It’s a relatively new problem for principals and sales agents. The office or agency franchise already has a tightly controlled website platform for every agency office, but salespeople know that relationships are built person-to-person, not person-to-franchise. So a growing group of agents are building their own website and branding themselves.
“So when people type in “real estate agent Aspley” or “How to sell my house Brisbane”, or whatever, it’s my website that is the number one website they go to.
“And every single question ever thought of in real estate is there, answered for them.”
McHardy, of Raine & Horne Chermside in Brisbane’s northeast, is at the vanguard of an emerging trend whereby agents launch their own personal branding website to give themselves a digital presence beyond their franchise’s or independent agency’s online offering.
“I just wanted to brand me, because people deal with me,” said McHardy, whose father, Kim, is principal at R&H Chermside.
Typically, on an agency website a salesperson will receive a standard head and shoulders photo with a short “About Me” biography, in which they invariably reveal how “passionate” they are about property and what an “absolute privilege” it is to sell your home and how “thrilled” they are about everything.
There’s little to no scope to boost the personal brand, build authority and trust, and display local knowledge. And even if there were, it will quickly get hit with the “delete” button if the salesperson switches agencies.
“There’s a lot of functions that aren’t available, like putting video blogs up and consistently doing it, getting lead-generation emails sent through to us, and just to be who I want to be,” McHardy said.
“It’s more just to be able to customise and show people who I really am as a person.”
Another to see the benefit is Michael Boor, who works for an independent South Brisbane agency and who has sold more than $40 million in property in the past two years in Tarragindi and surrounding suburbs.
Boor launched his WordPress site, MichaelBoorRealEstate.com.au, just before Christmas last year, with the full support of his employer.
“It allows me to go deeper and broader in displaying my marketing expertise and local knowledge, and it’s on my timetable without putting that trouble and expense back on my employer.”
Boor publishes written and video blogs on local issues such as the contentious Tarragindi Bowls Club development, the splitter block trend and local state school catchments. And he paid a professional to write his “About Me” as a cliche-free zone.
REIQ offers a specialised training course Website Woe or Website Wow in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast through May and June.
“When vendors are doing their agent research my substantial website looks impressive by comparison. I have the space to really show who I am, what I stand for, and what I can achieve.”
“I do find a lot of clients find me through my website. So the combination of a national brand (R&W) plus my own personal brand does bring clients,” Dewar said.
“I use my website as a listing tool to send my vendors to, so they can check me out.
“I get the testimonials updated regularly, and also I have a link to the flood report, so I send clients there all the time to check out flood reports.”
Dewar said she was so busy selling it was a challenge finding the time to devote to her site.
“I actually could put so much more on there, but at this point I am time poor.”
Grab early bird tickets for REIQ Tech Day on August 30.
R&W Caboolture director Scott Lachmund wrote on Facebook about Dewar’s website: “I’m all for agents representing themselves separately and building their own brand within a brand.”
Dewar showcases her current listings through the website and promotes her free appraisal service, and those features are on Boor’s and McHardy’s sites too.
Boor also offers a free .PDF download in exchange for an email address and McHardy features a “Make an Offer” page, on which buyers can submit an offer and McHardy is immediately alerted via text and email.
McHardy said he promoted this feature heavily at his Open Homes, in part to impress vendors inspecting homes for sale in their area.
He said he aimed to add a fresh blog including video once a week, which he paid to promote through social media.
“When I do what I’m supposed to do, it works really well.”
- Interested in learning more? REIQ offers a specialised training course Website Woe or Website Wow in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast through May and June.
- Also, grab early bird tickets for REIQ Tech Day on August 30, where the latest innovations in technology and gadgets will be on display. Guest speakers include Google and Facebook.