10 Aug Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand.
Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.
I’m a big advocate of personal brand. I might be in a tiny minority, but I’ll live with it:)
I believe it’s the one thing that will rescue the estate agency sector from a commodity, serf-like status and return it to a respected and valued profession.
Those agencies that rely on the power of corporate brand will wither and die as the media landscape changes. Nobody likes advertising. Nobody likes being ‘sold’. Nobody likes ambiguity. Nobody likes bland.
Yet that is precisely what’s on offer from many of the large corporate agencies. And replicated in some of the smaller agencies because they are unable to think for themselves. Bigger corporate agencies aren’t used to leading with an employee’s character. They much prefer to rely on competence. Competence that’s hard to prove. Selling confusion in other words.
Agents with character on display have a tendency to become more important than the brand – a definite No-No in the corporate world. So competence remains on full display.
Leading to claims of ‘better’.
Unaware, though, that ‘better’ simply asks a vendor to compare.
Mistaken, in the belief that the ‘brand’ has, these days, some significance.
“We couldn’t care less if 74% of the world’s most popular brands didn’t exist.” – Havas Media 2017
“the world’s most popular brands”, take note!
Not your average run-of-the-mill, commodity estate agency/realtor.
My guess would be that 99% of us, employees aside, wouldn’t care less if any estate agency no longer existed.
PurpleBricks? YOPA? Knight Frank? Savills? Felicity Lord? All gone!
Sad, but I’d get over it tomorrow.
Try selling your services, at a premium, in that environment.
Which is why there has to, eventually, be a shift from competence into character.
From transactions into relationships.
From corporate brand into personal brand.
I’m certain that change will happen.
What’s worrying, though, is that few seem to understand the true definition of personal brand.
Even the marketing ‘experts’, in my opinion, have it wrong.
Let’s start by outlining what personal brand is not:
It’s not a question of greater visibility. Not more ‘likes’, or shares on social media, from total strangers.
It’s not posting yet more content. Only to find that producing more content doesn’t automatically result in more sales.
Neither is it being addicted to opinion. Distraught if a post doesn’t attract favorable comment, or worse still, no comment.
It’s not how well-known you are in the local community. Or what others think of you and your competence.
It’s not being that micro-celebrity who loves the limelight, yet can’t differentiate themselves from any other agency because they fear transparency. “All mouth and No trousers” – to quote a well-known expression from up North.
If those are things that personal brand is not, what’s my definition?
Personal brand is simply a willingness to be authentic. To continue, unafraid, with being different from everybody else. To embrace being a ‘misfit’ in a world where everybody, seemingly, seeks to fit-in. To have a story that you want to tell.
That requires transparency. Which requires courage. Since some may not like what they see or hear.
The courage to say “This is who I am – this is what I believe – these things matter to me.”
It’s the polar opposite of the “everything to everyone” philosophy of most agents.
The philosophy that allows them to fit-in and to embrace the default-dead strategy of ‘better’.
But, it’s how we find the true fans. With whom we share affinity. The people like us.
People that will sometimes question our thinking and choices, but never question our values.
People that will be loyal – because they trust.
When an agent/realtor has that trust, they’re bullet-proof.
It matters not that the ‘competitors’ have ‘better this’, or ‘cheaper that’.
That’s how estate agency should be. Trusted – not hustling for your worth.
Don’t criticize what you can’t understand?
It’s from the 1964 Bob Dylan song, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
“And don’t criticize what you can’t understand, your sons & daughters are beyond your command, your old road is rapidly agin’, please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin'”
Your old road is rapidly agin’.
Not from technology but from homeowner’s refusal to no longer be manipulated. Homeowners that have had enough of the hype, of the spin and of the hustle. Of being ignored. Until an agent wants what they have.
Homeowners now seek out different. Because ‘better’ just doesn’t work any more.
Different, as in, authentic. As in transparent. Different as in vulnerable. As in doing the right thing.
All things sadly missing in estate agency right now.
Personal brand will fix that problem.
Not by incrementally improving what’s demonstrably broken.
But by offering something completely different.
“The line is drawn, the curse it is cast, the slow one now, will later be fast, as the present now will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’ And the first one now will later be last, For the times they are a-changin.”
For those agents that profess to not like the terminology, Personal Brand, and who prefer, instead, reputation.
Your reputation is simply that of just another estate agent.
How’s that going for you right now? Well, I hope!
Thanks, as always, for reading.
If you’re interested in learning more about personal brand for estate agency/realtors, there’s the dreaded call-to-action button on the home page of the blog at www.andsothestorybegan.co.uk
That gets you more information. What it doesn’t get is unsolicited email, phone calls, D.M on LinkedIn. Any type of spam. That’s not me. Check it out, safe in the knowledge that you are not on any list.
I also have a short six-part email series on why personal brand is essential for realtors/agents. www.andsothestorybegan.co.uk/personal-brand-helpline/