LOs will regret sitting on the sidelines.
Many already have.
Personal branding looked like a fad.
And I don’t blame Loan Officers for thinking that way.
Most gimmicky marketing techniques don’t really work anyway.
But, this one ended up not being a gimmick…
And now those who put it off are wishing they didn’t.
Not having a personal brand now is like not having a website or a business card.
It’s just a really bad idea.
If I wanted to use my personal brand to grow my local reputation…
This is what I’d do.
- First, I would clarify what my personal brand is.
You can’t say anything that any other Loan Officer could say. That means quality, speed, customer service, rates, products, etc. It’s all off the table. Why? Because every Loan Officer claims to have the “best” of the things listed above. To the point where Realtors just hear noise when you talk about how good you are. A personal brand is about who you are as a person. Even if you were the best… Realtors wouldn’t believe you.
- Second, I would hire someone to help me articulate my brand.
A personal brand is worthless if you can’t put it into words that Realtors care about. Most Loan Officers craft a personal brand that really makes no difference. Realtors see your personal brand and then carry on with their lives never thinking much more about it. The whole reason a personal brand works is because it leaves a lasting impression on others. The top Loan Officers have a personal brand that clearly shows people who they are, what they are good at, and what makes them unique.
- Next, I would place my brand in front of as many Realtors as possible.
Social media is the easiest way (and it’s free). However, in-person branding strategies still outperform social media efforts. You should be showing your personal brand to 100-200 Realtors each week. If you do this, you will acquire a new referral partner each month. Repeat this process all year and you will have likely doubled your loan volume (cold calling does not count. It’s annoying. Save the phone calling for your Realtors friends only, NOT those who have yet to send you business).
- Lastly, I would collaborate with Realtors who have a similar personal brand to me.
Nothing accelerates the reach of your brand like collaborating with others. Each Realtor in your market has a fan base and a social network. Assuming that your personal brand is similar to theirs, collaborating with them will likely result in new referral relationships. These relationships will monetize much faster than most and they will usually be people that you look forward to working with.
Want more money? Rinse and repeat. Consistency is the key to personal branding. A reputation is built over time. But, you can accelerate that time if you’ve done it well and with consistency.