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It’s not about you! Promote yourself without the sales schmaltz

Publish Date: December 11, 2023

Written by Nikki Beauchamp

- Originally published at Inman News - Nikki Beauchamp

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In the competitive world of real estate, where it feels like success can often be tied to visibility and reputation, self-promotion can be a crucial aspect of building and maintaining a thriving brokerage practice. The challenge lies in striking the right balance between showcasing your expertise, maintaining authenticity and fostering genuine connections with clients and peers.

Inspired by a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, let’s explore some practical steps that one can take to self-promote without sounding self-centered, emphasizing the benefits of dual promotion and the importance of genuine engagement as you utilize this as part of your broad strategy to clearly communicate the value you bring to your clients.

It may surprise you to know that I am terrible at celebrating my own wins; I’m much more of a “show vs. tell” person, so the best thing for me about this approach is that I get to celebrate other people — which I genuinely love to do — and show gratitude to the broader “team” that it takes to get things done.

1. Recognize the benefits of dual promotion

Dual promotion is a symbiotic approach that involves not only highlighting your own achievements but also celebrating and promoting the successes of others in your network. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of community and opens up opportunities for mutual growth.

In showcasing the accomplishments of colleagues or industry partners, you are positioning yourself as a team player who values collective success and spotlighting the breadth of your connections. This approach enhances your reputation and broadens your network within the real estate community.

2. Practice dual promotion

To implement dual promotion effectively, start by actively engaging with your peers’ content on social media platforms. How one defines “peer” is, in my opinion, a matter of personal preference — it could be immediate peers in your office(s), within your brand, or the broader networks or professional organizations you belong to — including associations, affiliated organizations and community groups.

Personally, I have a mix: I am connected to peers in my office and to the broader local peers who are “external competitors.” I am also connected to peers within the networks of my firm and in professional organizations to which I belong — both in and outside of real estate.

I am genuinely interested in sharing their success stories, congratulating them on their achievements and participating in industry discussions. Attend networking events on and offline and give credit where it’s due when collaborating on projects.

By genuinely celebrating the accomplishments of others, you contribute to a positive and supportive professional environment while also amplifying your visibility and credibility as you contribute to the fostering of goodwill within the real estate community.

For instance, if you’ve collaborated with a mortgage broker who provided excellent service, share the positive experience on your social media platforms. Tagging and mentioning their business not only showcases their expertise but also reinforces your commitment to fostering positive relationships within the industry.

Or say you represented your client in a transaction, and one of your local peers represented the other side (whether it be buyer/seller/landlord/tenant). Celebrate that you each worked to represent the interests of your respective clients.  When you have worked with another agent, or mortgage banker/broker, attorney etc. multiple times, that’s a great point to mention. It speaks to your record of successfully working with affiliated professionals to serve your clients’ interests.

One of my favorite things to do after a successful deal is to celebrate with my co-brokers, whether it’s a meal, coffee, cocktails or even something as simple as a walk or a group fitness class. It gives us an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with one another.

Don’t forget to thank your referral partners for referrals. If they’re comfortable with it, you could also thank clients for referrals. Just remember that everyone is different, so it’s a good practice to ask someone their comfort level before sharing anything.

3. Keep other promotion genuine

When promoting properties or projects, focus on the value you provide to your audience rather than solely showcasing your achievements. Avoid endorsing merely for the sake of reciprocation. When you foster genuine collaborations and relationships that align with your values and standards, it reinforces your brokerage practice.

A great way to highlight is to tell the story as an illustrative tool to spotlight specific aspects of their work that genuinely impressed you. This could be anything from dedication to client satisfaction, innovative approaches to real estate marketing or anything that is truly distinctive and noteworthy.

Create content that educates and informs, such as neighborhood or business spotlights, market trends, or home improvement tips. Collaborate with your partners to create this content and create win-win and cross-marketing opportunities.

By positioning yourself as a valuable source of information, you not only attract potential clients but also establish and reinforce trust and credibility within your community. Authenticity in your messaging will resonate with clients, making them more likely to choose you as their trusted real estate adviser.

4. Make sure to still include self-promotion

While dual promotion and community engagement are essential, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of self-promotion: don’t overshadow yourself. Showcase your unique selling points, professional achievements and client success stories.

A potentially powerful tool as part of your broader business development and integrated marketing strategy is to utilize social media platforms as a tool to highlight expertise, share client testimonials, and showcase your current listings. Consider creating content that highlights your expertise, such as blog posts, case studies, videos or webinars on relevant real estate and related topics.

Incorporate some personal touches to your marketing, such as behind-the-scenes glimpses into your work or stories about your journey in real estate. The measure of how personal to go is subjective, and everyone has a different comfort level.

Intertwining self-promotion with the other elements of your professional life helps create a well-rounded and authentic online presence that is an extension of your offline practice.

In short, successful self-promotion is an art that requires a delicate balance between showcasing your own achievements and celebrating the success of others. By embracing the concept of dual promotion, actively engaging with the real estate community, and maintaining authenticity in your messaging, you can build a positive and influential professional brand.

Remember, the key lies in creating a holistic and genuine narrative that reflects your individual accomplishments, clearly articulates the approach you take to your practice and promotes the value you deliver in expertly serving your clients.

Nikki Beauchamp is an advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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