Brand recognition is the name of the game

by Timothy Inklebarger

Perception is reality. It’s a bit of conventional wisdom that goes only so far in the real estate business. But how an agent is perceived often precedes the opportunity to show clients what they’re made of. That’s why branding is so important, especially for those trying to break into the industry.

Some highlight their style or their professionalism or their reliability, while others have a magnetic quality that attracts clients through pure charisma. Others are developing their image under the overarching brand of the brokerage with which they affiliate. There are a multitude of ways to stand out from the crowd, so that’s why we’re dedicating this issue to the importance of branding — how to get started for rookie agents and how to stay ahead of the pack for those with an established reputation.

Our cover story gathers insight from some of the most widely recognized names in the Chicagoland real estate market. They give us their tips on establishing your image, mastering social media and a variety of other approaches on how to wow your clients. In our Top Coach feature this month, Buffini & Co. shares ideas on building a powerful brand, and our Technically Speaking tech column by Anne Ewasko reveals some of her favorite apps and social media strategies.

Building a brand is one thing, but how do you defend your brand when you get a bad online review? Our Real Issues feature gives some helpful hints on what to do when you find yourself in damage-control mode.

While perception may be reality, at least for some clients, only those with a dedication to excellence will make it in the long term in the real estate business. But putting your best foot forward is the first step toward achieving your dreams as an agent. We want to hear more about those aspirations and how you approach branding. Contact us at [email protected] with your stories.

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