Why you should brand your biggest asset: you

You may think your award-winning smile is enough to win you clients - but consciously or not, your clients are drawn to your brand - not your dentist's hard work.

Brands aren't just for big business - and they're more important than ever when it comes to breaking out from the pack. In this post, I've shared five reasons why your personal brand is key, and how I can help you create a compelling one.

  1. It makes you stand out

For better or worse, a strong personal brand distinguishes you from the crowd. There are thousands of agents for clients to choose from, so what’s going to make them choose you? TIP: it’s not going to be because you love what you do.

  1. It makes business decisions easier 

Are you serving baguettes and wine at neighbours-only open houses? Perhaps you go for a personal touch and bring homemade lemon loaf to public open houses Or maybe you take public transit with your client’s to show them you’re environmentally friendly. Whatever your niche is, a good personal brand lets you lean into it from every possible angle. 

  1. It creates consistency

From your website to your business cards, your social media to your headshot, your branding should be consistent. Going for a dominant, win-at-all-costs approach? Stick to reds and serious photography. Showing a friendlier side? Lighter blues and big smiles are where it’s at. 

  1. It makes you reliable

Word of mouth is your biggest asset, and it’s important to create an image that aligns with what you’re actually selling. If clients hear no one manages an offer night like you do, make that part of your brand - it’s why they’re calling you.

  1. It brings you the right type of clients

Listen - we’ve all had clients we’ve worked with that we might not have sought out. But don’t you enjoy your work most when you’re working with clients you get along with and have similar values to? When you put your personal brand out there, you’ll attract clients who go about things the same way, and you’ll both have a better time working together.

If you’re not sure what really sets you apart, or what goes into creating a personal brand, you’re not alone. Book a call with me and together we can develop a strong and compelling brand that sets you apart, and makes you feel confident.

Put in time now, gain it back later

I know, I know - it'll only take a second to send that client info over. And then, just three minutes, maximum, to confirm the showings for tomorrow. 

But hey - we both know you'll be at your laptop for another three hours - not three minutes. The fact is, there's just always one more thing that can suck you in. So - how do you fight the compulsion and deal with all those small tasks that take just one more minute?

Well, I’ll tell you - and you might not like it.

It’s all about putting in the work now, to save you time later. It might seem like it’s more work, but trust me, streamlining and prepping your tasks is going to save you hours down the road. 

Here’s a few of the biggest timesucks you can find yourself with, and how to correct them:

Still feeling overwhelmed? Not to worry - after all, that’s what I’m here for. Book a quick intro call with me, and find out how you can streamline all your tasks with just one move: hiring me to do it for you.

Let’s talk self-auditing

There's nothing like a good audit to get your juices flowing, am I right?

Believe it not, no, I'm not joking. Completing a self-audit is one of the most helpful (and satisfying) tasks you can do, and one of the easiest ways to give your business a facelift while keeping costs low.

This process can seem overwhelming, but here are three great places to start.

  1. Gather all your materials and assets

As Marie Kondo knows, it’s tough to evaluate what you have if it’s not all together. Start by compiling all your materials, from your website, to your latest take-homes, to your online profile bios and any advertising materials. Are they all saying the same thing, or do they look like they could be from multiple agents? Do you have more materials than you really need?

  1. Ask for reviews

Your clients and coworkers might be your strongest critics, but they should also be your biggest advocates. Consider sending out an anonymous survey, or book one-on-ones (lunch should be your treat!) with a few trusted people, and find out what they loved - and didn’t love - about working with you. Did they find you emailed way too frequently? Missed sending them important listings? Or did they love how organized you were and how you took the time to walk them through something new? The important thing here is to look beyond some of your best relationships, or you’ll risk getting a skewed opinion - remember, this is about improving, not giving yourself a pat on the back.

  1. Find your biggest areas for improvement

The best place to start is with the things that will make the biggest impact. This could mean anything from redoing your marketing materials so your key messages are clear and look consistent, or it could mean revising your selling strategy. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the small changes that, while easier to make, won’t make an impact on your bottom line in the same way that more daunting tasks can. 

