How I Learned to Brand Myself as Me

When I was approached in 2002 about venturing into the world of Real Estate I was a bit leery.  After all, the word “Realtor” would conjure up the image of a guy in a plaid polyester blazer, dripping in gold, smoking a cigar, saying “trust me”.

So not me…polyester makes me break out!

Realizing I needed to step out of my comfort zone, I decided to go for it and give it my best shot. I took my classes, passed my test, signed up with a broker and was ready for my training. Boy, was I in for a shocker! I had no idea what I was up against.

  1. There were over 33,000 Realtors within a 25 mile radius.
  2. The average Realtor sold 3 houses a year and made $18,000.00 a year.
  3. There was very little consumer loyalty.
  4. The consumer ranked Realtors one step above used car salesmen (hence, #3).
  5. The Realtor sitting in the bull pen with you was your direct competition.
  6. “Training” consisted of sitting floor time, waiting for random people to call in as a result of seeing “For Sale” signs and ads. Try forming a relationship with someone who won’t give you their correct name, email, or phone number.
  7. People trying to sell on their own, lovingly referred to as FSBO’s (For Sale By Owners) would rather hear from the grim reaper than a Realtor.

I knew I had to do something, and fast. I bought books, CD’S, sales scripts, hired a coach, and tried so hard to be what all the “guru’s” said I had to be in order to make the sale. I could handle every objection imaginable, with visuals! I rehearsed, I memorized, I took action, and I stunk. No matter how hard I tried it was just not possible for me to run my business that way.

One night, while having a melt down with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, I thought about what I had to offer, how I wanted to be perceived, and how I would want to be treated. If I took my strengths, and what I stood for, could I do business by just being me? What the heck, it couldn’t get any worse, so I tried it. And guess what? I began to thrive!

This is why I resonate so strongly with Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid system and what he teaches. The following 3 quotes from Michael speak loudly to me. It is how I built my business and how I continue to grow. If you follow these words of wisdom you will thrive too.

  1. There are those you are meant to serve, and others, not so much. You don’t have to take on every client. Your ideal client will be the ones who help bring out the best in you.
  2. Your personal brand will give you the ability to attract fun and exciting clients who understand and get you. When you are authentically you, you are communicating to people in a way that allows them to gravitate toward you. The ones who don’t care for you are not the ones you would want to work with anyway.
  3. To be booked solid requires that you are considered credible within your marketplace, that you be perceived as likeable, and that you earn the trust of the people you’d like to serve. When you are authentic, it shows and that makes you trustworthy and credible. This goes a long way to attract those people who will find you to be likeable.

Once I incorporated this thought process into my personal brand, people reacted differently. They appreciated that I wasn’t trying to sell to them. I was genuine and compassionate, and they trusted me. I cared about their needs and wants. I listened and I offered solutions to their problems.  I made the stressful times fun, and they liked me. They really, really liked me! Best, of all, instead of struggling to work those who had zero respect for me or my time, I was attracting the clients I wanted to work with.

Go ahead and add these three Book Yourself Solid ideas to your business and I am certain your personal brand identity will come through and will help you to thrive in your business the way it did for me.

This article was inspired by insights derived from the Book Yourself Solid system.  More tools can be found at Book Yourself Solid.

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