The Troubled Real Estate Profession and What it Says About Online Personal Branding

The Troubled Real Estate Profession and What it Says About Online Personal Branding
Learn from other industries.

A recent article about the troubled Real Estate Profession bring to mind some of my previous experiences with the Real Estate and Financial Services. It seems that these two professions for years where many people who were unemployed or were people in career transition would make an attempt. Not a knock on the profession. More just an observation based on my experience.

I dealt with tons on newcomers to the business who were attempting everything and anything in order to get clients. I’m sure you have seen some of the gimmicks and chatzkies that would inevitably end up in your mailbox or on your fridge… from the flyswatters, to the magnets to the paper dispensers- the ubiquity of the industry and the professionals who worked it was apparent to anyone with a pulse.

Further the competition amongst the professionals was impressive. With the rise of the housing market tons of new professionals jumped into the profession and make distinguishing one Realtor (more on this designation in a moment) from another very difficult. In addition, there was nothing unique about 95% of the profession- they were all doing the same thing- both marketing wise and within their service and product offering.

The industry, noting the rising problems associated with the poor image perception of a Realtor set in motion some efforts to control its perception. This brought the rise of the Realtor designation. This designation was an attempt to further qualify professionals in the industry and have them stand out from the rest as ‘more qualified’; all the while making some additional cash from those who were willing to pay for it. There was some attempt at alerting the public to what the designation meant… but do you know what it means? Do you care?

So with tons of people in the profession, and with many of them new/young/inexperienced they got a nice taste of what the industry could look like- nice, quick transactions with fat commissions and people lined up out the door with [fake] credit and a want to buy a home.

Before the bottom fell out of the market,

Those who did stand out, brought something interesting and unique to the table… often that something was themselves. So, why is this article interesting, read some of the quotes:

Step #3. Create your own blog

You can create your blog in a couple of ways. You can take advantage of preset, free blog platforms, such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and TypePad.com. Or you
can hire a company to create a customized blog. But make sure that whoever you hire knows how to optimize a blog for SEO purposes.

Step #4. Write posts about the area you’re targeting

Ines Hegedus-Garcia and her husband, Enrique Garcia, Majestic Properties Realtors® in Miami, get good rankings in search results by posting about their city and its neighborhoods.

Start with interesting facts about a neighborhood, town, or city. Write a post about the schools in each neighborhood. Localize national news related to the
industry. Compile a report on housing values in a particular neighborhood, for example. Write a review of your favorite restaurant and post it on your blog. Talk about your favorite fruit market, barber shop, shopping mall. Write a post about the history of the neighborhood, town or city.

To collect some post ideas, pay attention to the questions your clients and prospective clients ask each day. Write the answers in the form of a blog post.

“We figure if a customer is calling us to ask us a question, they probably aren’t the only ones who don’t know the answer,” she says.

Remember to include a call-to-action in some of your posts. This could be a request to contact the agent or leave feedback. Or it could be a prompt to leave their name and email address, so you can send them information, including listings of properties they might be interested
in.

Step #5. Gradually develop your voice

Hegedus-Garcia says learning how to write in an informal voice was one of the toughest challenges she faced when creating her real estate blog. She had to
train herself to write the way she speaks, and that came from practice.

Step #6. Start incorporating posts about yourself

After creating a good base of posts about your area, beginning writing anecdotal posts about yourself, says Chaney. People want to know the person who’s handling the important transaction of buying or selling a home.

When Hegedus-Garcia and her husband switched to Majestic Properties from another real estate firm, for example, they wrote a post about why they made that decision. An even more personal post is the one Hegedus-Garcia wrote about being an architect and her love of
historic homes.

Posting on a more personal level builds credibility and acts as an inspiration for someone to work with you if
they have similar interests. But do it sparingly, so people don’t misinterpret your site as a personal blog.

Step #7. Upload videos, podcasts and photos to blog posts

Almost every post on Hegedus-Garcia’s blog has either a photo or video. She says it helps achieve a balance of text and visual stimulation, which gives you a better chance of connecting with readers.

Hegedus-Garcia and her husband create and edit homemade videos of Miami, including shots of the beaches, skyline and particular neighborhoods. All of these, when tagged properly, can contribute to a higher search ranking
for your blog – podcasts included.

Photos, especially of property, with quick catchy descriptions are key, says Ralph Roberts, owner of Ralph Roberts Realty in Washington Township, Michigan.

When blogging about a new listing, email a link of the blog post to the seller of the property. Make sure here aren’t any mistakes. Then ask
them to forward the link to everyone they know. This action could make the posting viral and drive more business for you, he says.

Interesting, huh? Especially in what I advise for anyone who want to promote their online personal brand. In surmise of above here are a few things that we can take away from this:

1) Find your niche/target market.
2) Focus and specialize.
3) Be genuine and open- in short, authentic
4) Use multiple forms of vitual and viral elements in your online marketing approach. Website and blogs are key and important ways to establish credibility and expertise.

There is much more that goes into establishing your online brand, however these are some of the building blocks. It takes some time and efforts to get it done, and once it is established you are in a position to get what you want- whether that is more clients, a better job, and, if done right, a better/more fullfilling dating life. Imagine! All this from an arcane and poorly defined phrase like Online Personal Branding.


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Growing into Greatness: Defining the domain for your Personal Brand.
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The Keys to Small Business Success
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Building Your Position: Laying the Groundwork of Your Future Marketing Efforts
Building Your Position: Laying the Groundwork of Your Future Marketing Efforts

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How to Snuff Your Competition

10 Ways to Green Your Home Office
10 Ways to Green Your Home Office

Does Your SMB Do These 8 Things?
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Market, Market, Market – The most visible brand wins
Market, Market, Market – The most visible brand wins

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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.

Learn more at MarkMontoya.com, on Twitter, on LinkedIn or StumbleUpon, or Google+.

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