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Monday, April 29, 2013

Taking Your Personal Fantasy To Personal Branding

The world of real estate offers the opportunity for real estate agents to 'recreate' themselves.  We can live out our fantasies, create an image of how we want the public to view us, market the crap out of it, call it personal branding and before you know it, you ARE it!

Goodwill 'Dorothy' Shoes
Want to work your life away in shorts and a T-shirt?  Sell ONE house on the lake.  Then identify yourself as the 'lake' man (or woman-though I think I would come up with something else if I went that route) put on some shorts, take a couple photos of your fine self smiling on a boat (a couple of nice fish on line)  - send out some post cards sporting a creative tag line.  Then USE IT, USE IT, USE IT.  Before you know it - THEY will be using it. Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public will only know you as 'The Lake Guy'.  No one will raise an eyebrow when you show up at a closing smiling in shorts.  I promise.  Seen it all over Chapin, SC when I worked relocation in that market.   Just make certain there are enough properties ON the lake (or your chosen market) that are sell able so you can actually make a living doing that.  (and know HOW to fish)

I started about 7 years ago sending out monthly newsletters to my neighborhood.  Called myself 'Your Neighborhood REALTOR'.  But guess what?  I actually lived in the neighborhood.  Walked by their houses EVERY day, attended their yard sales, they saw me mowing my own lawn.  I don't market myself as the neighborhood REALTOR to the whole town for crying out loud.  That's just ridiculous, people know better. They know B.S. when they hear it, they don't have to smell it or taste it to know what it is.

When I emailed those newsletters I included a watermark so my 'work' couldn't be stolen easily. (by fellow agents)  I am flattered if they like it enough to copy certainly, but at least retype it or something.  Don't make a photo copy and keep as yours.  My watermark prevented such blatant theft.
My Yard Sale Pin
I found a cute pin at a yard sale, took a photo of it, and made it my trademark so to speak.  My website is and using those red shoes has been a cake walk to creative marketing!  Also allows me an excuse to purchase the much needed red shoes for myself as well.  Sparkly ones!

Friends are very thoughtful about finding 'Dorothy' items for me to use.  Some are helpful, some just make you roll your eyes but they ARE thinking of me and that is everything.

Creative marketing really isn't about the home.  It's about the agent.  Driving the business to YOU. Buyers
Dorothy In My Office
and sellers, so you can in turn make the deal.  Kind of like a matchmaker for real estate.  The days of one side against the other is soooo passe'. With financing and
Before NEW 'Dorothy' shoes
conditional issues as they are you will be dead in the water before you get started with that confrontational 'steal a house' attitude.

Personal branding keeps you geared up to a higher level when things are starting to stink, clients are a pain, lenders aren't getting it done and appraisers are begging for a beating.  You can regroup and focus on something positive, yourself.  Find your happy place and stay there for a few hours and before you know it, you no longer want to slam their face into the desk.  Trust me, it works.

A friend offered me the opportunity to set up a booth last Halloween and hand out candy at her daughters school.  That's me, in my Dorothy costume - purchased from Goodwill!   (I have since made some more fitting shoes) but it got the job done.  I gained a listing off that stint.  If you look closely you will see I am wearing the actual pin from my 'logo'.

As luck (?) would have it, our REALTOR Association performed a skit at our April Membership Luncheon for Fair Housing Month. Filmed and produced by our members and posted to YouTube.  Can you guess the theme?
See what has happened here?  I AM Dorothy.  A tad older to be sure, can't sing for squat...but DOROTHY nonetheless!

I think next year I would like to be Mrs. Nicholas Cage...