Personal Branding For Real Estate Agents – Promote Your Marketplace More Than You

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it can be strategically advantageous to anchor your locale as a major component of your personal brand identity. Doing so can add significantly to the emotional appeal of your brand because it promotes the fact that you an ambassador of good will in your marketplace. Promoting your marketplace more than you demonstrates your marketing expertise and sells you in the process.

Here are examples of luxury brands that incorporate geography in their marketing strategy and how it can be applied to personal branding for real estate agents:

Donna Karan New York-DKNY

DKNY produces clothes for men and women targeting the urban chic crowd.  In a recent article in Interview Magazine, Donna Karan explains: 

“When Donna Karan started, I didn’t like the name Donna Karan. I had a real problem with it. I was so used to designing under somebody else’s name that I didn’t want to go out there with my own. I’m sitting in the kitchen, and I see the name “Maud Frizon/Paris, London”on a shoebox. I’m thinking, “That’s cool. What about Donna Karan New York?” Because it won’t be about me. It will be about New York City. Why New York City? Because New York City says the world. I wanted an international brand. Donna Karan’s just another boring name. I want everything to be about New York people living. I mean, everybody relates to New York as a bridge to the world. So that’s how New York came in.”

Donald Pliner

Donald Pliner produces shoes targeting the higher end of the casual market: The company slogan, “Made in the Mountains of Italy”, (not just Made in Italy) connotes a relaxed place where shoes are well made, unlike an industrial venue where high production quotas are more important than high quality.

Lindt Swiss Chocolate

Chocolate from Switzerland evokes the feeling of the beautiful Alpine mountains, the concept of precision and excellence, so you just know the chocolate is going to be great!

The Downtown Crowns 

A downtown San Diego mother-daughter luxury real estate team, the Downtown Crowns are experts in promoting their marketplace through their popular blog. The Downtown Crowns are very active participants in their community. They understand the principle of “promoting your marketplace more than you”. And, their brand is a clear example of geographic branding as it applied to personal branding for real estate agents.

The United States is replete with geographical gems. Which one is yours and how can you demonstrate your marketing expertise by promoting your marketplace more than you?

The Dynamics of the 2014 – 2015 Real Estate Market Cycle

We’ve all been through quite a ride in that last couple of years, haven’t we? The Real Estate market has moved up, down, left, right and sideways – sometimes in a rapid succession. Now we’re beginning to feel some sort of a recovery in major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Miami, New York and Phoenix. This new market does not seem to be sustained by mortgage backed buyers like it was in 2004 – 2006. This new market looks more like an environment suited for cash-buyer speculators.

Yes, that’s right, I said the ‘S’ word. The market is being flooded with overseas speculators that are once again causing prices to be increased for Jane and John Doe. Whats peculiar about this Real Estate market revive is that it is happening primarily in upper-middle class to high-end neighborhoods. If you observe the Real Estate markets of the city, you’ll notice that the lower-end neighborhoods and ghettos are not experiencing any type of appreciation what-so-ever. In reality, there are still many abandoned and condemned houses lingering around in those areas.

If we travel back about a decade from 2015, you’ll see that prices where going through the roof everywhere. People in the inner city were getting rich, albeit temporarily as they ‘d splurge all the money they’d receive from profits of sales on 24’s, from selling off their properties. Their clients included a mixture of people getting scammed by home mortgage brokers, overseas investors, speculators, companies and clueless newbies. Now, just because this has all happened in the past does not mean that this same group of people don’t still exist, they do, but they still don’t have any purchasing power as lending is still pretty tough in this market.

Now, what we’ve been seeing are a lot of hedge funds entering the marketplace and buying properties. This is probably occurring because they’re seeing prices rise as a result of activity from these cash-buyer speculators from Europe, Asia and South America. These hedge funds are more interested in seeing higher returns in Real Estate because the stock exchange has not been treating their funds very nicely in the last couple of years. Wall Street is returning to the marketplace again but now its not in the form of mortgages, equity credit lines and other kinds of loans. Now, Wall Street is pouring their money directly into Real Estate and completely removing the consumer.

Eventually things will cool off and wall Street will retreat to the stock market once more. In the mean time there are loads of opportunities despite what is happening in the marketplace, you just have to know what you’re doing.

Don’t Overpay for Real Estate

Isn’t real estate fun? While the commercial and investment marketplace continues to trudge along without much hype and hoopla, the residential marketplace continues to make headlines. Today for example you’ll see the headlines “Stocks tumble on concerns over lenders.” and “U.S. Foreclosures soar.” I find it amusing that generally intelligent people seem to be surprised by these turn of events. They wouldn’t if they would just give it a little thought.

For months we heard about outrageous appreciation in prices, we learned of appraisers who inflate their values to justify the demands of real estate licensees and lenders. We see wild speculation in virtually every market in the nation. However, … we don’t see the population base increasing fast enough to absorb all the building going on and we don’t see incomes increasing fast enough to meet the demands of the higher mortgage amounts. Most people are like race horses, running with blinders on, keeping all that is going on around them out of sight and therefore out of mind.

Too often the real estate business is based on the “One greater Fool” theory. It is common for one person to pay too much with the intent of making a profit when the at least “One greater Fool” comes along and pays even more. Unfortunately, this works more often than it should. The residential single-family market has always been an emotional and irrational market, and it will continue to be. That is why it is difficult to use this market as a long term profit-oriented basis for portfolio development. Yes, intelligent investors will continue to benefit from this market segment. But they must be wise when calculating their entry and exit.

On the other hand, proper and prudent purchasing in the investment marketplace is still generally based on the ability of a property to produce income. The property that produces the most income is inherently the most valuable. It will serve any investor well to be familiar with the economic factors of both the market and the properties in which they invest. If they approach the business wisely, doing their legwork and running the numbers, they should consistently buy real estate that will produce long term revenue and substantial secure profits. Intelligence, education and hard work will pay off. If you have and use those things, everything else will fall into place. You can and should just sit back and smile when the headlines scream doom and gloom while your properties are chugging along exactly as they should because you bought as a professional and not as the one greater fool. The best way to make sure you don’t loose money on real estate is to not pay too much in the first place.