Successful Personal Brands in Real Estate: Why it Matters +21 Examples The Brand Of “You” Is A Pre-requisite For Brand Representation Until The Logo Can Stand On It’s Own. Coming up with a name for your real estate business can be a bit daunting. There are those that say, avoid using your name at all costs, because it may limit your ability to scale. Others that espouse keyword specific brand names to align with product or location based search. And there are the bizarre naming rituals that venture funded start-ups follow, think Zillow, Amazon, Google or the brand I stand for, Placester. In your effort to find the perfect name that’s short, memorable, descriptive and easy to pronounce, not to mention that it needs to have an affordable URL, you may find yourself thinking about using your name. I’m here to tell you that there are countless benefits to creating a business around your personal brand and you would be following in the footsteps of a long line of successful personal brands in real estate. There are hundred’s of thousands of successful millionaires that have built successful brands around the names on their birth certificates. Take, Lynda Weinman who recently sold Lynda.com for 1.5 Billion dollars. The late Friedrich Bayer who founded a little brand named Bayer, that stands at #89 on the Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest public companies. And, I would venture to guess that almost everyone reading this article has worn something made by Calvin Klein or Giorgio Armani at some point in their lifetime. The point is, your name is coming with you regardless of what you choose as a brand name. Naming your business is just one step along your entrepreneurial journey, your tenacity and resilience are what will ultimately pave your Road to Recognition. So whether you choose to use your birth name as the trademark for your company, or a name that is keyword specific, or one that is made up, so you can grab the dot com, you’ll quickly discover that you will always be required to represent the brand until the logo can speak for itself. If you’re looking for real estate specific examples, read on — below you’ll find some of the biggest and brightest industry stars, each of whom has proven that it’s possible to thrive in real estate just by using your very own personal brand. Barbara Corcoran — Formerly of The Corcoran Group You’ve been living under a rock if you don’t recognize this widely renowned real estate rockstar. Well before Corcoran became a regular fixture on “Shark Tank,” she was a driven REALTOR with the ultimate get-it-done mentality. After she sold her brokerage, Barbara Corcoran has taken her personal brand to even greater heights: She regularly speaks at business conferences worldwide, she lends her business savvy to up-and-coming agents, brokers and startups, and she offers wealth-building advice to the modern business professional looking to take the leap with their own personal brands. Mark Spain — Mark Spain Real Estate After earning his stripes under the Keller Williams umbrella (yet another successful personal brand), Spain ventured out on his own to continue scaling his already-flourishing real estate career. Both The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends have recognized Spain and his team for their high sales and sides totals in recent years — and he and his crew appear to have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. Take one look at Spain’s real estate website, and it’s evident he places immense pride in his personal brand and wants to leverage it as much as possible. Doing so has already helped him build an even stronger real estate enterprise than the one he had a few years ago — and one that further distinguishes him and his crew of dedicated sales reps in the industry at-large. Stephanie Lanier — Lanier Property Group Some find it daunting to start building their brand in those early days, you know the ones, right after passing the licensing exam when you’re trying to figure out which way is up. But not Stephanie Lanier. From the beginning, Stephanie was determined to chart her course. In no time, Lanier was winning awards for her boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, NC. She was named one of Wilmington’s 5 Most Intriguing People and voted Best Real Estate Agent by the Star News, a prominent paper in Wilmington. What I love about Stephanie is that she is the real deal, no-fluff, and no-bs. She also happens to be one of the most caring people I have ever met. This “caring first mentality” has helped her create incredible in-roads in her community and establish her as the go-to real estate expert in her community. When she noticed that the Midtown area of Wilmington was without clear cut definition or block by block boundaries, she decided that someone needed to map the area and it might as well be her. This project quickly turned into a collaboration with city government, local businesses, and institutions to help define the Midtown District they call home. Stephanie’s someone who doesn’t wait for a seat at the table, she creates a seat. Ryan Dallas — The Ryan Dallas Team Ryan once told me “I’m constantly trying to improve my business, as well as the business of everyone involved with us.” This mindset is shared by the most successful brands in real estate today, but coming from Dallas — someone who I know is always looking for that next “thing” to give his agency an advantage in his market — it’s clear he has the perfect mentality for long term success. Amanda Todd — Amanda Todd Real Estate Group In case you haven’t checked out this episode of The Marketing Genius Podcast featuring Todd, it’s worth a listen — including and especially to learn from her inspiring life story and how she transformed from beginner agent to top producer, all within the span of a few years. Todd has incredible drive when it comes to “winning” in real estate. She has a comprehensive web presence filled with amazing, local-oriented content geared toward her buyer persona … but she also does a tremendous job at maximizing her now-well-known and well regarded personal brand online. Jason Oppenheim — The Oppenheim Group Los Angeles and New York are inarguably two of the biggest real estate markets in the country, particularly the luxury sectors. Thus, it’s a savvy move on the part of Oppenheim to claim a business stake in both cities in which he and his team help both buyers and sellers. If this isn’t the perfect epitome of “bold,” I don’t know what does. Google Oppenheim’s name, and you’ll see just how well he’s also claimed his digital stake. He has a presence on just about every corner of the internet where he needs to have one in order to ascend further in his core markets. The one commonality with each of these established channels? His name is prominently and uniformly displayed — something that’s vital to make the most of your personal brand online today. Laura Barry — Laura Barry Luxury Estates Passion is a must-have quality in real estate agents and brokers today. It just so happens to be a quality Barry is most certainly not lacking in, given her outstanding sales totals in recent years. That passion has translated into non-real estate media appearances that have further bolstered her personal brand. While this kind of online and offline recognition may not translate to immediate sales, it’s the ultimate means to gain more acknowledgement in a field that’s increasingly more difficult in which to become and stay memorable. Christian Angle — Christian Angle Real Estate Working