents?  She was not impressed with the big box stars who strutted their stuff and their high-tech knowhow, nor their global and Hollywood connections.  

What made her sign that listing contract was the compassion and understanding of her situation that these two agents exhibited.  She knew that they had access to the same tools and contacts that any other agency has.  She felt comfortable with them as well as comforted.  She left town knowing the home was in good hands. 

We agree with the Dalai Lama’s statement, “I think technology really increased human ability. But technology cannot produce compassion.” In our experiences with high producers in the high-end market, we have found that the secret ingredient in their success was not how much they spend on tech, it was their innate compassion when working with their clients. Compassion cannot be bought or faked.  

Branding Moment: What Does Your Brand Stand For?

dreamstime_xs_2238223.jpg

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is absolutely essential to clearly articulate your Brand Position. That is, the conceptual place you want to “own” in the minds of your target market including the benefits you what them to think about when they think of your personal or company brand.

Facebook is under siege by the media and by the governments of many countries due massive breaches of security. Facebook users have had their confidence shaken to the core as more evidence of Facebook’s disregard for user privacy is being exposed.

Meanwhile, Apple, with its $1 Trillion valuation has taken the position that their company values and stands for security and privacy. Every time Facebook or Google is called on the carpet regarding their disregard for security and privacy, Apple’s brand value, in the minds of their target market, soars.  That is an important reason that Apple’s target market is willing to pay a premium for their superb products. Embracing security and privacy as a brand position has translated handsomely to Apple’s bottom line.

What does our personal or company brand stand for? Take a stance that is juxtaposed to your competition. Own that concept and its benefits in the minds of your target market. Then watch your business soar!

BSM (Before Social Media): Practicing The Ancient Art Of Networking Face-to Face!

facetoface.jpg

A long, long time ago, BSM (Before Social Media) there was an ancient practice known as meeting socially, in person, face-to-face. In a business context, these meetings were known as networking. It is an art form rarely practiced by luxury real estate marketing professionals today. 

But, those who proactively embrace networking can soar to top-of-mind status within their marketplace. They are able to stand apart from their competitors who have retreated and are hiding behind their digital screens waiting for business to happen to them. Agents who consistently integrate the art of networking as their dominant marketing strategy can significantly increase their visibility, their listing inventory, and their commission income.

Watch this 3 minute video case study of one of our most successful clients who has set new standards for the art of networking in luxury real estate marketing.  

Branding Moments: Finding The Uncontested Market Niche!

IMG_1974 2.jpg

If you have followed our blog, you know that we are proponents of niche marketing when it comes to having a successful real estate practice.  Regardless of how big or small the city or the marketplace is, we have successfully helped our clients find the uncontested market niche.  There is always a gap that no one is filling or has noticed.  Here is an example from the very crowded and competitive wine industry

Yesterday, we drove to Los Olivos (a small city, population 825, in the Santa Barbara County Wine area), where wine tasting stores, restaurants and specialty stores abound. There we spotted a new logo (pictured above) on one of the 25 tasting rooms that dot the two main cross streets.  We decided that we would visit them after lunch.  

Our first question was:  What is Solminer?  

Solminer means mining the sun, and the sun is part of what makes the vines grow.

What is different about Solminer, among the 25 other tasting rooms in Los Olivos, and the 200+ wineries in Santa Barbara County?

They grow grapes that come from Austria, which no one else has in this region.  Here is an excerpt from their website:

"Our personal desire is to reflect the vineyard in the wine and experiment with Austrian varietals.  Since the beginning, we thought Grüner Veltliner would do well here and soon after we discovered that the Austrian red grape, Blaufränkisch, is perfect for our climate as well. 

We've rounded things out with a bit of Muscat to create an Austrian inspired dry "Muskateller"... We also have new plantings of Riesling to add to our  sources from neighboring vineyards that we have selected for their climate, soils and sustainable growing practices. 700-900 cases are produced per year. "

This was our first taste of wine from Austrian grapes.  All four whites were exceptional.  The other differentiator was their wines are not as high in alcohol 12-13%, unlike many of the new wines which can be as high as 15%.   This is in keeping with the European style, where wine is meant to be savored and heighten the taste of the food served, instead of making one tipsy.

This is the story of Solminer's uncontested market niche.  Although we generally prefer red wines over whites, these won us over.  They would be perfect with to accompany  a cheese platter or seafood.

