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Interviewer: Today we are talking with Mike Hixon from Hixon & Associates. Mike, welcome to the program, good to have you here.
Mike Hixon: Thank you.
Interviewer: We are talking about building a personal brand for realtors and the MLS and how that may all tie in and help but let's start with talking about brand and image, why is that important today for realtors?
Mike Hixon: Oh, brand and image is huge as far as establishing your brand, because everything that you send out, you want to have it branded, so down from your email to every bit of marketing literature that you send out, even to colleagues or associates as well, you know everything that's got your name on it leads people to you.
Interviewer: I tell people it should all look the same: your website, your Facebook, your Twitter, your e-mail it should all provide kind of the same service and lend some type of message and credibility.
Mike Hixon: Yes, exactly.
Interviewer: Which I imagine you do with all of your associates?
Mike Hixon: I do.
Interviewer: Some easy ways to do that, obviously we just talked about a few but if you are a realtor and you are just starting out and you say, 'What do I do about establishing a brand?", what would be the first thing you would give him?
Mike Hixon: Well you know it's interesting that you ask that because I just had a conversation with a colleague of mine, who went through a training course with me. Had I had the benefit of knowing a lot of this information upfront, it would have been huge.
Mike Hixon: You know I mean the first thing you've got to do is, you've got to setup an email that tells people every time you send them something what you do, and who you are.
Mike Hixon: I mean that's the first thing. And then of course you know your business relationship, how you are going to setup your office and the name of your office and how you are going to brand everything you send out, from letterhead to email.
Interviewer: I am an internet marketing guy and people always talk about that because that seems to be the wave of technology today and so forth, and a lot of people get wrapped up in it, but the bottom line is I still tell people, 'as you can do all that, this really still comes down to a relationship business', talk a little bit about that.
Mike Hixon: Big time relationship business, it is strictly relationship, you know I think I read, heard something the other day that says, "If you think you are a realtor, you are wrong, what you are is a marketer; and it's all about marketing. I mean people have to know your name, they have to see you, you have to have exposure, they have to see you somewhere and a lot of it is referral business, but you know there are a lot of folks out there that, if they see something on the internet, like YouTube or whatever that's their first point of contact and a lot of it is electronic now.
Interviewer: I hear a lot about how in the last 10 years, realtors are really breaking off into specialties, distressed property specialist, divorce specialist, whatever it may be, how important is that to incorporate into your brand?
Mike Hixon: I think it's important, I don't know that you want to just be strictly branded by one specific niche but, if you do a lot in general and your specialty is short-sales or REO, that's important to get it out specifically to your colleagues or you know other realtors in the business because a lot of times that's where I get referrals.
Interviewer: Lastly Mike, the MLS obviously is very cooperative and user-friendly for agents to help brand the agent and help talk about their personal marketing and so forth, talk about a few ways in which the MLS does that for realtors.
Mike Hixon: MLS is huge for realtors as far as getting information out to your colleagues in the business. So how do you use that as far as sorting up your listings is I think pretty important. I see so many times when you come across information that you are looking for, and it's just been skipped over, it's important information that you need, especially things that you are searching on, you know, but the more information you put in, the better off you are going to be.
Interviewer: Mike thanks.
Mike Hixon: You are welcome.
Interviewer: Appreciate you being here.
Mike Hixon: You bet. Thank you.
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