in the Palm Beach market, Angle has regularly been spotlighted for his sales successes, but it’s more than just his bottom line that has separated him from the local agent and broker pack. Look a little closer at his real estate marketing approach, and you’ll pinpoint one of the characteristics of his online activities that stands out: routine mentions in the regional news, well-produced videos that highlight is agency and area, and an attractive and inviting content marketing approach — all of which incorporate and accentuate his personal brand. Amy Wienands — Amy Wienands Real Estate A Corcoran-approved broker, Wienands has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. She’s seemingly mastered the art of modern real estate marketing — including video marketing, as evidenced by her hundreds of polished recordings on her YouTube channel. What’s more though, is her consistent (and really, relentless) use of her brand name and, in turn, her logo across all of her digital outlets and tactics. You’re not likely to find any online asset or webpage that includes her name and doesn’t show off her stellar visual branding. It’s this kind of unwavering use of her personal brand to act as a representation for her business (and, more specifically, her website traffic and lead generation efforts) that eventually can get hopeful-top-producers on their way to real estate success. Alan Shafran — The Alan Shafran Group Ratings and reviews play a substantial role in the number of leads and clients you’re able to earn as an agent. Simply seeing four or five stars on Google or one of the major real estate platforms screams “top agent” to buyers and sellers scouring the internet for the right representation today. As Alan Shafran and the agents at his prestigious San Diego County firm have experienced and can attest, the power of this social proof (Google his name to see what I’m talking about) — in concordance with his personal brand being plastered on each of these ratings and reviews — has aided their growth efforts enormously. Dale Sorensen — Sorensen Real Estate Sorensen founded his company roughly four decades ago. As it was back in the late 70s when he got his agency off the ground, name brand recognition — in the form of one’s actual name — carries a lot of weight and determines how far one can go in the industry. With his son working by his side and a personal brand that’s become a mainstay in his region, Sorensen has seen appreciable growth in both development of his digital presence and grabbing a bigger share of his market. You don’t build a long-lasting, highly real estate agency based on personal branding alone, but the power your name can carry when it sticks around for years and years means you become an established authority in your field. Gary Gold — Gary Gold Luxury Real Estate “Sold By Gold”: Like Mr. Doyle mentioned earlier, your name is something you carry with you throughout your life. In this case, that name just so happens to (ironically) align well with Gary’s real estate business (and a booming one at that). Gary sold the #1 highest priced home In the US in 2016. Relaying your housing expertise with your core demographics is the perfect way to earn their trust and get them to reach out to you instead of the other way around (we’re in the inbound marketing era, after all). Gold does exactly this, as puts his name and face front and center with his online presence, like this page of videos on his site on which he shares his knowledge of the luxury space and how sellers can offload their homes for premium prices. Ben Bacal — Ben Bacal Estates You’ve got to have a number of things go right for your agency in order to make it in the Beverly Hills market. Bacal has been able to make his mark, particularly when it comes to breaking sales record after sale record in the area. Sell enough volume, and you’re bound to have people remember your name — whether they’re actively looking for high-end real estate or not. Having said that, Bacal doesn’t rest on his laurels. In fact, he’s pretty proactive in branding himself and exhibiting his strong desire to help his audience achieve their housing dreams. Samantha DeBianchi — DeBianchi Real Estate “Real estate is personal. Technology cannot get personal with a potential buyer or seller — it’s impossible.” DeBianchi offered this insight to CNBC back in 2016, and before you say, “But technology is essential for agents today,” remember that real estate is about that personal connection — the technology just helps reinforce that connection. At the end of the day, though — as DeBianchi knows and has been able to accomplish throughout her illustrious career — you need to get on the level of your clients and truly understand their preferences and pain points to win them over — and over, and over, and over again. There’s few better ways to get personal with your leads and clients than to simply say, “Hi, I’m _______ — how can I help?” The second you utter your name and note your goal is to aid their buying or selling efforts, you’re in. Jenny Wemert — The Wemert Group You may heave heard me talk about how “real estate is about being the local expert” at some point in the past. It’s a topic I love discussing for one simple reason: It’s the absolute truth. It’s also something Wemert understands more than most agents. Her personal branding is all about positioning herself not as just a local expert, but the local expert — To show for her efforts, she and her team have earned 522 reviews on Zillow, 200+ on Realtor.com and then a bunch more scattered on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Next Door and a few other sites. Jenny recently told me, “We love letting our clients say what we shouldn’t. We’re always honored when they spend the time to share and brag on our behalf.” Wemert explained her process on the Marketing Genius Podcast, “Once you’ve earned clients, the chances of getting their business again and building long-term relationships with them multiplies exponentially.” Nick Baldwin — Nick Baldwin and Associates Baldwin is one of those rare real estate professionals in that he’s dabbled in just about every potential marketing tactic and technique possible to promote his business. He’s found the ones that work best for his agency, ditched the lesser effective activities, and continually refined his web presence. But that’s not the whole story. At the heart of every one of his online marketing efforts is his personal brand. As Baldwin noted on in his interview, he and his agent crew are always “right in the trenches. I think if you’re doing that, you’re on the right track.” The common trait among all of these distinguished real estate pros is clear: They not only use their own names to promote their businesses, but they also do the hard work necessary to care for their clients, develop their marketing chops and create processes for repeatable success. With that goal in mind, they are able to propel their organizations locally, regionally, and — in some instances — even nationally. Oh, and One Last Thing! While everyone chooses their own road to recognition, it’s clear — based on the career trajectories of these successful brands — you can make it big as a real estate professional by utilizing your name across any and every facet of your online and offline marketing. Seth Price I’m on a mission to transform the way you think about personal branding to empower your life’s work. My keynote speeches connect me with audiences all over the world. 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