Like in winemaking, there are many niches in real estate.  Some are obvious (focusing on a certain type of property, waterfront, land, condo), and some are not, and some need research to find the exact parameters. This research will open your eyes and minds as to many possibilities that are available. 

Branding Moments: Do You Have An Uncontested or Underserved Market Niche?

IMG_1829 2.jpg

This business model pictured above is a perfect illustration of the concept of the uncontested or underserved market niche. Is this business model uncontested or Underserved?

When looking for an underserved or uncontested market niche, you have to spend time researching the marketplace in order to identify it.  In real estate or any other business, it means that there are very few concentrating on that segment of the market. Real estate professionals often focus on working in areas where there is plenty of competition. Their logic is simple driven by the notion that they can do a better job than the agent or business that is thriving there.

In our commercial real estate career, we assumed that there was money to be made in working the Beverly Hills triangle, because of the high lease rates and high prices for the commercial buildings. However, there was very little money to be made, because there were three dominant players who owned the marketplace. All three were excellent agents, and two of the three owned commercial buildings in what is known as the Golden Triangle. 

Trying to carve a dent in that market area was equivalent to swimming with the sharks, also known as a red ocean strategy. (This refers to a book titled Blue Ocean Strategy, “How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant”, written in 2004 by W. Chan Kim and RenéeMauborgne,two Harvard professors.} When you swim with the sharks, the competition is fierce and to remain alive you have to battle for a piece of the action.

Blue Ocean Strategy refers to finding an arena where you can thrive without major competition, and become the market leader. This led us to researching different areas of the Los Angeles Westside. We noticed that the marketplace outside of the Golden Triangle had very little professional representation with many “for lease or for sale by owner signs.” This area became our blue water market place.  Within a few years, we were known as the go to agents in that marketplace, and had our signs on every new development.  Those who tried to compete eventually gave up.   

In our opinion, “milk and eggs.com” is swimming in shark infested waters.  Food delivery to busy households is an arena dominated by big players with large marketing budgets like Amazon’s Whole Foods, Kroger and Albertson’s.  Their claim to fame is that they pick up from farmers their produce and products, so they are the equivalent to shopping at the famers market, which is what they were doing in our neck of the woods where many farms and avocado ranches are located.  Eventually someone is going to fold or be acquired.

Are you swimming with the sharks or enjoying an uncontested market niche?

Who Is Your Target Market: Pigeonholes VS People?

dreamstime_xs_20004541.jpg

There is a tendency in the marketing world to focus on categorizing people into pigeonholes as a shortcut in order to influence those they are marketing to. As the world’s population grows, more people are pigeonholed and pundits appear to tell you how to market to this and that group.  While this may be valuable as a construct, it is not the absolute truth regardless of what the experts say.

We subscribe to many online marketing publications, and we see some of the dopiest headlines.  Here is an example: “Millennial shoppers value compassion, customer service more than most... They tend to expect brands to be more value-conscious…” We, who are not in the millennial pigeonhole, value compassion and customer service, and it is unimaginable that anyone in any pigeonhole would not value great service or compassion. 

Another headline touted that millennial folks invented and love craft beers. Fact is that craft beers have been around a long, long, time all over the world.  This group may have popularized craft beer places but did not invent them. In our little village, we have a craft beer place that has existed before the word “millennial” was invented.  And we can assure you that we have met people with the millennial label who disliked beer of any kind.

In order to be successful in your marketing efforts, you need to focus on specifics or the core values of the people in your marketplace. Who are the people in your target market, what is important to them? What are their habits? What kind of lifestyle they have?  Do they read the newspaper and is it delivered to their door every morning?  If they do, then you better have an ad in that paper! This may be contrary to your beliefs that “print is dead”.  For them it is not.

Understanding the values of your marketplace without judgmentlabels or preconceived notions, will put you way ahead of your competition who are relying on pigeonholes.  It takes time to understand different values and adjust your thinking.  In the long run, you will have learned compassion.  And, compassion is something that is a value that is understood and appreciated by all. 

 

Details Make Perfection & Perfection Is Not A Detail--Part 2!

