One of the most rewarding parts of my role is identifying agent pain-points and finding solutions for them.
I’m talking about those roadblocks that stop you from performing at your peak and living your best life. The kinds of things that eat into your income and time.
By working through those and identifying solutions that smooth the path to success, we can build a better, more profitable and more efficient industry.
One consideration that comes up time and again with top-performing agents is their desire to be in charge of their own destiny. They want to create businesses that are not only valuable and profitable but are seen by potential vendors as operating at the pinnacle of quality service.
In short, they want to create an ‘attraction business’ that projects its values and adheres to its mission so effectively, customers are drawn to them when they want to sell their property.
This is the gold standard in real estate because an ‘attraction business’ doesn’t need to constantly chase leads, sellers chase them!
The value of an attraction brand
One of the toughest but most essential tasks in real estate is securing listings.
It’s a numbers game, where obtaining adequate listings each month requires you to make hundreds of calls and attend dozens of meetings.
When agents start out, there’s no short cut to gaining this important skill. Hit the phones, press the flesh, be seen and take every opportunity to become known in your community.
On the other hand, experienced agents with extensive networks who’ve spent decades building their reputation have done their time, but here’s something many don’t realise – their name is their brand, and it’s the foundation of a valuable attraction business.
You see, the traditional real estate model has convinced agents that they’re not representing themselves, but rather the agency.
That was reasonable in the old days. Vendors knew the major names in real estate and would, no doubt, ring up the big three or four franchises in their area to see who was available to discuss selling their property.
But that has changed drastically in the past two decades.
Technology and connectivity, social media, online listing portals and mobility have made redundant the idea of an agent being attached to an office.
In fact, since the mid-2000s, its gradually become apparent that agents – not their offices – are the brand.
This concept was really brought home to me when I won the REIQ salesperson of the year in 2010.
Part of the award included a cover photo and double page spread in our major daily newspaper. Off the back of the exposure, I got $10 million worth of listings from sellers calling me. People rang not because of the agency I worked for, but because I was Dan Argent and they wanted me to sell their homes.
That was the power of my personal brand, so I said goodbye to my agency and kicked off my own business in order to achieve three things:
- Continue building my own personal brand,
- Retain more of the commission,
- Control the business so it was always at the forefront of technology and change.
It was a triumph. My income rose by $300,000 a year immediately because I was keeping more of the commission.
Over the next four years I worked hard on my brand. I was still calling prospects by the hundreds, taking meetings and seeking opportunities, but it was being done under my own name, not someone else’s.
And when I sold and promoted my successes, it was always as Dan Argent, the area expert.
It worked, and I grew my annual sales commission by almost double, from $700,000 GCI per year to $1.2 million – and I was keeping the lion’s share by not giving it away to an agency or franchise.
How to build your brand
Building your personal brand into an attraction business takes work, but the agents I deal with are at the pinnacle of the industry and not shy of putting in the effort.
There are a number of critical steps you need to take toward creating that attraction brand, but one is identifying your specialty and become the world’s expert in that subject.
If you are the ‘CBD penthouse apartment guru’, then work it. Know every sale and every owner. Understand what drives that market, who the buyers are and what factors compel them to purchase certain properties.
Then use that knowledge to succeed under your own name. Build on your reputation, talk about your successes and chase every lead.
Realise that your personal brand will become synonymous with success in this sector. People will start calling you, attracted to that success and keen to be part of your journey.
And the rewards will follow.
Building your personal brand brings so many satisfactions – not just financial but also pride in having created something that epitomises the very best of our industry and helping make real estate great again.