Personal Branding in Commercial Real Estate
How do I market myself as an executive in commercial real estate?
New York Social Media Marketing Agency Founder Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently featured in the October print edition of Real Estate Forum/ Globe St. In the feature article on personal branding for commercial real estate executives, Ruby shared expert insights in the state of personal branding for commercial real estate executives. You can read the full interview here. If you are unable to open the link, here are some personal branding tips for commercial real estate executives. The article can be found in the 2017 Real Estate Forum Magazine October issue titled “ABC’s of Commercial Real Estate: Building Your Brand”
What is personal branding?
Personal Branding is a way of differentiating your value proposition from other competitors in the market. Ideally, your personal brand would stand out from others in the commercial real estate industry and separate you by what makes you most unique. For example, in commercial real estate, are you branded as a keynote speaker? As a leader in the regional real estate market? As an early adopter of social media in real estate? As the Snapchat leader for real estate executives? Or, is your brand defined by the continued content you byline in Forbes as well as trade publications? All of these attributes can factor into a strong personal brand.
How long does it take a commercial real estate executive to build a personal brand?
Building a personal brand of a commercial real estate executive does not come out of thin air. Fundamentally, the personal brand needs to be grounded in hard facts. You can’t just declare yourself an expert or real estate guru without having the success and properties to back it up. The first thing a journalist will ask for is to see your deal sheets and property fact sheets. If you are going to tout yourself as an expert and try to get coverage, you need to have all of these materials ready before you embark on your personal branding mission. You also need to make sure you have crafted your personal branding “story”— the entrepreneurial angle or human interest angle that differentiates you from every other real estate executive. Be sure to include a Q & A section as well. These materials are critical if you want to pitch outlets that could help support the development of your personal brand strategy. Do not even think about approaching a media outlet without having this ready to go. Real estate is also fiercely competitive. If you want to develop a personal brand in commercial real estate, you will need to state your opinion on what other developers are doing or building so it is clear where you stand. Neutrality and soft opinions don’t really hold up that well in this vertical. If you want to be branded, you can’t be afraid to speak. This definitely separates those who are trying to build brands from the ones who actually have.
Why is personal branding so important for commercial real estate executives?
Personal branding is critical for commercial real estate executives because it is essentially one of the only ways to separate yourself from the oversaturated market today. It used to be enough to invest in a good website and traditional sales tactics. Today, that is the very minimum that is required. Personal branding can include everything from influencer marketing, SEO, content marketing, traditional PR and more! People want to work with someone who has a strong personal brand that they have already encountered online before ever picking up the phone. They want to be consumed by several touchpoints of the brand or ‘person’ before speaking to them.
What are the challenges of personal branding for commercial real estate executives?
The biggest challenge of personal branding is defining a brand that is authentic to you as a business leader. Just because you see a real estate executive on television or doing frequent Facebook Lives with thousands of viewers doesn’t mean that is the most effective way to build your personal brand. You need to do what feels most comfortable to you instead of pushing too hard to fit in with what everyone else is doing. Another challenge of personal branding is setting your frequency limits for communication. If you want to be frequently communicating 24/7, you may need to have a team in place to help on the execution side of this including editorial, web, branding and SEO in addition to production.
What are some effective personal branding techniques and strategies for commercial real estate executives?
The most effective personal branding technique for commercial real estate executives would be crafting bylined content in national media outlets to attract a following. Commercial real estate execs could consider writing about market trends, industry insights or roundups from conferences. Another effective branding technique for commercial real estate execs is to incorporate in traditional Public Relations. A commercial real estate could discuss market trends on a national news show such as MSNBC or Bloomberg. They may also discuss a hot item in the news and their unique angle on it. Effective personal branding would be leveraging the segment through social media marketing including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to promote the appearance. Another key component of a personal branding campaign for commercial real estate executives is publishing frequent content on LinkedIn pulse. The branding game for commercial real estate is long lead— it takes a while to develop the personal brand you desire but once you have it things will start snowballing from there, especially with media opportunities. If you are looking to develop a personal brand or get some of your properties in the news, you may also want to start following the commercial real estate writers on Twitter and liking or favoriting their tweets to get on their radar before you ever reach out to them. From my experience, it can take a commercial real estate executive several years before they start to see the traction they are looking for in regards to their personal branding campaign. However, it is worth it when things finally to start to pick up. It is important to note that a truly authentic personal brand is not built overnight.
Still unsure of how to develop a personal brand on social media? Click here for 10 ways 10 leverage social media in commercial real estate.