IMG_1817.jpg

In January of 2016, we wrote a post with the same title.  As we mentioned then, the title is a quote by Leonardo da Vinci, and it is one of our favorite quotes.  Recently, we spent time in Arizona on a project.  We had booked our stay at the historical Arizona Biltmore.  Both of us had fond memories of our stays many years ago.

This hotel was designed by Albert Chase, a former student of Frank Lloyd Wrigh,t along with his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright  acting as his consultant.  They came up with the idea of creating "Biltmore" block pictured in the photo above.  This block was created from the desert sand on the site, and the different patterns are inspired by palm trees.  Frank Lloyd Wright primary tenet was that architecture should be in harmony with nature.

IMG_1793.jpg

Even though the hotel has been remodeled to meet current building codes and added conveniences expected of a luxury resort, we are happy to report that they honored the spirit and the attention to detail that Frank Llyod Wright and Albert Chase came up with in 1929.

IMG_1795.jpg

Even though the hotel has been remodeled to meet current building codes and added conveniences expected of a luxury resort, we are happy to report that they honored the spirit and the attention to detail that Frank Llyod Wright and Albert Chase came up with in 1929.

How does this apply to real estate? Details often complete the look and feel of the brand and its logo.  Although they may seen unimportant in the whole scheme of things, it is what makes a brand stand out.  

In our experience with creating brands for our clients, it is always that detail that makes the brand memorable.  It may be a simple as a font, a color, or photo.  Perfection is in the details, and details make a brand remarkable and unforgettable.

Branding Moment: What Is At Stake When Choosing A Brand Name?

IMG_1742.jpg

The first goal of marketing is to build and maintain a preference for your brand within your target market. This is true if your intention is to be the market leader. It makes sense to find the right name for your brand. It has to be easy to remember and easy to say.  This is very important when it comes to referrals, and word of mouth. 

This morning as we were returning home from an appointment, two trucks were waiting at the red light in front of us. The one directly in front of us  was branded  paysage  This is a French word. Its primary meaning is scenery. Its secondary meaning is landscape. We wondered how many people in Santa Barbara understand the word or could pronounce it. Would someone call this company, "pay sage?" Listen to this 15 second video below if you want to learn the pronunciation .

It is easier to say FedEx  than to say paysage. And the majority of us knows the word FedEx. 

Our research revealed that Paysage, the local landscape company, has been operating in Santa Barbara since 2000. Apparently, they are doing something right, however, they are not considered to be in the top 5 in the city.  The top 5 have an easy name to remember.  

If you want to maintain a preference for your brand, be sure to take time to choose the right name.  What is at stake is word of mouth and referrals.

A Spicy Pursuit: What Specialty Is Missing In Your Marketplace?

IMG_1202 2.jpg

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd in luxury or other real estate marketing is to find the underserved market niche, or filling a need in your marketplace..  In order to find it, one has to do quite a bit of research, because at first glance the market may look crowded. It is not unusual to assume that every niche in the real estate market is already taken.  Here is an example of a business that did just that.

In one of the markets we frequent here in Santa Barbara, the spice and seasonings aisle takes up over one quarter of the space. It is our source to find the rare spice or seasoning for a dish we are making.

Food experts advise that spices diminish in flavor over time. They are susceptible to heat, moisture and light.  Furthermore, they are sold in quantities that are too large for an average household to use up in a short period of time as they have at best one to two-year lifetime of flavor. 

Spicely Organics found the underserved market niche among the  biggest spice producers in the food industry.  Gelson’s Market added more shelf space to their spice aisle to accommodate them. Thanks to Spicely Organics you don’t have to go out of your way to assure yourself that certain spices may be a detriment to your diet because how they are produced. Everything is certified for every type of food concern. 

IMG_1201 2.jpg

Furthermore, they sell them in small batches, which means that you don’t have to worry about the shelf life of your purchase.  There is enough for two or three uses.  It may seem more expensive than that big bottle you are used to buying in terms of quantity, however, this beats the competition in terms of quality.  

In the realm of real estate, we have heard many success stories of agents who specialize in what may seem to many who will take any listing at any price crazy niches.  We can assure you that those who specialize in just condos, for instance, or just properties they personally like, or just historical properties, or just land are thriving regardless of the market conditions.  These agents researched what was missing in their marketplace and became experts, and the go to agents in those niches.  What  Specialty is missing in your marketplace?

