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YOU Are Your Own Best Marketing Strategy

People are attracted to authenticity — here are some ways you can build your real estate business just by being yourself.

In this world of clickbait and hyperbole, Alex Bittner infuses his marketing with authenticity—complete with family photos and (wait for it) music videos.

Bittner, an agent with Adams, Cameron and Co., Realtors in Ormond Beach, was at a recent inspection with new customers. The inspector said, “Have you guys seen his videos? They’re hilarious!’”

He was referring to Bittner’s quirky music videos, like the riff called “Buy Buy Buy Real Estate Parody” that puts an industry spin on the famous NSYNC song. Bittner pulled up some videos to share. “The buyers loved them, started following me on social and shared my videos,” says Bittner.

“This organic conversation got me in front of people I’ve never been connected to.”

Here are Bittner’s top tips for using authenticity in marketing:

1. Find your own voice

You might be inspired by what you read or learn, but put your spin on it, advises Bittner. If you’re creating a video, for example, “Don’t just read the script or summarize what others say,” he says. Share your own insights, perspectives and anecdotes.

How can you find your authentic voice in a way that cuts through the noise and connects with buyers and sellers? Tallie Lancey, a broker with Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty in Montana, offers these tips:

  • Be true to both your product and yourself. This is a process that takes introspection and a healthy dose of self-awareness. Understand what you’re really selling—yourself. Whether people attend your open house or show up at your office, they’re sizing you up, evaluating your level of knowledge and expertise.
  • Look to brands that inspire you. Lancey noticed that the brands that resonated with her were very precise in their language. She thought that technique would work for her, so she incorporated a clear-cut approach to how she communicated. Find what works best for you by using relatable language.
  • Think outside the real estate box. Tying into this straightforward communication approach, Lancey avoids industry jargon like “sweeping views” and “soaring ceilings.” Because they’re commonplace, she thinks they lack value. Instead, she finds new ways to describe her properties, which seems to click with people and help differentiate the property from the others on the market.
  • Build trust. You don’t need to be perfect, but you do need to always be truthful. Being honest establishes trust, which sets the foundation for any good relationship.

2. Be consistent

Connect this “voice” to everything you do, from your word choice (sale pending versus under contract) and clothing, to infographics and color palette. Bittner suggests creating your own branding guide to help maintain consistency.

3. Mix up your content

Strive to educate, inform and entertain, suggests Bittner, who shares both real estate and lifestyle content. “An inspection is an opportunity to educate and inform, such as discussing a septic system,” he explains. “Use that as a segue into some other element of homeownership, maybe even one that’s entertaining.”

4. Start your day with a plan

“What opportunities am I going to be faced with today, and how can I capture that?” asks Bittner. Thinking about your day ahead allows you to be more intentional about pulling out your phone to shoot videos or photos. “It becomes part of your daily rhythm.”

Being real also means sharing some challenges and customer success stories. “Those are the things you really want to showcase more than the house,” says Bittner.

5. Be authentic

Tap into the “real you” with these marketing ideas.

  • Share some of your personal life. Love to cook? Share recipes on your business Facebook page. Got kids? Post a few family photos on your website. Volunteer at an animal shelter? Host a fundraiser to raise awareness and generate support.
  • Tie-in visual content. Your words matter—but so do your logos, infographics, photos, videos and other ways you represent your brand visually. Be professional but relatable and consistent in how you portray yourself as a real estate agent.
  • Show your unpolished side. If you wait until you’re having a good hair day to shoot a video, you’re missing the point. Prospects want to hear what you have to say. They don’t care how you look. Ditto for trying to find “the perfect photo” or only sharing your wins. Let your imperfections—and a few struggles—shine through in all your marketing to convey authenticity.
  • Tap into your “fan base.” Reach out to satisfied customers and ask them to provide a testimonial (perhaps a short video) sharing what they loved best about working with you and/or sharing a memorable anecdote about their new home. Engage with your social media followers by hosting “Ask Me Anything” live events about homeownership-related topics. Maybe even run a fun contest, asking followers to submit a photo of their pet, recommend the best local taco spot or share a funny story about a home maintenance fail.

Lisa A. Beach is an Orlando-based freelance writer.