Hey Real Estate Agents, Are You Growing Your Brand — Or Your Agency’s?

You got into real estate because you wanted to work for yourself. So why are you promoting your agency’s brand instead of your own?

Maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Maybe when interacting with clients, you use an email address not associated with the company. You acquire your own leads, know plenty about the industry, and can handle clients from the beginning to the end of a sale.

Or maybe, like many real estate agents, you’re working behind your agency instead of in front of it. Do you use a company-associated email instead of your own, which means you’d lose your contacts if you ever left? Do people think of you as the face of an agency, instead of a self-sufficient professional? Does your agency handle most processes for you, while you play a highly specific role?

These are all signs you haven’t been building your own brand, but your agency’s. And you should ask yourself if that’s what you want. For some, working with a concierge-style agency is the best fit. These agents don’t want to deal with the commitment, time, and energy it takes to run their own businesses.

But if running your own business is your goal, ask yourself if you could walk away from your agency without losing everything you’ve worked for: your network, your leads, your marketing platforms, and more. Ask yourself if you’ve been developing deep industry knowledge, or if your agency has been handling all of the things you’d need to know to go it alone. Lastly, ask yourself if you’re creating a self-sustaining business, or one that relies on your agency to float.

Agencies should provide the tools, resources, and on-going education to nurture self-sufficient agents with their own brands. If that’s not what you’re experiencing, you could be setting yourself up to be dependent on your agency in the long term. Are you okay with that?

Developing your own brand means you get to make your business your own. Maybe you want to represent a certain part of town, or work mostly with millennials, or do most of your networking on the golf course. Your agency should be empowering you to find that niche, that part of the market where you get to be yourself and do the work you like the most.

Is that the case for you? Does your community identify you by the type of work you do, or who you’re working for? The answer will tell you whether you’ve been carving out your personal brand or not. And if you don’t like the answer, it could be time to rethink your agency.

Matt Mittman is one of the owners of RE/MAX Ready in Conshohocken, Pa. See his articles on MSAs, working with renters, and non-exclusive contracts.