Knowing Your Marketplace And The Mindset of Your Ideal Clients Can Assure Your Success

IMG_1344.jpg

If you want to have a successful luxury or other real estate practice, you must understand the mindset of your ideal clients and the intricacies of your marketplace that make them happy to live there.  When you take the time to really understand what they need and assure them that you can deliver the results they are after, you become the answer to their prayers.  Here is an example:

Recently, we visited Deer Valley, Utah with friends.  We went to The Market in Park City to stock up on provisions to munch on while watching the NBA Finals. We discovered a section devoted to exclusively to artisanal cheeses.  I (A) asked the cheese monger, Marcy, what was new and exciting? After taking the time to understand our tastes and preferences, she knew we were all fond of cheese and eager to learn.

dreamstime_xs_36339722.jpg

Marcy proceeded to tell us about her favorites that she was sure we would love too. One of them pictured above was an alpine blossom covered rind cheese made in Austria with milk from 15 brown Swiss cows in each herd.  They feed in the pasture of the Alps.  As the cheese ages, the rind is washed and is covered with the dried edible flowers and herbs from the surrounding Alpine Meadows.  You eat the cheese topped with a bit of flowers along with the rind. We all agreed that this was one of the best cheeses we ever tasted.  

Marcy also went out of her way tell us which crackers to buy and which went with each cheese for the 5 varieties we bought.  Then, as we were walking in the aisles, she ran over to tell us that we should buy a Rosé or a Riesling wine, to pair with our cheese selection.  

We loved her enthusiasm, her expertise and her extraordinary service. Naturally, we followed her advice in selecting wines. Marcy was the answer to our prayers. While out of town we look for experiences that are like touchstones to recall and share with others. It is only natural to refer our readers to her cheese department at The Market in Park City.

Are You A Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None?

jackofalltrades.jpg

The NUMBER ONE mistake that luxury real estate marketing professionals make is trying to be all things to all people.  We understand that it is challenging to narrow your focus and concentrate on just one niche.   The trick is discovering the right niche for you, the one that has the potential to provide the financial return you want if you were to give it your 100% undivided attention.

Watch this 2-minute video and learn how being a Jack-of-All-Trades is the biggest marketing mistake. Being a generalist vs. a specialist is the most common marketing trap

A New & Different Perspective: Is It A Problem or A Puzzle?

dreamstime_xs_13046475.jpg

Consistently applying the fundamentals of good marketing and branding can go a long way in building your luxury real estate practice. But, if your quest is achieving and then sustaining market leadership in your chosen niche, you need to do things differently and better than your competitors. You need to think differently to out-think your competition. And, that requires a new and different perspective.

The term, “Thinking out of the box” is a phrase that has been used so much that it has almost become cliché, the antithesis of original thinking. We have been looking for a new way to express this concept in our strategic branding practice.

Then, last Sunday, in our mastermind discussion, our friend shared this quote with us. “I don’t have any problems, I have puzzles”-Quincy Jones (musician and record producer). At first this seemed like a cool concept. But, after thinking about it for a while it also seemed quite profound.

Most people think of a problem as a matter or situation that is unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. However, if you can make the shift to viewing your situation as a puzzle your can instantly shift your perspective.  

A puzzle is a game or toy designed to test ingenuity and knowledge.  Can you feel the immediate shift in attitude that takes place when you view the same situation as a puzzle?

When you think in terms of having a problem you often introvert, it becomes part of you; it burdens you and becomes part of your identity. When you solve a puzzle you extrovert and the situation becomes objective vs. subjective. You see it outside of yourself. As Quincy says, “The moment you see your challenges as a puzzle & not a problem...you've found your way out”. 

Throwback Thursday: Which Niche Can Make You Rich Part 2

As we promised last week on our Throwback Thursday post, here is the next installment of our video course, which was inspired by webinars we had done both for Active Rain and Zillow on the subject of niches. Our entire course can be found on our website if you are curious to see it all at once.  Here is part 2 of the course.  We named this video:

The Most Powerful Law of Niche Marketing

Mind-share precedes market share. Focus on capturing MIND SHARE FIRST.  Market share will follow. It must follow according to this law. Click the image above to watch the video. 

Enjoy!