If you’re not sure where to start on a self-audit, or want a professional opinion on what your biggest improvement options are, book a quick call with me and let’s talk.

Or at least plan to read this

I get it - creating long, complicated plans for work can be boring, time-consuming, and way too overwhelming. Isn’t it more productive to actually do the work?

The importance of a great plan can't be overstated. It helps you stay on course, eliminate the stuff you don’t need to be doing, and gives you a guide to look back on so if you happen to veer off course, you know how to get centered again.

Every great business should have four plans:

1. Business plan

Your business plan is your north star. It should guide all your major business decisions, and be a point of reference you check in on throughout the year. It should include important benchmarks, and answer questions like:

It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it should be flexible enough to adapt to uncertain circumstances. The important thing is to refer to it and update it constantly - you control the plan; it doesn’t control you.

2. Marketing plan

Wondering how a marketing plan is different from your business plan? Think of your marketing plan like the image you present to the world, while your business plan is more around the structure and how you’ll make your income. Your marketing plan should include your social media and online presence goals, how you expect to grow your business, and how much is an appropriate amount to spend. Many great agents may partner with an external agency or contractor to help develop this plan, and it can be wise to get some professional help.

3. Personal time plan

This is an especially important one if you run your own show. When you take a day off, or head on vacation (remember - vacations are critical to your success!), your business doesn’t stop. How will you manage incoming emails, phone calls, and any social media accounts you’re managing? Don’t let your business go dormant while you’re enjoying cocktails on a beach or skiing black diamonds - plan ahead, and come back to an organized (and still running) business.

4. Financial plan

Probably the plan everyone’s the most worried about, but potentially the most important. No matter how junior or senior you are, trust me - you need a financial plan. What happens if the market surges and you have to bring on someone new to help with all your listings? Or - knock on wood - things take a dive, and you have less business for an extended period of time? The businesses that are able to take advantage of markets, and stay afloat through difficult times are the ones who have a strong financial plan. 

Whether you’re starting from scratch, or just want a second opinion on your hard work, why not set up a call? In fact - let’s plan on it.

Can you afford to hire yourself?

Being self-employed, our income is never steady, and never a sure thing. We often find ourselves trying to do every task ourselves just to save a few dollars - but is that actually costing you more money?

Consider what you could be doing instead of all those small tasks. Does all the time you're spending filing documents or updating your website equal a sale? Was it worth it? In some cases no - but in some cases, maybe so. 

Whether it was your favourite subject in school or not, it's time to do a little math to calculate what's worth your time, and what's not.

First, figure out what your time is worth. As real estate agents, we may not charge an hourly rate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a ballpark number of what your time costs per hour. You can break this down by looking at your total income over a year, and how many hours you invested in your business. 

Next up: compiling all those tasks, and how long it takes you to complete them. Try tracking your time over a week, or even a day. How long does your average showing last? Your end of day paperwork? The time spent writing a contract? The short administrative tasks?  Once you know how long those tasks take, you’ll be able to determine if they’re worth it to outsource. 

Now - let’s put them together. If it takes you an hour to update a contract, and you determined your rate was $100/hour, it’s worth it for you to be the one to update that contract, unless you can find someone else to do it for less than that. But if your hourly rate was $500/hour, you can probably find an intern to junior colleague to update for you because it’s actually not worth it for you to lose out on $500 that could be invested elsewhere.

But remember these two important risks:

If the intern writing up the contract makes a crucial mistake, it could cost you a lot more than $500. Is the task at hand more important than the dollar amount you assigned to it? And, if you’re not using that hour you just gained to do something that contributes to your business, it’s not $500 you just gained back - it’s money you just lost paying someone else to do it for you.

For a more personalized look at how analyzing your tasks can affect your bottom line (or your take home salary) let's schedule a call, and let's crunch the numbers together.

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