Think of the most famous real estate agent you know. What are they famous for? What is their brand known for? What is their message for the real estate world?
Real estate agents with a large national platform didn’t start out big. They worked for years to build their audience and perfect their message before hitting the national stage. If you’re ready to boost your brand and take your real estate career to the next level, read on to see how you can expand your audience and platform.
Building Your Personal Brand
A personal brand is a powerful building block in your real estate business. Colleen Low from Keller Williams Pacific Estate in Orange County, California, has spent 17 years building her personal brand to such an extent that all of her clients now come through referrals. She doesn’t need to rely on marketing to find leads because she’s centered herself within her community.
Through how-to-invest real estate seminars, pie events, investment seminars about Airbnbs, taco trucks, and community shredding events, The Low Group is known for its relationship-based approach to client acquisition. Colleen sees her job as a service to the community, and she makes every effort to remember her clients’ important dates. She programs her phone to remind herself about anniversaries, birthdays, and even death dates. And her clients appreciate this personal touch.
After focusing on her personal brand for almost two decades, Colleen has decided it’s time to move to the next stage of her career. “You have a bigger impact when you get up on the stage”, she says. Right now, she can only be a resource for the people who know her personally.
Getting Confident Onstage
Are you an extrovert? Do you get energized when you go to parties or events? With nearly half of Americans self-identifying as an extrovert, chances are good that you fall into this category.
Being an extrovert doesn’t mean you’re automatically ready to hop up onstage and share your thoughts. For many public speakers, taking a class or a course helps polish their delivery and become more confident onstage. The Balance has compiled the seven best online speaking classes to help you improve your stage presence. Taking this extra help is a good idea if public speaking still strikes fear in your heart or if you just need a morale booster.
For extrovert Sheena Saydam of Saydam Properties in Washington D.C., getting up on the stage felt easy and natural. Yet even for her, the first time she addressed an audience she realized that she needed a little help to nail her delivery. Because she wants to guarantee that she’s delivering value to her audience, she emails audience members afterward and asks them for feedback so that she can improve her message the next time she gets in front of a crowd.
Finding Speaking Gigs
There are speaking gigs all around you. No, really, there are.
Think about it:
- Does your friend have a podcast where you could be a guest?
- Do you have a Facebook page for your business where you can go live?
- Do you find it easier to record a quick Instagram video to talk about a new property?
- Are you part of a networking group like BNI?
- Have you ever thought about showing properties or giving real estate tips on YouTube?
All of these instances represent a chance for you to talk to an audience who is hungry to hear your expertise about the real estate market. Practicing your public speaking skills on these relatively informal platforms is also a chance for you to hone the delivery of your message, and it’s an opportunity to grow your audience.
Creating Your Own Speaking Opportunities
Once you feel like you’ve nailed down the smaller speaking gigs, try your hand at finding bigger audiences. Sheena Saydam started her public speaking journey at her brokerage Keller Williams. Keller Williams seeks out high-producing agents who are doing something a little different to give presentations at their marketing centers. Sheena is a master at social media marketing, and she and her team closed almost 200 contracts in the last year. She gave free presentations to Keller Williams’ agents until a mentor told her that she needed to charge for her time away from her family.
You don’t need to wait for opportunities to come to you. Sheena also created The Messy Middle Mastermind Group as a space for leaders to share their journey with other leaders. As an added bonus, her mastermind group also hosts a yearly event during which she gets a chance to address these leaders. You can create speaking opportunities by hosting events, creating a mastermind group, or giving seminars on topics on which you consider yourself an expert.
Identifying Conference Opportunities
Brand recognition can truly explode when you step up on a national stage at a National Association of Realtors® (NAR) event. After you’ve built your brand and landed some speaking gigs, the next level in networking is identifying conference opportunities so you can reach a larger audience. If you’re trying to figure out how to take that next step, Speaking Lifestyle has compiled a massive list detailing where to find conference opportunities.
Here are a few collections of real estate specific events from across the country:
- NAR Realtor® Events
- Top-Rated Real Estate Events on Tradefest
- Real Estate Events on Eventbrite
- Realtyna’s Must-Attend Real Estate Events
And don’t forget that attending conferences is a tax-deductible expense for the self-employed (e.g. real estate agents).
Giving Back to Your Community
The visibility you’ll gain from speaking at conferences and events has the potential to turn your personal brand into a positive force for good.
Sheena Saydam gives back to a mix of local and global communities that focus on issues that are close to her heart, and she’s been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the power of her real estate brand.
The Tree House of Montgomery County and Pillars4Dignity are just a few of the local D.C. organizations that she’s fundraised for, and she’s worked with Mission & Movement to build wells in Africa. Speaking about real estate, Sheena says, “You can’t do this just for the money”.
Colleen Low agrees. Her community outreach programs are centered around what she calls a position of contribution. She says, “I just look at how can I help them? And then it works out”. When Colleen’s son was diagnosed with cancer last year, she experienced an outpouring of support from the community she’d helped build. She believes that all of her hard work helping clients find the perfect home came back to her tenfold when she needed it most.
The Bottom Line
No matter what stage you’re in with building your personal brand, getting to the next stage in your real estate journey will take some examination of your personal development. What do you need to do to reach more people with your message? You might choose to take some public speaking classes or work with a coach to polish your message. You could practice in smaller venues as you build your audience.
Whatever route you take into real estate conferences and speaking gigs, both Sheena and Colleen agree that building a brand platform is more satisfying when you can use it to do more good in the world.