 

The Precious Value of Human Interaction VS Digital Solutions

IMG_1143.jpg

If you think that Human Interaction is being upstaged by digital solutions, think again. Recently a friend of ours saw a sign on a home and called the number on the sign.  She listened to a recording that sent her to an agent directory. The sign did not have the agent’s name or phone number on it, because the company does not allow agent riders.  

She tried to get connected to the receptionist (was not sure there was one) and gave up.  She was frustrated and vowed never to have any dealings with that company.  And all her friends heard about it like we did.

All of us have had what seemed as interminable moments on the phone getting through the maze of automated systems, just to speak to a human.  When we get to the human, we are even more frustrated because we learn that we need to speak to a supervisor to resolve our issues.  We are then placed on hold, and sometimes we are disconnected. 

Accenture, one of the leading management consultants firms, found in one of their studies that 52 percent of consumers switch due to poor customer service.  They estimated the cost to businesses at $1.6 trillion.  On the real estate scene, it is not unusual to find the voice mailbox full, or the example in our first paragraph.

This is due to the fact that most companies assume that digital-only customers are the most profitable, and customer service is an expensive service.  When they do have customer service, it is usually outsourced to other countries, which often creates more problems.  

Many of these customers (44%) resort to venting on social media channels about the poor service they received.  Sometimes, companies respond to the vent and make things right.  However, keep in mind that quite a bit of damage has been done by the venting. 

Accenture’s study found that 83% of those customers value human interaction and want more of it. They are less likely to switch companies when they have easy access to human interaction, as well as recommend the companies to friends and associates.

Digital solutions have made life easier when you stop and think about it, however we need to balance our reliance on it.  The be-all- and end-all is human interaction. Its value is precious. Institute that in your practice, and your clients will remember you and refer you.

This post is inspired our Internet provider.  Pictured above is the envelope our bill came in.  We are delighted with this change. Now when we have a question or problem with our service, we can actually speak to someone live.  It is so much easier than listening to fix it electronic instructions or going to their website.  It also takes less time.  

Branding Moments: Can You State How You Are Different In 14 Words?

IMG_1140.jpg

If you read our posts on a regular basis, you know that one of the most important selling points of a brand is to instantly convey what sets it apart from the crowd.  Palazzo Della Torre from the city of Allegrini in the Veneto region was able to do it in 14 Words at their Point Of Sale display.

Can You State How You Are Different in 14 Words?

Throwback Thursday Series Real Estate Marketing: How Pick Your Niche!

In 2014, we are asked by then Trulia/ Active Rain to present a webinar for the members on Niche marketing. Shortly thereafter, we did it again for Zillow.  That experience spurred a video course that is part of our website.  Although, many of the examples in this course pertain to the luxury real estate industry, the lessons learned can and should be applied to any local professional practice or local business that specializes in serving affluent consumers.  Each video segment is just two-to-four minutes and can be conveniently viewed at your pace on your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

Here is the introductory video and Part 1.

In this course you will learn:

  • How to pick the right niche for YOU
  • How to harness the power of focus through niche marketing
  • How to out-think your competition and achieve top-of-mind status in your niche
  • How to strike the right balance between high tech and high touch in your niche

We hope you enjoy the course and we expect you'll walk away eager to dominate your own niche!

We will add a video each Thursday as for your viewing pleasure, and if you are eager to learn more faster you can always visit to our website.

Branding Moments: Self Expression VS The Aesthetics of Your Marketplace!

car1.jpg

Capturing attention and standing out from your competition are both very important when crafting your personal brand as a luxury or other real estate marketing professional. However, the two most treacherous traps that luxury real estate marketing professionals fall into when attempting to brand themselves are these: 

  1. Factoring out the aesthetic expectations of their target market thinking that self expression is all that is needed
  2. Factoring out their personality, values and personal aesthetic preferences to please their target market.

Either one of these extremes is a recipe for failure in personal branding.  

Certainly, you have heard the expression “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.  There is no question that aesthetics is a subjective value judgment.  To some contemporary art design and architecture is the ultimate expression of the human spirit, while traditionalists see no value in it at all.  But, when it comes to branding, the entire exercise is to make the subjective, objective. Brand comes first and then in alignment with aesthetics

If you work in a conservative marketplace this objective fact must be respected if market leadership is your quest. Too much shock value may keep you out of the winner’s circle. The objective measurement is whether or not you are attracting the number of clients that you need to reach your goal. 

