The single most important thing you can do to grow your business in real estate, besides serving the customer exceptionally well, is marketing your brand.
In the last two years, there has been a significant shift in Milwaukee by one new franchise to recruit agents under the premise that teams are a better way to build your real estate career than being an individual agent. The team concept and agent concept are two different ways to build your real estate career. They both function well to support the sales process in real estate, but they are different. We groom and support both teams and individuals at Powers Realty Group. So what is the big deal? Why blog ...because of truth in advertising matters. Integrity and honesty are at the heart of the customer/agent relationship, and when your message is untruthful to the public you have a public relations problem... that's when I write a blog post.
So what is happening? Individual agents are marketing themselves as "groups" and "teams" because they have been coached by their broker to believe that is a better marketing method for their business. Who thought this was a good idea? This is big franchise's recruiting mantra to secure new agents. I have been in marketing for nearly 30 years and I have never seen advice from the top go so wrong. Marketing 101 ...NEVER mislead the public. This is surely the quickest way to failure as my Whitewater Ethics Professor would say. Why promote yourself as a TEAM if you are not? This will only lead to the disappointment of your customers. You cannot sell anything when you are misrepresenting your services to the public.
Being an individual agent offers a distinct advantage in this industry in building your real estate career! Why? Because you need to promote YOUR name to grow your business. Most of the business in real estate is done by individual agents and YOU WANT TO BE THAT individual the customer calls when they think about selling their home! Surely, none of the team leaders in Milwaukee worked as a team in the beginning. They built their brand with their name and reputation one sale at a time until they needed additional help...that is how a team is formed. You BEGIN as an individual, then you build your brand, hire an assistant, then hire a buyers agent and on and on. Both the individual agent and teamwork. What does not work is a misleading message to the public in your advertising. It is actually against the GMAR Standard of Practice in the industry to mislead the public. How can a brokerage firm promote a violation of the Standard of Practice and no one say a word? It is not "just marketing". As a former sales executive in the pharmaceutical industry where ethics are king supreme in your messaging to hospitals and physicians: there is no advantage in this industry in calling yourself a group or team unless you are sincerely a team or group?
Agents: This marketing ploy works against you. Promoting YOUR individual business and not fabricating yourself as a group is the best way to gain credibility in a competitive field. You must give the consumer the right reason to choose you. Beginning with an untruth will have the opposite desired effect for your real estate career. Brokerage by deception is a house of cards. Businesses built without truth in advertising and who fail to gain consumer trust as part of their mission will not stand the test of time. Doing the right thing all the time should be part of every broker's mission statement. A house is the largest purchase anyone will ever make in their lifetime. The consumer will do their research and seek out the most trustworthy choices to sell or buy their home be part of something honest and good to the consumer and watch your business grow.
Suzanne Powers is the Broker Owner of Powers Realty Group, Inc. a locally owned real estate company that fosters agent development and mentors new agents in Milwaukee Real Estate. For more information, you can reach Suzanne at 414-963-0000.
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