Branding yourself is a fairly easy concept that’s difficult to execute. Here are a few steps to make the branding process easier.
1. What is my process? Consider writing down your process first. Seeing your process clearly defined will help you explain to potential clients what exactly will be done with the listing.
Example: First I put the listing on LoopNet, then I order the sign and create a brochure. After that I email the information out to all the brokers in my area and follow-up with mailers (if necessary).
2. How do I want people to think of me? Reviewing your process is a good first step in contemplating how complex or simple your strategy is. Now you can look at it critically and compare your strategy versus what people will think of you.
I want people to feel awe. You are the expert in their particular market. You know every retail manager in the downtown area, and you’re reputation in that community is strong.
I want people to feel at ease. Your lower commission allows your client to be more at ease with the final cost, you have automated processes when dealing with listings, and the whole process is largely worry-free and hands off.
I want people to feel confidence. You are diligent and known for getting the job done fast. You only take on a few listings, but your 24/hour job is to get vacant office space occupied in a hurry.
Does your overall strategy match with how you want clients to feel about you?
3. What do I want to achieve? We’ve spent the first two steps thinking about others, but what do you want? If you hate dealing with landlords consider focusing on tenant rep. If you have showing properties consider specializing in selling property and leasing vacant space.
To have a specialty business community that considers me their one and only expert.
Provide less expensive and worry free marketing to many different clients’ listings.
Be to go-to-person that’s known for getting the job done fast.
Don’t be afraid to go backwards and re-design your strategy again and again until you perfect the fit between you and your clients’ needs.
4. Who am I selling services to? “Everyone” is not a good answer. The purpose of marketing is to identify exactly who wants your service and advertise to those people. A good example of a target market is:
Manufacturing Managers in North East Las Vegas.
(1) Target your field: Industrial. (2) Target business contact: Managers. (3) Target area: North East Las Vegas.
5. How do I remove my barriers to success?
Competition: Be the best at things your competition does the worst. Write down your three main adversaries. Now list the things they do best and worst. Focus on the worst and make sure you’re the best at it.
Financing: Talk to your bank about a small business loan or look into government grants or specialty loans for additional funding.
No Perceived Value: If you find people are losing their faith in hiring an agent, it’s likely because they’ve been burned before. Spend some extra time talking with a potential client, buy them coffee, and send them monthly mailers about their market place. After awhile they’re sure to come around.
6. Good, Cheap, Fast. Pick Two. This is perfect rule of thumb since there is no way a business can be everything to everybody. It’s not likely you can deliver the best services, dedicate tons of time to lease/sell every building, and have the lowest commissions in town. Instead, prioritize which one or two of these would contribute the most to your success.
Good: Agents that decide that they’re going to be “the best” specialize in a subcategory. When you’re the leading expert in retail space located in Downtown Las Vegas, clients are willing to pay a premium for your extensive knowledge.
Cheap: Are you in a competitive market where clients are looking for the biggest bang for their buck? Consider creating a streamlined process where a listing comes in, follows an automated process and largely sits untouched for weeks at a time.
Fast: For commercial real estate agents this means spending a lot of time on a few projects in order to get them sold/leased quickly. Agents with this main philosophy will likely take on few projects, but spend 8 hours a day finding potential buyers/tenants.
7. What’s my Angle? Hopefully by now you’ve clarified your target market, what you will be “best” at, you have decided which barriers to success to remove, and you have prioritized the rule-of-thumb: Good / Cheap / Fast. Now you have a much better idea of what kind of business you’ll be running, and what demographic will be buying from you. Now you can start deciding on what marketing materials your business needs and what message they will convey.