There are ways to express yourself to a conservative audience without offending them and still feel that you have not compromised your sense of self-expression.  Find a way to express yourself in your personal life if outrageousness is your “thing”, like the owner of the luxury car (Mercedes) pictured above.   

But, trying to please everyone is impossible.  Trying to be all things to all people is likewise futile.  Leaving YOU out of the branding equation eliminates perhaps the most important key to branding success: authenticity.

When we conduct a strategic brand analysis in our consulting practice, we dial into all of these factors in the quiz above to establish our client’s “brand signal”.  It is like finding the right combination when all of the tumblers click into place and the brand “unlocks”. 

Once you amplify your authentic brand signal and reach your target market through focused communication, those who resonate with that signal with naturally gravitate to it.  Therefore, it is essential to place brand before beauty.  You must sharply differentiate yourself from your competitor and you must do so with a wow factor.  But, with aesthetics, you must also strike the perfect balance between your personal tastes and the values of your target market.

Branding Moments: What is A Brand Extension?

IMG_0147.jpg

A brand extension is when you take a familiar brand name, and use it to brand another product category. It helps launch a new product. Here is a perfect example.

Last time we were in Trader Joe’s we noticed that two-buck chuck (Charles Shaw wine, the brand Trader Joe’s popularized) had extended its brand.  Pictured above is the four-buck version.  This version is certified organic, has a new-fangled “Helix” twist off cork that looks like a Champagne cork, and a new label.

The Trader Joe’s reviews of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Rosé state that the wines are “delightfully drinkable.”  We have not tried it.  If you do, let us know what you think, Cheers!

Branding Moment: Newton’s Folly—Smart or Silly?

IMG_0963 2.jpg

This bright colorful brand caught our attention.  Newton’s Folly is a hard cider. The apple falling on Newton’s was his “ah-ha” moment.  He understood the concept of gravitational pull, or what keeps the moon from crashing into the earth.   

In most branding, a reference to Newton implies intelligence and the importance of discovery. Apple used Newton in its early branding, as have colleges such as Keene State College. 

The word folly means lack of good sense, or being foolish. In architecture, a folly is a structure in a garden such as a tower built solely for amusement. This word does not imply intelligence or scientific discovery.

In your opinion, it this brand smart or silly?  If you enjoy drinking hard cider would you buy Newton’s Folly based on the brand?

Are You The Best Kept Secret In Your Marketplace?

dreamstime_xs_92980370.jpg

As a luxury or other real estate marketing professional, have you ever asked yourself any of these questions?

1. Why am I cash rich some months and cash poor the next?
2. Why are some of my competitors, who have less talent and less marketing savvy, getting the lion’s share of the business?
3. I close at least 70% of the business I get. Why is it so hard to get more business?
4. Why am I the best kept secret in my marketplace?

If you have been pondering these questions you most likely are a generalist in your marketplace akin to a general practitioner in the medical field.  However, if you specialized in a particular style of home, in a particular marketplace, or in a particular price range, you would be known for that specialty.

However, if you want to become the standout in your marketplace, you have to stand for something, you have to have a brand or an identity in your marketplace. You cannot afford to be just another real estate agent in the pack. It lessens your value.  

 The biggest struggle most luxury and other real estate agents have is not standing out in the minds of their target market.  That is the very thing that those who discount their commissions are promoting and emphasizing.  These firms succeed thanks the majority of real estate agents do not take time to discover their identity.Instead, they continue to struggle and complain about those “big, bad” aggregators who are “taking away their business!

To stand out you must stand for something that is remarkable. This gives people the opportunity to promote you to others. The missing ingredient that personal branding offers is making it easy for other to tell others about YOU! If you are blending in you are missing out on the leverage of word-of-mouth marketing which personal branding accomplishes when it is well executed. The lack of a personal brand is what is making your job more difficult than it has to be.

If you no longer want to blend in and be the best-kept secret in your marketplace, you must become remarkable. Start by asking yourself these new questions: How am I extraordinary, amazing, notable, outstanding, noteworthy, significant, incredible and astonishing?

Become the best-known agent in your specialty in your marketplace. It may take time to develop your specialty, but in the long run, it will pay off. You will even find that other real estate agents are sending you business because you are the best at what you do.  

Are You the best kept secret in your marketplace?