Creating a personal brand builds trust and credibility
By Yanika Liew
There is no better time to be a real estate agent. With the industry’s increasing digitisation, it becomes easier to create a brand not just for the company but for agents and negotiators themselves.
What does it mean to create branding for yourself? The real estate industry is a people-centred business, even when working under an agency with its own company brand, it is important to create a trustworthy reputation for your name. Real estate agents and negotiators are the front face of their business.
“Branding helps real estate agents build trust and credibility, stand out in a crowded market, and attract the right clients,” GT Nelson Realty agency leader Alan Lai said.
Through personal branding, agents and negotiators present their record to potential clients, whether it is to showcase dedication, networking ability or credibility. Agents find ways to best leverage their most important asset, their likeability and name. In the digital age, this extends to social media posts.
In real estate, a good reputation allows agents to receive more clients and referrals, claiming an essential part of the business.
“It helps clients, developers and owners, quickly identify and remember our agent strength. Good branding is just like a name card that can speak for itself. Real estate industry competition is fierce, having a cut through client first impression when thinking about real estate service, it makes a huge difference and a big impact in this competitive industry,” Lai said.
Personal branding goes beyond behaviour and mannerisms. Having a strong brand allows agents and negotiators to introduce themselves with a clear goal in mind, increasing their credibility as a professional.
As the real estate industry continues to grow, it will only become more competitive. New tools and ways of business are emerging, and it is up to these professionals to make use of them to increase business efficacy.
Branding can come in the form of building a website, creating a logo, and establishing a style with which clients can associate you with. From a robust social media strategy, content creation as well as advertisements, these are the common perceptions of what branding entails.
Successful personal branding goes further than logos and name cards.
“To be successful in the real estate line, there is no difference with entrepreneurs,” Lai said.
“Discipline, passion, hard work, humbleness and last but not least, the motivation to move upward,” he pointed out.
These personality traits were the ones agents and negotiators were encouraged to develop to succeed in the field, allowing them to create a reputable brand.
These will allow clients to distinguish good agents from the rest, identifying the unique selling point an agent offers. This is not to say that marketing strategies such as content creation and social media posts are to be set aside. Rather, utilise these tools to create your personal brand.
How do real estate agents and negotiators build their brands and encourage people to recognise their names in the field?
Rise of social media
“Social media, community influence, company recognition and industry recognition,” Lai listed.
“I have worked on various social media platforms to build my branding including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube channels,” he said.
Similarly, Great Casa Realty senior real estate negotiator (REN) Mohd Rizal Hadi Rusli said that he built his brand as an estate agent through marketing and advertising.
“I also share the process of how to sell the house on my personal social media. In a way to let my friends in the list know that I'm an estate agent,” he said.
These methods take time and require dedication, which Lai had stated in the beginning. Much like a social media career, real estate is all about networking and word of mouth. Agents and negotiators should know their target audience, their needs and the trends that are currently in the market. With knowledge of the real estate industry, it becomes easier to provide solutions to your ideal client.
“To start a career as an estate agent is not only to advertise [the] listing in hand. It is more than that. Agents must know the title of every listing because it is not the same at all,” Mohd said.
“It is easier for agents to sell if they know who their market is,” he added.
Mohd also pointed to the importance of networking between agents and clients, as well as networking with all stakeholders in the industry, from bankers to lawyers.
“To sell a house, it is not [just] within vendor-agent-buyer, it involves many parties,” he said.
“During the viewing session, I also explain to the client [what] needs to be completed before starting the booking or loan process. So that client can better prepare their documentation,” he added.
Being transparent with the client will allow them to gain confidence in your abilities. Agents and negotiators can also look to marketing strategies that suit their brand.
Mohd explained that he utilises paid marketing. From that, he would be able to build trust and his personal branding as an estate agent.
“Social media is one of the best strategies to build our own branding nowadays. I can start by sharing a house tour video on YouTube to attract your audience. With the help of social media, we can present our video to our audience with zero cost,” Lai pointed out.
He noted that participating in management for joint management bodies (JMB), management corporation (MC) and residents’ association (RA) can improve the sphere of influence.
“[Being] trustworthy and consistent is the key. As people always said “word of mouth” is the best marketing strategy,” Lai said.
Mohd noted that the key qualities necessary to succeed as an agent are to have a full grasp of knowledge of the land and listings at hand. With a comprehensive viewpoint on the product, the agent or negotiator would be able to quickly and efficiently conduct their work, building credibility with their clients.
“Every title has a process or procedure to complete it. The timeframe is also important,” he said.
“Until now, there are many marketing platforms that can be used,” he added, pointing to both free and paid marketing.
All social media, from Facebook, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, and Tik Tok can be used for free and paid marketing. Other platforms such as StarProperty and many more are often utilised by agents and negotiators to promote their listings.
Mohd noted that from last year, he had added his listings to StarProperty for advertisement.
“I have extra benefits compared to other platforms,” he said.
“All the platforms that I used are to make sure I can help owners to sell out their property and get as many buyers as I can to arrange viewing,” he added.
While personal branding can often be a difficult road to walk, it allows dedicated professionals to earn a distinct and unique identity for themselves to the benefit of their clients.