Written by Mike Ciesiensky
You know what it takes build a strong business. Hard work. Long hours. Delivering value. Building trust. Whether you work with livestock or the land you love, your brand is more than just a mark. It’s the principles you live by, the way you treat people, the promises you keep, the value of your handshake.
The intangibles establish your brand, and you focus on them every day as a matter of habit. Each morning, you take time to get ready for the day. You think about what’s most important. You dress in something that makes you feel good. Something that says you are good at what you do. Something that showcases who you are and lets people know they can trust you. You drive to your office, with that sign that cost you a lot of money and the lobby chairs that say “come sit”. Pictures of your family. Strong coffee. Fresh water for your thirsty guests. Something that showcases who you are and lets people know they can trust you. You move to the tangibles and ensure your name is spelled right on your business cards. The logo is the one you approved. Your print advertisements look good, and this year’s Christmas cards turned out great! Something that showcases who you are and lets people know they can trust you.
The physical you, the professional you, is ready for business. But what about the digital you? That’s right; the digital you. With 90% of today’s buyers and sellers using the internet to research their options before ever contacting an agent, it doesn’t matter if you wore your good boots, stocked the coffee, or upgraded to the embossed cards if the digital you left the house in pajamas. In today’s world, the digital you is working 24×7 through your website, social media, and emails that come and go at all hours. Does your digital brand showcase who you are and let people know they can trust you?
There is a lot of good news about the digital you. Digital you works 24 hours a day. Digital you brings in new business and doesn’t require commission. Digital you can talk to one specific client, or all your clients at the same time. Digital you can show property immediately, at any time of day, without any notice. Digital you can show 15 properties at once. Digital you can do quite a bit.
So where do you start? How do you know what digital you looks like? Google yourself! Google your name. Google your company name. Google one of your properties. Google your phone number. Who will you meet? Is it someone that showcases who you are and lets people know they can trust you?
Polishing your digital brand should start with the basics; your website. Having a website is no longer an option, but more than that, your website is the single most important tool to represent you online. At a minimum, it should be simple to use, easy to access the information desired, and it must work. Most importantly, it should showcase who you are and let people know they can trust what you say. Not so basic are the many amazing web tools available to help you really showcase your properties and enhance your client interaction. Things like high quality photos, property and agent profile films, enhanced mapping tools, mobile friendly technology, email marketing, and database integration with companies like Lands of America to automate property updates.
Social media is also important because it gives your company a voice. It allows you to directly communicate with your clients in real time without having to stand right next to them. It is an invaluable tool for brand recognition, client feedback, referral sales, market research, concept development, and it is extremely cost-effective. However, if you do not actively manage it, it can produce negative results. So, if you do not intend to manage and maintain your social media sites, do not create them. Social media sites are an extension of your business. You must have someone manning the desk in order to showcase who you are and let people know they can trust you.
For help assessing the needs of your digital brand, contact the author at (214) 325-4051.