Personal Branding For Realtors


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #40 - April 20, 2000

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Towes, Editor

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About the Leaders Post
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The Leaders Post is the newsletter for professionals committed
to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an online community of
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to their
clients. If you prefer the online version, the current issue as
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Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

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Contents
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- Personal Branding - is it effective or a waste of money?
- Targeting Buyers and Sellers on the web
- Misspell your way to success
- New House and Home Real Estate Page sites
- Don't waste your hard earned money
- Another use for a cell phone
- Special Agent 911
- Tip Of The Day

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Net Success
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Personal Branding - is it effective or a waste of money? There
seems to be conflicting views on the subject, and I thought I
would weigh in with my "two cents" - at least on the Personal
Branding on the internet part.

In real estate the concept of Personal Branding would be
defined as the attempt of an agent to distinguish themselves as
a separate entity from their company - so that prospective
clients will think of the agent instead of the company when the
time comes to buy or sell.

To build this personal recognition agents will generally reduce
or eliminate from their promotional material, the significance
of the corporate brand that has already achieved "top of mind"
status by virtue of millions of dollars of advertising. A unique
service proposition (USP) and individual logo is substituted on
all marketing materials and a massive and lengthy advertising
campaign ensues.

Needless to say, the companies and real estate trainers that
provide these advertising materials (and promote the idea of
personal branding) are quite happy about the whole situation.
But is it effective?

Any agent who has ever changed companies knows that as far as
buyers, sellers, and past clients are concerned the agent
already is the personal brand! Buyers generally don't care what
company the agent standing in front of them is working for.
They only care about whether they feel the agent has their best
interest in mind and that the agent can provide the services
they need.

Every seller thinks that their neighborhood is special and they
want to hire an agent who "understands" that fact - because only
then will they be comfortable with the selling price of their
home. The best personal branding is sold signs - lots of them! A
personal logo means little in comparison. The sold signs ARE the
USP!!

Personal Branding has perhaps the most value in marketing to
other agents for referrals. It is a good way to distinguish ones
self from all the other agents in the market area. Many agents
understand this fact and have developed a marketing plan
specifically for the purpose.

Personal Branding increasingly includes a web site. Many
experienced agents have told me that they are under no illusions
- they understand that they may never receive a lead from the
public as a result of their web site. They have developed their
web site to match their branding efforts just so they can say
they have a web site and give out the address when they go to
real estate conferences and solicit referrals from other agents.
If they happen to receive a lead from the general public it is
rare indeed and considered a bonus.

A major provider of personal brochures to real estate agents
admits that the average prospect will spend just seven seconds
viewing and reading a personal brochure. The average prospect
will spend a similar amount of time viewing most personally
branded web sites!

In order to create a brand there has to be regular repetition
of the message over a long period of time. Buyers and sellers on
the web will generally not be subject to that repetition so the
branded website is ineffective.

If an agent wants to target buyers and sellers on the internet
a different system is necessary.

First it must be recognized that buyers and sellers who visit
internet sites come from search engines and directories and not
from advertising. That means that any system to create buyer and
seller leads on the internet must include good search engine
positioning in many major search engines.

Secondly, once prospects arrive at your web site, their first
impression should reinforce the fact that this is an informative
and helpful destination. The first things prospects want to see
is not necessarily your smiling face along with a list of your
accomplishments.

Offering free, valuable information of interest to the real
estate prospect are more likely to keep people at their site and
earn repeat visitors. You can earn your potential customer's
respect and confidence by sharing your hard-earned knowledge and
increase the likelihood of them contacting you for help.

A good example of a proven effective web presence system for
real estate agents can be found at
Real Estate Websites

The House and Home Real Estate Page web presence system come as
a turnkey package and is continuously updated to conform to the
changing criteria required by search engines - so you can sleep
nights and concentrate on selling real estate! Check it out at
http://www.rncinternet.com/real_estate.html.

* Only ONE agent per market area is eligible for this total web
presence and promotion service! If you are considering
marketing your services on the Internet, why not have the #1 web
presence in your area? For more information or to reserve your
market area.

Hurry! Before someone else takes this opportunity in your area!

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WSe all assume that people can spell correctly...but when typing
your search criteria it is very easy and very common to miss
spell key phrases or words.

To improve your page position, it is advised that you purposely
place miss-spelled words in your KEYWORDS META-TAG.

Example:
I work in the Kawartha Lakes Area, so I use
Kawrtha, Kwartha,

The key is to select those words which you know are commonly
miss-spelled.

Hope you find this useful

Alan How

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What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are
gratefully accepted, and if used you will receive credit along
with a link to your web site or (e mail address if you don't
have a web site yet.)

Send submissions to

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This and That
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Stop The Presses!

In the "Save Your Money" section:

This morning I received another spam from an organization that
is trying to relieve real estate agents of their hard earned
cash. I thought I would pass along some important information so
you could make an informed decision about such "services".

There are a few outfits out there trying similar variations of
the same theme - here is the offending section of the spam I
received this morning:

....Not only is the data you submit placed in our professional
search directory, but it is also formatted into what we call
"gateway pages". This service alone is worth approximately $2000
per year. Currently we have (20) domains that a potential
client can find out information about you and the services you
offer. We will be adding another (50) in April. These pages are
submitted on a daily basis to all major search engines. Each
"gateway page" contains your submitted data, keywords, meta-
tags, and DIRECT LINKS TO YOUR WEB SITE AND E-MAIL! To make you
more searcheable, we also add descriptive paragraphs that are
carefully scripted to "FLUFF AND PUFF" your services to the
search engines and to all potential clients.

Once these "gateway pages" have been indexed by the major
search engines, you will experience a massive increase in
traffic to your web site. This will result in a substantial
increase in sales and revenue for your business.....

There are monthly fees charged for this service and other
similar services that promise to submit either your site or
gateway pages on a regular basis. The problem is that search
engines do not take kindly to such a strategy of mass submission
of machine generated pages and ban the sites. (see
http://www.leaderspost.com/lp_38.html)

The above mentioned service is already receiving the dreaded
"too many urls submitted" message from AltaVista which indicates
that it has been banned. Try it yourself when you receive the
spam.

Other search engines are employing similar spam busting methods
which means that these services are worthless and may even get
your personal site banned.

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Your cell phone can be useful for more than just calling
clients and colleagues.

You can call yourself, too.

When you're out of the office and you suddenly think of a great
new business idea, or you need to make a note of something you
have to do, use your cell phone. Leave a message on your
(office or home) voice mail for easy retrieval when you return.

But do get into the habit of checking your voice mail the
minute you return to base (if you are one of the ones who do
not)...top priority.

Carolyne Lederer


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Tip Of The Day
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"Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly
understood. It means forget inconvenient duties, then forgive
yourself for forgetting. By rigid practice and stern
determination, it comes easy." -- Mark Twain

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