September is Marketing and Brand month at Inman. Tips for better branding and detailed features on how to use the marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are in the works, along with insights from experts. Find it all at Inman, as well as at our two-day virtual flagship event Your Playbook for the Fall Market in October.
The video begins with a large group of people standing with their hands raised on a balcony overlooking the Pacific as James Brown’s sounds set the camera in motion with an expansive aerial view.
Then the scene switches to a quote from marketing strategist Lee Odden: “Content is not king, it’s the kingdom.”
Then it’s onto the races with quick footage of agents from the Fast Real Estate team proudly showing off their diversity – their personalities, quirks, cultures and identities for all to see – while Brown sings “Get Up Offa That Thing” in the background.
At less than a minute, the video is quick – like everything else the eXp Realty team does – but in that time it also highlights the inclusive, supportive environment the team fosters and a number of benefits that others Agents who join the team get access to marketing experts, an in-house photo booth and an in-house video room.
“That’s how we built the company,” team leader Kenny Truong told Inman. “It’s really based on personal branding as one of the most important things… So we’re really focusing on agents and helping them create their own.” [marketing materials].”
Elias Astuto, director of sales and coaching for the Fast Real Estate team, said the current video was created so he could use it to wrap up a session at Elevate Live 2022, a real estate conference he and Truong spoke at in August.
“I told our creative director, I said, ‘Hey man, I need a video that we can use to wrap up our session,'” Astuto told Inman. “‘I want it to be about that [the agents], about content, about the way we build, about inclusivity, about diversity.’ And within a few hours of just talking, he’s like, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do, and I’m going to put some really loud music on it.'”
Headquartered in the melting pot of the San Francisco Bay Area, the company has easily attracted agents from a variety of backgrounds. Truong said the team’s agents are currently fluent in about 30 different languages.
With a group of nearly 350 agents, each with a different story, Truong and Astuto know a thing or two about creative, diverse, and inclusive marketing materials. Here are the tips they have for other real estate teams striving for diversity in their marketing.
you are the content
Rather than trying to force content creation into marketing materials, stick to what fits your own life, Astuto advised. What resonates with clients or outside agents you want to recruit is a connection to the individual agent creating the content. Especially with Truong’s team, which includes a large group of agents from diverse backgrounds, it’s not hard for people outside the team to find a team member they can connect with on some level.
“You are the content,” Asusto said. “I think so often agents are trying to find something to build content about when they’re really the character. That’s why people want to follow that person. So be yourself, have fun, be bossy and don’t shy away from the real person you are and don’t conform.”
Becoming the protagonist of your marketing content without authenticity is not enough. People can sniff when someone is trying to connect with their family’s Jewish traditions, for example, although they aren’t usually interested in it on a day-to-day basis. So stay with your true self, but embrace what makes you unique.
“Ultimately, I think the industry is thirsting for people who can just be authentically themselves, and that’s what we really want to encourage on our team, which is just being yourself,” Astuto said.
That kind of authenticity will also help agents perform better at the end of the day, Truong added.
“When agents are more authentic, they feel more confident,” he said. “They’re more comfortable being themselves and … they don’t have to think too much about what they’re going to say or not say, and then that just makes them more transparent.” So when they’re working with clients, they’re more real.”
Allow branding customizations
Maintaining consistent branding is obviously a crucial component in creating a recognizable name and brand for your business. But that shouldn’t stop individual agents from injecting their personality into a brand that can ultimately help reflect the diversity of your team as a whole.
Agents who are big advocates for breast cancer awareness might want to make pale pink an accent color for their brand, or LGBTQ+ agents might want a nod to the rainbow in their brand. Truong said by allowing agents to change the color of the team’s logo for their own custom marketing, it helps them reveal a little bit about themselves without detracting from the team’s messages as a whole.
“Some of our agents use blue and purple and pink and green — they change the logo to those colors,” Truong told Inman. “And that could mean many things, right? Using pink for your logo probably means you’re more eccentric and outgoing, and we have agents who are more down-to-earth and use dark blue. So we really do have agents expressing themselves however they want.”
Celebrate Heritage Months – and the Agents who embody them
Each month, the Fast Real Estate team typically hosts about two events to coincide with the current Heritage or Awareness Month or other holiday in that month. For example, during Black History Month, the team hosted a panel featuring Black women in real estate, and during Pride Month, the team hosted a panel featuring the team’s top LGBTQ producers.
“[At] the panels and events, usually around 100 people attend, so maybe we’ll log into the room, [attendees] You see the diversity we have, the inclusion, and then more and more people join [the team] because of that,” Truong said.
In conjunction with the celebration of these Heritage Months, the team is also hosting a lottery for agents who identify with the current Heritage Month when 10 agents, chosen at random from the lottery, will be featured in an Agent Spotlight video, which will then published on the team’s marketing platforms.
Email Lillian Dickerson