By Sarah Berman, founder & president, The Berman Group
Working in any competitive industry, especially one as unpredictable as real estate, you will inevitably encounter a seemingly endless stream of challenges.
As the pressures of the industry converge, one of the most crucial tasks becomes keeping the quality of your brand consistently high and maintaining rigorous marketing benchmarks throughout an entire calendar year and beyond.
The most challenging of these tasks lies in establishing your company as a leader in the field and distinguishing your brand from an ever-growing field of competitors.
It is essential to go beyond the “cookie-cutter” guide for managing public relations and marketing efforts and to put yourself in a different category than your peers.
The idea is to break away from the pack — to become familiar with tactics that are necessary to design an integrated marketing approach that separates your brand from its competition, and does not simply imitate it.
Know the Strengths of Your Company
Evaluating current strategies is a prudent first step to achieving growth. It is crucial that you understand the marketing and public relations tools available within your company.
Knowing what your team is capable of, when to employ their specialties, and how to maximize their services will lay as a solid foundation for building your strategy. Once these aspects are identified, you can better position yourself for progress. This identification allows you and your team to set realistic goals surrounding your resources, providing the opportunity to leverage your skill-sets and escalate your success. By determining key dominant strengths, you will be able to identify the missing pieces of your marketing and public relations strategy and augment it with additional pieces.
Other characteristics of the market to examine are areas where services are lacking or non-existent. For example, if two of your key strengths are sustainability initiatives and email communications, and you notice there is no e-newsletter highlighting sustainability solutions, you can capitalize on that need by providing e-blasts to audiences that would have otherwise received nothing.
The initiatives and tools that have proven the most successful should be utilized more frequently while a more comprehensive plan is developed. Playing to your strengths will gradually perpetuate growth and will help you make a name for yourself in your industry.
Create Your Own Niche
The real estate industry is saturated with competitors attempting to achieve the same goals. In such a vast marketplace of competitive firms, how does any one brand make its own lasting impact?
Creating your own, unique niche is pivotal to setting yourself apart from your competition. Defining a distinct position for yourself means offering a valuable perspective that no one else has explored. This message should be delivered through a diverse range of communications vehicles, such as social media implementation, strategic public relations, targeted networking, volunteerism, and collaboration with other industries that are geared towards your audience.
To foster meaningful growth and become a leader in the sector, it is imperative to identify, as specifically as possible, what needs your prospects and clients have that are not being met; you can then leverage the full communications spectrum and all the tools at your disposal to show how you are able to offer creative, new approaches to satisfy those needs.
Move Past Traditional Marketing Collateral
In an industry that is constantly changing based on recent technology and ever-changing social media platforms, keeping up with trends and utilizing contemporary methods to build your brand is paramount to your success.
Ten years ago, marketing trends revolved around less-targeted techniques. Social media was still young, smart phones were just beginning to become prominent, and paying out big bucks to rent billboards along highways was still considered an innovative tactic.
Now, personalizing your brand or services for a targeted audience can be done comprehensively from the comfort of your workstation.
Social media has allowed companies and individuals to launch an idea or market an event in 140 characters or less. As time presses on, so do the strategies for effectively communicating the value you bring to your clients and prospects. To break away from your competition, you should constantly be researching various marketing platforms and promoting your brand to the appropriate audiences.
Modern tools make it easier to reach out to specific markets, rather than blindly sending information to the largest group possible. It is also important to share content that is relevant and engaging to your audience, rather than bloated, cryptic or repetitive content that may get looked over or pushed aside.
Where to Go from Here
Curating your brand’s integral marketing platform is a process that requires the knowledge of your organization and brand’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as a clear strategy to build upon successful initiatives. While some tactics are best measured initially by trial and error, establishing benchmarks, curating a library of value-add content, and leveraging modern technology are all vital to building your identity and your business.
In such a competitive field, social media especially has become a dominant force for positioning yourself as an entity that offers true value to your clients and prospects. Once you begin to use these strategies to your advantage, your brand will reach new heights and transform the way you view your marketing.