A few statements should help us to get on the same page as to how your real estate business and real estate brand will prosper in the future.
- Almost all real estate practitioners are independent contractors.
- Even the IRS has recognized their independent contractor status with special tax considerations.
- Your success and income will depend primarily on your own efforts and ability to generate and close leads and real estate deals.
- In many cases, the real estate agent will have more money invested in their startup than their broker who may just provide an office space.
Sure, you may choose a brokerage where you’ll hang your license based on their reputation and marketing in your area. You may choose to affiliate with one of the major franchises to take advantage of their prominence in your market area. You may even be promised a share of certain print and other marketing paid for by the brokerage. However, none of these brokerage and franchise provided services or advantages will make you successful without your own efforts, education, work, and sphere of influence building activities. You must build your own independent brand if you’re going to have long term success that’s portable and can grow.
Why not use real estate brand resources available to you? You should use them, but none of these brokerage and franchise provided services or advantages will make you successful without your own efforts, education, work, and sphere of influence building activities. You must build your own independent brand if you’re going to have long term success that’s portable and can grow.
Rule #1: Get Over Your Name as Your Brand
Sure, it’s nice to have people recognize your name, especially when they say I saw your billboard, website, or maybe your magazine ads. It is true that many real estate professionals make their names their brands.
Brand Question #1: Do you want to grow your business past yourself?
To help in your brand decisions or changing what you may be doing now, ask yourself how you envision your business in 5 or 10 years. If you never want your business to be any larger than just you, then maybe you’re fine as you are.
If you want at the least an assistant or two, maybe some buyer agents, or even a brokerage of your own, then perhaps your name as a brand will not do the job.
Rule #2: Think Independent Contractor
You are an independent contractor, not an employee of your brokerage or a franchise. You are your business, and branding your business should keep in mind that you are working for your own individual success and possible future growth.
Brand Question #2: Are you making decisions like an employee?
Start paying attention to how you make marketing and business decisions. If you are planning an ad, are you doing so in a way that fits into the larger ad of your brokerage with other agents featured there as well? The broker often gets good advertising rates for a contract with large regular ads, and they may run brokerage ads with you and other agents and your listings featured in the same ad.
There is nothing wrong with that, but are there ways in which you can make yourself look different than the others in the same ad? Of course, you’ll need approval, but always be looking for ways to differentiate you from other brokerage agents, even in common ads. They are in truth your competition.
Rule #3: Some Day You Will Want to Make a Change
No matter what you think now, at some point in the future, maybe more than once, you’ll want to make a change in where you hang your license. Count on it. It may be due to changes made that you do not like, or more likely because you think you can do better or grow faster in another arrangement.
Brand Question #3: If you leave your current situation, what marketing are you able to take with you?
If you’ve mostly just relied on your broker’s marketing, you may be in a tough spot if you want to move. In fact, it’s a good business decision on the part of brokers to provide good marketing, as it makes you more dependent and less likely to leave.
You should constantly be doing some of your own marketing. You should have your own website as well. Build your real estate brand as an independent business person and you’ll find it much easier to make a change in the future.